The grants from the Wisconsin-based foundation include $4 million to expand the organization's programs nationally over three years and a $5 million pledge in support of its endowment. With the funds, the organization will work to increase awareness, understanding, and use of evidence-based reading instruction to improve literacy rates in the U.S. To that end, the organization has established a fund at the Central New York Community Foundation, which will manage the fund.
A noted educator, Pleasant Rowland began her career as a primary-grade teacher, developed numerous reading and language arts programs that continue to be used around the country, and later established the American Girl doll company.
"This is a powerful vote of confidence in our mission," said Maria Murray, founder, CEO, and chief academic officer of the Reading League. "We are extremely grateful for Pleasant Rowland's vision and dedication to helping teachers improve the way they teach reading."