Los Angeles Times Family Fund Grantee Features
Literacy: Hands Together Literacy Center

The Hands Together Literacy Center prepared over 60 children living in poverty to start formal schooling with eagerness to learn and age-appropriate literacy skills. A summary of findings of 78 children's assessments shows significant development from the exploring level of English to the mastery level. Four-year-old Luis grew from only being able to communicate by nodding to confidently speaking complete sentences in English and Spanish after completing one year of the program at the Hands Together Literacy Center. Now he is fully prepared to attend kindergarten and continue to learn and grow.

Literacy: Boys & Girls Clubs of Redlands

In the state of California, the high school drop-out rate is staggering at 24.2%. That’s why programs like the Boys & Girls Clubs of Redlands’ Bright Spot for Reading Program are so essential to ensure academic success for youth. Thanks to support through the Los Angeles Times Family Fund, 200 members participated in this program, and 144 students achieved 576 hours of reading over a nine-month period. Additionally, more than 140 youth and teens increased their reading ability by one or two grade levels according to pre- and post-tests. During the program, student attendance increased, and 62 students notorious for truancy are now attending school regularly. These impressive outcomes speak volumes on the strength of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Redlands in improving academic outcomes for disadvantaged youth in Southern California.

Literacy: Loyola Marymount University

Support through the Los Angeles Times Family Fund enabled Loyola Marymount University’s Bookworm Project to improve literacy achievement among low-income and immigrant kindergarten students in five Los Angeles schools. Year-end testing showed that all of the children who received Bookworm Project services achieved benchmark or 20% in the percentile rank on the DIBELSNext (Dynamic Index of Basic Literacy Skills). The children also improved significantly in working memory, phonological awareness, reading and behavior. In addition to improving literacy among underserved kindergarteners, the funding also enabled the Bookworm Project to promote educational equity and provide Loyola Marymount University students with opportunities to learn about social justice issues in education and ways they can become involved in the community to effect change.

Literacy: El Centrito Family Learning Centers

In El Centrito’s Family Literacy Co-Operative Program, parents participated in daily English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction, parenting education and received hands-on training. Parents learned child development concepts and developmentally appropriate parenting skills by participating in interactive literacy activities and utilizing those skills during the time they spent in their toddler’s classroom each week. Children participated daily in the early education co-operative program with support from the co-operative parent volunteers and early education teachers. Toddler participants learned pre-literacy skills and their parents learned English that will empower their children to develop into creative, energetic and eager learners. As a result of generous support through the Los Angeles Times Family Fund, El Centrito was enabled to strengthen and expand services through a unique family literacy model.

Child and Youth Education: Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Tustin’s Upward Bound Academic Assistance Program’s goal was to reach 300 new youth in the community that were in need of academic assistance. Utilizing an extensive referral system with community law enforcement, school officials, the Orange County Department of Education (for homeless youth outreach), and word of mouth, the agency has reached 342 children to improve their math, reading and comprehension skills. Over the years, support through the Los Angeles Times Family Fund has helped the Boys & Girls Club of Tustin serve nearly 1,000 young people with quality educational and academic assistance programs.

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Robert R. McCormick Foundation
205 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 4300
Chicago, IL 60601

Phone: 312 445 5000
Fax: 312 445 5001
Email: info@mccormickfoundation.org