Press Releases | January 9, 2023

The Mind Trust awards $50,000 in third round of Go Farther Literacy Fund to 18 Indianapolis families, organizations, and schools

The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, today announced $50,000 in Go Farther Literacy Fund awards. This year’s awards will support 18 projects that promote student literacy and are led by Indianapolis families, teachers, and community-based organizations. For this round of awards, 13 will be distributed to families. 

The goal of the Go Farther Literacy Fund is to invest in locally-driven projects that further student literacy skills, with a goal of primarily funding projects led by parents and families. In total, The Mind Trust has awarded $130,000 in Go Farther Literacy Funds since 2020. The first two rounds of The Mind Trust’s Go Farther Literacy Fund provided $80,000 to 32 recipients.

“The longevity of this program speaks to the commitment of The Mind Trust, its board, the community, and parents, who are the biggest champions of their child’s literacy. This fund has existed for three years and we look to be a voice of literacy change for years to come in Indianapolis. The fire in the belly of our communities and families is clear and present in this round of awards and we couldn’t be more excited to support these folks,” said Patrick Jones, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Equity at The Mind Trust.

The 13 family recipients are: 

Ronnie Beathea will receive $2,000 to fund a multimedia home library for her child.

Alma Becerril will receive $5,000 to implement a book exchange program called “Leyendo Juntos,” which will promote a sense of pride for reading bilingual literature while increasing literacy and comprehension gains in K-8 students who are English Language Learners, have an IEP, or are reading below grade level. 

Destiny Cole will receive $500 to stock a home library in advance of her daughter attending Kindergarten in fall 2022. 

Areiona Cheatham will receive $2,000 to make an at-home learning center to offer her students a safe, quiet space for productive learning.

Jessica Davis will receive $2,500 to create a sensory-friendly library for students who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Ana C. Delgado will receive $1,000 to secure literacy tutoring services for her daughter who is in fourth grade.

Amber Echols will receive $2,500 to develop a book reading and literacy kit for students in two Indianapolis schools. The kit is designed especially for students with disabilities and students who come from a low-income background.

Deja Fallah-Graham will receive $1,000 to build a reading nook for two preschoolers stocked with inclusive books and materials that support social-emotional learning.

Tasha Foust will receive $2,000 to build a home library with an emphasis on showcasing Black authors and a neighborhood book bin where residents can freely exchange books with others in the community.

Erricka Graham will receive $5,000 to create an in-home literacy center for her three students to ensure they have access to high-quality literacy materials that bolster their academic experiences.

Jaleah Jemison will receive $2,500 to develop a Winter Reading Program that incentivizes students to track reading during the holiday break.

Stevon and Meisha Sampson will receive $3,000 to help them pay for tutoring services for their child through Kumon Learning Center.

Jazzmin Williams will receive $2,500 to create a toddler book club with themed reading months and family field trips that relate to each month’s theme.

The five school and community recipients are: 

Asante Art Institute will receive $5,000 to support Zora’s Daughters, their creative writing program for girls ages 8-18.

Brave Before and After Youth Program will receive $2,000 to provide tutoring for K-3 students with a focus on helping them achieve grade-level proficiency in reading.

Circle City Prep will receive $1,000 to purchase high-quality curriculum materials that target literacy development among first grade students.

Listen to Our Future will receive $5,000 to purchase the SPIRE phonics curriculum for use in after-school tutoring programs.

Teachers’ Treasures will receive $5,000 to support their expansion of a global language library that is able to distribute diverse, relevant texts to educators who teach in Indianapolis schools.

“Literacy skills are an essential foundation for a student’s K-12 experience. Every student deserves the resources necessary to ensure their literacy abilities set them up for educational success. The Mind Trust is proud to continue investing in families and community members who are getting creative to drive academic improvement,” said Brandon Brown, CEO of The Mind Trust.

The Mind Trust’s initiative is modeled after The People’s Literacy Fund in Oakland, California. Dr. Charles Cole, III, Executive Director of Energy Convertors, an education nonprofit based in Oakland, began The People’s Literacy Fund with Educate78 to support families’ innovative ideas for promoting student literacy. 

“Literacy is foundational education. We have the opportunity to help people with that. It’s an honor to be able to help, even a little bit.” said Cole. “The People’s Literacy Fund and the Go Farther Literacy Fund give real people resources to make their ideas a reality for their families and community.”

About The Mind Trust

The Mind Trust is an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that works to build a system of schools that gives every student, no exceptions, access to a high-quality education. The Mind Trust does this by building a supportive environment for schools through policy and community engagement, empowering talented, diverse educators to launch new schools, and providing existing schools with the support they need to hire world-class talent and achieve excellence. Since 2006, The Mind Trust has supported the launch of 49 schools, 15 education nonprofit organizations, and has helped place more than 1,800 teachers and school leaders in Indianapolis classrooms.