GCF Partners with Scripps for Literacy Grant

April 17, 2019

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.” ― Frederick Douglass


Literacy is a cornerstone of financial and emotional well-being, as well as a critical component to breaking the cycle of generational poverty. Cincinnati is ranked No. 4 nationally in childhood poverty, according to the National Center for Children in Poverty. Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) sees literacy efforts as one solution with long-lasting impact for such children to succeed, which in turn enriches our entire community.

As part of our concentrated focus on equity issues — including access to educational resources — GCF partnered once again with the Scripps Howard Foundation and WCPO 9 On Your Side to provide a $100,000 grant to support family literacy in underserved Greater Cincinnati neighborhoods. We invest in such partnerships to meet the urgent need and magnify the impact in our neediest communities.

The third annual family literacy grant was awarded April 18 at Memorial Hall to Prescription for Reading, a collaboration of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center and 23 local pediatric clinics that serves nearly 30,000 children each year. The grant presentation kicked off the annual Scripps Howard Awards celebration of national journalism achievements.

“We are honored to continue this partnership with the Scripps Howard Foundation to promote solutions to the challenges of educational opportunities in Greater Cincinnati,” said Ellen M. Katz, President/CEO of Greater Cincinnati Foundation. “Supporting effective pathways to success for children who are living in poverty — which, in our tri-state region, number more than a staggering 93,000 — will be crucial to the long-term economic success of our entire community.”

Cincinnati Children’s Prescription for Reading program is a collaborative combination of the national Reach Out and Read program and Dolly Parton’s national, nonprofit Imagination Library. Together, they enable pediatricians in partnering clinics to teach caregivers how to develop young children’s literacy and language skills (Reach Out and Read) and provide families of children ages 0 to 5 with a regular supply of books to each family (Imagination Library). The literacy grant will enable the Imagination Library component of Prescription for Reading to expand into communities beyond the Cincinnati Public Schools service area.

Prescription for Reading was one of three finalists for this year’s grant. Additional finalists:  Cincinnati Ready Kids, a program expansion of the Children’s Home of Cincinnati’s existing SPARK program; and the new Keeping Teen Moms in School program at Dohn Community High School. Previous years’ grants were awarded to Princeton City Schools and the Brighton Center in Northern Kentucky.

GCF is proud to join forces with the Scripps Foundation to lay a strong foundation for educational success for Greater Cincinnati’s most vulnerable children.