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Greater Cincinnati Foundation awards $288,000 to support literacy efforts in Cincinnati in memory of Gladys and Ralph Lazarus

The Greater Cincinnati Foundation has recently awarded $288,000 in grants to support strategic efforts targeting reading and math literacy for Cincinnati’s youngest learners through the Gladys and Ralph Lazarus Education Fund.
Cincinnati Public Schools Literacy ProgramCINCINNATI (November 15, 2017) — The Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) has recently awarded $288,000 in grants to support strategic efforts targeting reading and math literacy for Cincinnati’s youngest learners through the Gladys and Ralph Lazarus Education Fund.

“Our parents passionately believed that a strong primary education was the foundation of successful long-term education,” said John and James Lazarus, sons of Gladys and Ralph, in a joint statement. “They also felt that maximum community involvement was the key to improving primary education and therefore the educational system in general. We believe that they would be grateful and excited by this year’s grants.”

Cincinnati Public Schools received $248,000 for a continuous quality improvement manager addressing kindergarten through third grade literacy and a kindergarten reading specialist pilot project at Roll Hill Academy. Madisonville Education and Assistance Center received $35,000 for the expansion and documentation of the John P. Parker Early Literacy Initiative. The Greater Cincinnati STEM Collaborative received $5,000 for their Math Mindset Launch.

Cincinnati Public Schools is aiming to increase third grade reading proficiency of students’ district-wide from 45 percent to 90 percent by 2020. 

“We know great disparities in literacy exist between schools largely depending on economic status,” said Molly Robertshaw, GCF program officer. “To close disparity gaps, promising ideas like these must be piloted.”

“With the expansion of this program, we will be able to offer more children and more classrooms the national best practice strategies and interventions that have proven successful in past years,” said Jen Baker, executive director of Madisonville Education and Assistance Center. “This success has been seen in the test scores and promotion rates at John P. Parker and noted by parents. Reading is the foundation for the rest of a student's academic career and plays a major role in their success beyond.”

The Gladys and Ralph Lazarus Education Fund supports public schools operating in financially disadvantaged areas in the City of Cincinnati.

“Because of the foresight of Mr. and Mrs. Lazarus, we are able to invest in these projects,” said Ellen M. Katz, GCF’s president/CEO. “We are in this community to connect families to what matters to them the most, so they can make the difference they are inspired to make. We’re honored the Lazarus family chose the Greater Cincinnati Foundation as their philanthropic partner.”

About The Greater Cincinnati Foundation

One of the nation’s leading community foundations, the Greater Cincinnati Foundation helps people make the most of their giving to build a better community. We believe in the power of philanthropy to change the lives of people and communities. As a community foundation, GCF creates a prosperous Greater Cincinnati by investing in thriving people and vibrant places. An effective steward of the community’s charitable resources since 1963, the Foundation inspires philanthropy in eight counties in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. At the end of 2016, GCF had net assets of $563 million.


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