McCormick Foundation Grants Nearly $1 Million for Citywide Literacy Programs Through Chicago Tribune Charities

The McCormick Foundation has announced $880,000 in funding through Chicago Tribune Charities, a McCormick Foundation fund, that will help 38 local agencies assist Chicago’s adults, children and families with the literacy skills they need for lifelong success.

Through partnerships with media outlets, such as the Chicago Tribune, the McCormick Foundation continues Robert R. McCormick’s legacy of service by encouraging local giving, inspiring civic involvement and addressing human needs.

“Literacy empowers people and literally opens worlds of opportunity closed to those who are unable to read,” said David D. Hiller, president and CEO of the McCormick Foundation.

“It is essential to successful, fully engaged lives and a vibrant democracy. Thanks to people’s generosity and the critical in-kind support provided by the Chicago Tribune, the McCormick Foundation can fund quality organizations that help vulnerable individuals develop their knowledge and potential and become active and engaged citizens.”

The 2009 literacy grants will be awarded to agencies providing high-quality services in the following program areas (please note some agencies were awarded more than one grant):

  • Adult Literacy: $399,000 to 20 programs supporting the education of functionally illiterate adults; programs include Adult Basic Education (ABE) for English-speakers whose pre-test scores put them below the 9th grade reading level; and English as a Second Language (ESL) for non-English speakers whose pre-test scores place them primarily, but not exclusively at very low English proficiency levels.
  • Advocacy / Technical Assistance: $105,000 to three agencies building the capacities of literacy programs, or creating systemic change in the field through public policy advocacy and/or education initiatives.
  • Children’s Literacy: $135,000 to 11 in- and after-school programs promoting literacy for students who are at risk of illiteracy or are reading below grade level.
  • Family Literacy: $230,000 to nine agencies focusing on building the skills and roles of the parents as their children’s first teachers, by combining literacy instruction for parents and their children. Programs must include five components – adult education, child education, parenting (child development) skills, parent-and-child learning activities, and library services.
  • Capacity Building: $11,000 to three agencies for software reading assessment tools to improve student outcome measures.

Reports estimate that 600,000 adults in the Chicago area read below the 9th grade level and/or have low or limited English language proficiency.

Approximately 25 percent of adults in the greater Chicago area do not have a high school diploma, and 66 percent of CPS students cannot read at grade level.

Since 1987, Chicago Tribune Charities has committed more than $12.5 million to nonprofit organizations strengthening literacy in Chicago and the suburbs.

To donate today to Chicago Tribune Charities, go to mccormickfoundation.org/NetCommunity/CTC.

For more information about Chicago Tribune Charities, go to www.mccormickfoundation.org/NetCommunity/CTC/donate.

Below is the complete listing of the 2009 Chicago Tribune Charities literacy grants.

All the organizations are in Chicago unless otherwise noted:

