Go Farther Literacy Fund
The application is currently closed!
The Go Farther Literacy Fund is a program from The Mind Trust to fund solutions to help address our city’s literacy crisis, and ensure all children read at or above grade level. Awarded funds range from $150 to $5,000. Our hope is that this initiative will help Center Township families go farther – both physically and figuratively!
Literacy – the ability to read and write – is the foundation for educational success and an increased quality of life. However, 1 in 6 Hoosier adults read at or below a fifth-grade level. Today, we seek to confront this challenge in the context of both a global pandemic (COVID-19) and the consequences of long-standing structural racism. We are looking for ideas that come from not only teachers, schools, and organizations but from individuals in the communities directly impacted (parents, guardians, aunts, uncles, other family members, friends, and neighbors) who are getting creative to help the children in their lives who attend a public school in Center Township. Learn more about round one and round two recipients and check out a feature of round one recipient Center for Leadership Development’s Imani Book Club.
We are looking for projects that aim to serve students in Center Township who are considered high-need. High-need students include: students impacted by poverty, English Language Learners (ELL), foster youth, homeless/home instability, recent immigrants to the United States, students with individualized education plans (IEPs) or 504 plans, and/or students who are academically below grade level. Projects should be have achievable goals and improve the literacy rates among students in Center Township. Project plans should be clear and feasible. Please reference the resources, idea suggestions, and FAQs lower on this page to aid in developing your application.
- Application opened – September 22, 2022
- *EXTENDED* Application closed – November 28, 2022
- Awardees are notified – December 2022
- Awardee training – January 2023
Don’t find your question answered in the FAQS below?
Please email Lauren Lopez firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.
Resources for families that support our community's literacy needs
- Community Action of Greater Indianapolis’ We CANN C.H.A.T
- Indianapolis Public Library
- Indy Reads Audio Books by Black Authors
- Indianapolis Urban League’s READ & RISE
- Little Free Library
- National Education Association’s Read Across America
- PBS’ ABC Literacy
- Reading Bear
- Schools on Wheels (School-Based Programs, Shelter-Based Programs, etc)
- United Way Central Indiana ReadUP
A few ideas to get you started
- Create a program to include guest readers
- Create a fun library at home or in an accessible space (Consider ordering books from Beyond Barcodes, Indy Reads, or Black World Schoolers)
- We Are Teachers literacy idea page
- Read Across America literacy idea page
- Build a community library
- Create a community book drive
- Find a tutor (Example: Sharpened Minds LLC)
- Purchase a Kindle, laptop, etc.
We are looking for parents, guardians, family members, or local organizations in Indianapolis who support children who attend a K-12 public school or attend a K-12 public charter school, district school, or IPS Innovation Network School in Indianapolis. We will be prioritizing applications from families and individual community members.
Applicants can be anyone who lives in Center Township, is the parent, guardian, or family member of children who attend a public school in Center Township or is a student who attends a public charter school, district school, or IPS Innovation Network School in Center Township. Organization partners serving Center Township students may also apply.
We don’t have a specific target number for how many students each idea needs to serve. Across all the ideas we fund, we are hoping to help hundreds of students. If you are applying via an organization, we request that at least 10 students participate in your project.
We are currently focused on funding initiatives that serve school-aged children in K-12.
No. We believe that solutions to our literacy crisis can come from anyone in our community. In fact, we will be prioritizing applications that come from primarily parents and community members. We hope that this literacy award program taps into the creative resilience that resides in our community already and helps individuals from all different backgrounds find solutions that help our children learn!
The Mind Trust staff and community stakeholders will collaboratively decide which ideas to fund.
This initiative is fully funded by The Mind Trust.
Yes, this program’s focus is purely on literacy. However, see the next three three FAQS for a deeper for more context.
Yes. Research tells us that students’ reading comprehension proficiency is based in part on their background knowledge. Therefore, students need and benefit from a broad knowledge base that spans science, history, art, and other subjects to achieve literacy. We also know that students’ motivation to read is influenced by their interest in what they are reading. Center Township students have broad interests that these projects can and should tap into.
Projects may be done in-person or virtually. We are open to projects that involve interacting in-person with students (using appropriate public health precautions) as well as projects that use any kind of technology (physical books and materials, mobile phones, tablets, computers, radio, television, social media, gaming devices, etc.).
Not necessarily. We are looking for projects that will help students with English Language Arts. However, research shows that fluency and literacy in a non-English home language can help children with English language fluency and literacy.
Funds will be distributed about 2-3 weeks following project selection and announcement.
We expect all the ideas we fund to be implemented and actively serving students by the end of December 2022.
We ask that you request a specific amount needed for your program in your application. If your application meets our criteria and your proposed budget seems reasonable, we hope to fully fund your project.
In addition to financial awards, we can provide suggestions or make connections to other people and organizations who can help you implement your idea.
No. These will be “unrestricted” awards used to cover costs related to supplies, books, materials, space, people’s time, hardware, software, or anything else you need to support students’ learning.
We strongly encourage applicants to adhere to health and safety guidelines issued by the Marion County Public Health Department when implementing projects.
We want our awardees to share their successes and lessons learned. Not just with us, but with the broader Indianapolis community. However, we hope to not make it hard or burdensome. We will work with each awardee to figure out the best approach and timeline. It might be a written summary, a short video, a video chat, or a site visit (public health guidance permitting).
Before COVID-19, many Black and Latino students in Center Township couldn’t read on grade level. Now, with hybrid learning leaving some schools physically closed and relying on remote learning, socially-distanced in-person learning, etc., students are in danger of losing even more learning opportunities to develop and cement foundational literacy skills. We know our community is resilient and determined. Many people are getting creative to help the children in their lives not fall behind. In light of this, we want to provide some financial support for those efforts and share them more broadly to inspire others.
The Go Farther Literacy Fund is an initiative of The Mind Trust, an Indianapolis-based education nonprofit that invests in public education to transform lives in neighborhoods across Indianapolis. This fund is modeled after Educate78’s and Energy Converters’: People’s Literacy Fund in Oakland, CA.