Press Releases | January 22, 2024

The Mind Trust awards $50,000 in the fourth round of Go Farther Literacy Fund to 24 Indianapolis families, organizations, and schools

INDIANAPOLIS – (January 22, 2024) – Today, the Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit, announced $50,000 in Go Farther Literacy Fund awards. This year’s awards will support 24 projects that promote student literacy led by Indianapolis families, teachers, and community-based organizations. For this round of awards, 18 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, primarily funding projects led by parents and families. The Mind Trust has awarded $180,000 in Go Farther Literacy Funds since 2020. The first three rounds of The Mind Trust’s Go Farther Literacy Fund provided $130,000 to 50 recipients.

“For the past four years, this initiative has been reflective of The Mind Trust’s unwavering commitment to supporting innovative ideas that drive student learning gains. We are proud that the Go Farther Literacy Fund gives the majority of funds to families, who stand as the foremost advocates for their children’s literacy. The passion within our city and families is prominent in this latest round of awards, and we are thrilled to stand behind and support them,” said Patrick Jones, Senior Vice President of Leadership and Equity at The Mind Trust.

The 18 Family recipients are:

Jessica Davis will receive $2,000 to create an expansive digital home library to offer her students a safe space to indulge in reading with books that match their interests.

Cheryl Boone will receive $2,000 to create a book club for young entrepreneurs with financial and business literacy as a main theme. 

Gloria Combs will receive $1,000 to purchase high-quality literacy materials for her four children.

Delores Thornton will receive $750 to create a community library with diverse books that resonate with students.

Shantel Badji will receive $2,500 to create a “Reading as Coping” program for the Department of Child Services students.

Courtney Rice will receive $2,500 to create a home library for students impacted by COVID-19 learning loss to ensure they have access to high-quality reading materials.

Courtney Mi’Shon Kendrick will receive $3,000 to initiate a Mobile Accessible Reading Station to serve students who cannot get to a library.

Lettria Anderson will receive $1,500 to fund digital reading devices for her students to access audiobooks and reading material online.

Destiny Cole will receive $3,500 to provide students in her community with access to high-quality reading and literacy materials over school breaks.

Latrice Watson will receive $2,500 to create an at-home library for her kindergarten student to support his reading skill development. 

Patrice Chalmers will receive $1,000 to provide an at-home literary center to her second-grade student.

Nateia Hill will receive $2,500 to create a neighborhood book drive and at-home library.

Siara Killebrew will receive $1,000 to provide a home library for her 12 children.

Cassa Moore will receive $2,500 to create an at-home literacy lab with books on Black history and stories.

JacQuese Waters will receive $3,000 to create a reading development program that includes free literacy materials, monthly meetings, and read-along videos.

Kimberly Campbell will receive $2,500 to support her students with an at-home library.

Jacqueniece Whitehead will receive $1,500 to purchase diverse books and create a safe space for reading and learning.

Tonya C. Geans will receive $2,000 to support young leaders with literacy materials and tools to overcome life obstacles.

The 6 School and community recipients are:

Liberty Grove Schools at Elder Diggs School 42 will receive $1,500 to purchase culturally and linguistically diverse books for the classroom. 

Spanish for Entities will receive $3,000 to support the Libros Para Indy program, which gives families access to bilingual books to promote reading for pleasure.

Teachers Treasures will receive $2,500 to support The Global Language Library, a dedicated area of their store full of multi-language books that teachers can take for their classrooms. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Indiana will receive $1,650 to support one year of their book club and their end-of-year literacy party.

Books by Courtney will receive $2,500 to support their program aiming to empower at-risk youth to write fiction books, providing them with a creative outlet and developing their writing and confidence. 

Enlace Academy will receive $1,600 to purchase books to replenish their home literacy library with books that students can see themselves in and feel empowered.

“A strong foundation in literacy is essential for a student’s entire K-12 journey. Every child deserves the tools and support needed to develop literacy skills that support a freedom-filled life. The dedication of The Mind Trust to supporting families and community members who show creativity in promoting academic growth is a source of great pride for us.” 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. 

“I built the idea for this fund because I lived in multiple shelters as a kid and we needed a little bit of help. It is a distinct honor that this fund continues to serve and support. It is my proudest accomplishment.” said Cole. 

To learn more about the Go Farther Literacy Fund visit


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.