    Adult Literacy
    Adult Basic Education (ABE)
    1.  De La Salle Institute (Chicago)                            $30,000
    For the Adult Literacy programs, providing 135 adults with
     basic literacy classes.
    English as a Second Language (ESL)
    2.  Christopher House                                          $19,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, which provides three levels
     of ESL classes, (beginning, intermediate and advanced), and
     conversational ESL classes, to low income parents. The
     program serves 104 adults.
    3.  Community Help Center                                      $10,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, which provides two levels of
     ESL classes (beginning and intermediate), and basic computer
     training, for 80 low income women.
    4.  Corazon A Corazon                                          $10,000
    For the Adult ESL Literacy program, which provides one-on-
     one tutoring and conversation classes for 49 low income
    5.  Dominican Literacy Center Aurora (Aurora, Ill.)            $20,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, which provides one-on-one
     ESL instruction and conversation classes to 140 immigrant
     Latinas with low-level English skills.
    6.  Erie Neighborhood House                                    $30,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, providing 494 adults with ESL
    7.  Korean American Resource and Cultural Center               $15,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, which provides ESL
     instruction and conversation classes to 78 beginning and
     intermediate-level students.
    8.  Literacy Volunteers Fox Valley A Proliteracy America
     Affiliate (St. Charles, Ill.)                                 $15,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, which provides one-on-one
     and small group tutoring for 177 adults with limited
     English-language skills.
    9.  McHenry County College (Crystal Lake, Ill.)                $20,000
    For the adult literacy program, which pair volunteers and ESL
     students in isolated, rural areas. The program serves 956
    10.  Northwest Neighborhood Federation                          $5,000
    For the Adult ESL Literacy program, providing four levels of
     ESL classes to recent immigrants. The program serves 211
    11.  People's Resource Foundation (Wheaton, Ill.)              $15,000
    For the Adult Literacy Program, which offers multi-level ESL
     classes at 20-30 community sites, and matches 180
     volunteers with learners to provide one-on-one tutoring.
     The program serves 242 adults.
    12.  Poder Learning Center                                     $15,000
    For the Adult ESL program, providing literacy services to low
     income Latinos in Pilsen and Little Village. The program
     serves 792 clients.
    13.  Pui Tak Center                                            $30,000
    For ESL program, which provides six levels of ESL instruction
     for over 1,000 Chinese immigrants who want to improve their
     career opportunities and become more involved in their
    ABE & ESL
    14.  Albany Park Community Center, Inc.                        $20,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, which provides small group
     classes and one-on-one tutoring for over 200 Latino and
     Eastern European individuals with low literacy levels.
    15.  Carole Robertson Center for Learning                      $25,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, providing ESL and ABE classes
     to over 106 adults.
    16.  Howard Area Community Center                              $25,000
    For the Adult Education program, offering ABE and ESL for 201
     adults with low proficiency levels.
    17.  Jane Addams Resource Corporation                           15,000
    For the Adult Literacy Program, which provides one-on-one
     tutoring and small group instruction to ESL and ABE
     learners. The program serves 65 adults.
    18.  Literacy Volunteers of America -DuPage, Inc.
     (Naperville, Ill.)                                            $25,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, which provides one-on-one
     ESL and ABE instruction to 167 adult learners at 140
     locations throughout DuPage County, including libraries,
     coffee shops, and students' homes.
    19.  Morton College (Cicero, Ill.)                             $35,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, providing ESL and ABE classes
     to 1,958 students.
    20.  Township High School District 214 Community Education
     Foundation (Arlington Heights, Ill.)                          $20,000
    For the Adult Literacy program, providing 342 adults with ABE
     and ESL tutoring.
    Total                                                         $399,000
    Advocacy / Technical Assistance
    21.  Chicago Public Library Foundation                         $35,000
    For Chicago Reads Together, an early reading program which
     builds these skills for children ages 0-9, through staff
     training and parent awareness. In FY09, 125 library staff
     received training and conducted workshops, for 3,000 parents
     at 79 branch sites.
    22.  Literacy Works                                            $40,000
    For the Adult Volunteer Tutor Training program, which, in
     FY09, trained 834 adults at 50 agencies who tutored more
     than 9,500 adult learners in ABE and ESL programs. The
     agency is the city's largest provider of adult tutor
    23.  Reading in Motion                                         $30,000
    For the Benchmarks Reading program, which teaches CPS
     teachers to use drama and music to engage students in
     reading activities. Rebecca Brubaker, VP of Operations for
     Chicago Tribune, serves on the agency's board.
    Total                                                         $105,000
    Children's Literacy
    24.  Association House of Chicago                              $10,000
    For the Out of School Time English Language Arts program,
     providing reading and literacy instruction to children ages
    25.  Cabrini-Green Tutoring Program, Inc                        $5,000
    For the After School Tutoring program, which offers one-on-
     one tutoring for 240 low income 1st-through-6th grade
     students, from Cabrini Green and surrounding neighborhoods.
    26.  Centro Romero                                             $10,000
    For the After School program, which provides academic
     support, literacy instruction, and individual tutoring to 42
     students, ages 7 to 16. A reading specialist trains the
     tutors and works with each student individually for two
     hours a day.
    27.  Chicago Lights                                            $10,000
    For the Tutoring Program's Literacy Initiative, which
     provides one-on-one, after-school tutoring and literacy
     instruction for low income students. In FY09, the program
     served 208 1st-through-6th grade students.
    28.  Chicago Youth Programs, Inc.                              $20,000
    For the Path to Reading Literacy program, which pairs
