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$20K is up for grabs to fund literacy projects that help children

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)- There is money on the table aimed squarely at helping central Indiana children, and it is all in the name of literacy.

The deadline is fast approaching for a program designed to get as many children as possible to be able to read and write.

It’s called the Go Farther Literacy Fund, and there is a total of $20,000 up for grabs. The Indiana Student Achievement Report said when it comes to reading abilities, gaps among students can start to show as early as 3rd grade.

The report states that research suggests students who aren’t at or above grade level reading in 3rd grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school or not graduate on time.

“The basic fundamental is to be able to read and write. But, that ‘basic thing’ is not so simple for families and some children to achieve,” Chelsea Reed, external communications manager for The Mind Trust, explained.

That’s why The Mind Trust, a non-profit, has set aside $20,000 from its own pocket to create the Go Farther Literacy Fund.

Reed told News 8 this initiative is modeled after The People’s Literacy Fund based in Oakland, California.

The new pilot program hopes to find solutions to address what The Mind Trust sees as a literacy crisis, and make sure all children read at or above their grade level.

“We’re giving priority to families that apply because we really want to help them and help empower them,” Reed said.

The Mind Trust is looking for parents, families, guardians, or local organizations in Indianapolis that support K-12 public, charter or district students.

The fund will provide financial help for projects that serve high-need students, including foster youth, those experiencing poverty and those academically below grade level. Project examples could be a book drive, hiring a tutor or starting a community library.

Reed explained to News 8 what she hopes children get from the projects.

“I hope that every child gets a little bit better,” Reed said. “That they feel loved and know that the community cares for them. That they can, and that barriers exist, but it doesn’t have to stop them or limit them.”

April 7th is the last day applications will be accepted. Individual awards will be anywhere from $150 on up to $5,000. The deadline is midnight Wednesday.

For more information, call The Mind Trust at (317) 822-8102.

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