McCormick Foundation Announces $880,000 in Grants to Strengthen Literacy

The Chicago-based McCormick Foundation has announced grants totaling $880,000 through its Chicago Tribune Charities fund to thirty-eight organizations working to provide adult and children's literacy services in the Chicago metropolitan area.

The grants include $399,000 to twenty adult literacy programs supporting the education of functionally illiterate adults; $230,000 to nine agencies working to build the skills of parents so they can take on the role of their child's first teacher; $135,000 to eleven in- and after-school programs promoting literacy for students who are at risk of illiteracy or are below-grade-level readers; $105,000 to three agencies building the capacity of literacy programs or creating systemic change in the field through public policy advocacy and/or education initiatives; and $11,000 to three agencies for reading-assessment software to help improve student outcome measures.

Since 1987, the Chicago Tribune Charities fund has awarded more than $12.5 million to nonprofit organizations working to strengthen literacy in Chicago. According to survey results, some 600,000 adults in the region read below the ninth-grade level or have low or limited English language proficiency. In addition, approximately 25 percent of local adults do not have a high school diploma and 66 percent of public school students cannot read at grade level.

"Literacy empowers people and literally opens worlds of opportunity closed to those who are unable to read," said McCormick Foundation president and CEO David D. Hiller. "It is essential to successful, fully engaged lives and a vibrant democracy. Thanks to...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."

For a complete list of this year's grantees, visit the McCormick Foundation Web site.