We are pleased to announce that we are currently accepting applications for the iREAD Competitive Grants Program. For more information click here.
Significant research shows that reading aloud to children from day one is the single most important thing a parent can do to help a child enter kindergarten ready to succeed. In Sonoma County, however, only 57% of parents read to their children every day. It’s critical that we equip parents with the knowledge and tools they need to be effective role models and teachers, and remove the obstacles—real or perceived—to engaging their children in reading.
In 2014, Community Foundation launched an Early Childhood Education Initiative to increase parent and family engagement in early literacy. We are active members of Cradle to Career, a countywide collective impact effort working to ensure that children are successful throughout the educational pipeline, and lead a Parent Engagement working group in support of Cradle to Career’s Goal Area 1: Ensuring Every Child Enters Kindergarten Ready to Succeed.
In 2014-2015 our working group conducted a community survey about barriers to reading and developed a community literacy campaign called iREAD to promote parents and family members reading to their young children. Through iREAD we seek to raise awareness that no matter what activity parents are doing with their children, they can build literacy at the same time—by reading the back of a cereal box or the signs you see on the street to your child, for example. Over the past year, the working group developed and distributed over 17,000 posters, postcards, and bookmarks to community organizations, businesses, and individuals throughout Sonoma County.
In 2015-2016 we launched phase two which includes television, bus, and radio advertisements, and engaging community partners in iREAD through a grants program to promote family literacy.
Community Foundation Sonoma County’s iREAD grants program enables community organizations who have trusted relationships with families of young children to explore innovative ways of promoting family literacy to support Cradle to Career’s Goal Area 1: Ensuring Every Child Enters Kindergarten Ready to Succeed. Through a very competitive process, we selected eight organizations who are promoting family literacy and increasing access to books in unique ways.
The 2015 list of grantees includes:
Alliance Medical Center: $5,000. Expanding Reach Out and Read by providing 2,800 bilingual books to 2,500 families.
Child Parent Institute: $ 10,000. Encouraging active parent engagement with children 0-5 by providing reading materials to children in high risk families participating in CPI’s programs.
LandPaths: $10,000. Supporting iREAD Outside, a series of culturally relevant community events and outings that engage parents in reading out loud to children in nature.
On the Move: $10,000. Supporting Sonoma Valley Parent University’s Family Early Literacy Initiative.
River to Coast Children’s Services: $5,000. Enhancing KinderGym with a lending library, daily story time, and a monthly newsletter to educate parents.
Sonoma County Department of Health Services: $10,000. Promoting daily reading to young children by providing books for home visiting programs serving low-income families.
The Living Room Center, Inc.: $5,000. Piloting a reading program that addresses barriers to reading and access to books for families served by The Living Room.
Volunteer Center of Sonoma County: $6,000. Promoting daily reading to young children by providing books for home visiting programs serving low-income families.
We are pleased to be launching a second year of iREAD competitive grants. We are currently seeking proposals from organizations that have trusted relationships with their clients and would like to promote the importance of daily reading to children. Projects could include:
For more information, please click here.
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