     volunteers and parents to teach reading skills to young
     children.  The grant is restricted to children in
     kindergarten through first grade. Last year the program
     served 74 children in this age group.
    29.  Children's Home & Aid Society of Illinois                 $20,000
    For the After School and Summer Reading program, which offers
     literacy and other services to 3rd-to-6th graders from
     under-resourced schools. In FY09, the program served 188
     students, from seven schools on academic probation.
    30.  El Valor Corporation                                      $20,000
    For the STARS Reading program, which provides intensive
     after-school tutoring in reading, using individualized
     plans and computer-based materials. In FY09, the program
     served 51 students at two sites in Pilsen and South Chicago.
    31.  Erie Neighborhood House                                   $10,000
    For the Partners in Reading program, providing after-school
     literacy services to 37 children.
    32.  Family Matters, Inc.                                       $5,000
    For the Evening Tutoring and IREAD programs, providing
     literacy instruction and activities for 1st-through-8th
     grade students with low reading scores. The program served
     35 students in FY09.
    33.  Glen Ellyn Community Resource Center (Glen Ellyn, Ill.)   $10,000
    For the After School and Summer Literacy program, which
     provides tutoring and academic instruction for primarily
     African and Southeast Asian refugee students, ages 6 to 14,
     who are at risk for school failure. In FY09, the program
     served 127 students.
    34.  Howard Area Community Center                              $15,000
    For the After-School Literacy program, offering a structured
     curriculum for 82 children.
    Total                                                         $135,000
    Family Literacy
    35.  Asian Human Services of Chicago, Inc.                     $30,000
    For Literacy Education for Adults and Families (LEAF)
     program, providing family literacy services, including early
     childhood education, after-school programs and adult
     education.  The program serves 72 families.
    36.  Chinese Mutual Aid Association                            $10,000
    For the Family Literacy Club program, which provides literacy
     activities to Chinese and Vietnamese immigrant families.
     Last year, the program served 37 families.
    37.  Hull House Association                                    $30,000
    For the Family Literacy program, which offers ESL
     instruction, parent literacy education classes, and parent-
     child literacy activities, to 57 families.
    38.  Latin Center - Universidad Popular                        $20,000
    For the Family Literacy program, which provides ESL classes,
     parent and child activities, weekly library visits, computer
     literacy software, conversation classes and child
     development workshops, to 48 families with children, ages 2
     to 5.
    39.  Township High School District 214 Community Education
     Foundation (Arlington Heights, Ill.)                          $35,000
    For the Family Literacy program, providing 126 families with
     ESL instruction, childhood education, parenting classes, and
     parent/child interaction groups.
    40.  World Relief Corporation of National Association of
     Evangelicals (Wheaton, Ill.)                                  $25,000
    For the Family Literacy program, providing ESL instruction
     and parenting education to adult refugees and immigrants,
     educational services to children, as well as family-
     oriented reading activities, and weekly library visits for
     51 families.
    ABE & ESL
    41.  Carole Robertson Center for Learning                      $20,000
    For the Family Literacy Development program, providing
     literacy activities to 21 families.
    42.  De La Salle Institute                                     $35,000
    For the Family Literacy program, providing 106 families with
     literacy activities, parenting instruction, and supportive
    43.  Institute for Latino Progress (Instituto del Progreso
     Latino)                                                       $25,000
    For the Family Literacy program, serving predominantly low
     income Latino families through activities for both parents
     and children. Last year, the program served 51 families.
    Total                                                         $230,000
    Capacity Building
    44.  Centro Romero                                               $4,300
     For Let's Go Learn, an online diagnostic assessment tool
      offering a broad range of measurements for literacy students
      with below-grade-level reading scores. The tool's
      assessments help customize each student's learning plans.
    45.  Family Matters, Inc.                                        $3,300
    For the Scholastic Reading Inventory Assessment Tool, a
     comprehensive software program that measures reading
     comprehension at a faster rate than the agency's current
     testing tools. This will allow the testing of more students
     in the after school program.
    46.  Howard Area Community Center                                $3,400
    For the BEST Plus Diagnostic Assessment Test, which provides
     a more timely and accurate oral measurement of literacy
     gains for learners at all proficiency levels. The grant
     includes 15 online licenses for the Rosetta Stone language
     software program.
    Total                                                           $11,000

    2009 LITERACY GRANTS GRAND TOTAL                               $880,000

About the McCormick Foundation and Chicago Tribune Charities

The McCormick Foundation is a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening our free, democratic society by investing in our children, communities and country.

It was established as a charitable trust in 1955, upon the death of Col. Robert R. McCormick, the longtime editor and publisher of the Chicago Tribune, who believed that philanthropy and service to others strengthens the civic health of our communities.

The Foundation is one of the nation’s largest charities, with more than $1 billion in assets.

The McCormick Foundation continues McCormick’s legacy by partnering with media outlets, such as the Chicago Tribune, and sports teams across the country to encourage local giving, inspire civic involvement and address human needs.

Through this unique partnership, Chicago Tribune and the McCormick Foundation raise and distribute funds across Chicagoland through Chicago Tribune Charities.

All donations are matched by the McCormick Foundation at 50 cents on the dollar, increasing the impact of the gift. The Foundation and Chicago Tribune pay all campaign and administrative costs, ensuring 100 percent of all donations, plus the match, is granted to local nonprofit agencies with programs that support disadvantaged people in the community.

To learn more about the McCormick Foundation visit McCormickFoundation.org.

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