Top three nonprofit finalists selected in local $150,000 literacy grant competition

Fri, March 17, 2017 by Valerie Miller

CINCINNATI— Scripps Howard Foundation, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Duke Energy Foundation and WCPO 9 On Your Side selected the top three finalists, out of a field of 14 nonprofit applicants, for $150,000 in grants to support childhood literacy initiatives in impoverished neighborhoods in the Tristate.

The three finalists, listed in alphabetical order, are:

  • Dayton Independent Schools to fund its “Readers are Leaders” program. The school district wants to put books in the hands of the Northern Kentucky town’s 560 children from newborns through first-graders. Its plan is to provide free reading training to the children’s caregivers and host an early childhood literacy night to bring together families and teachers.

  • Princeton City School District to fund its year-round book mobile center. This volunteer-driven project brings books and tutoring into the community, enabling families to borrow and access materials and technology. Teachers and volunteers will engage parents and young children in forms of play to introduce pre-reading skills, vocabulary and skills to express ideas with clarity and grammar.

  • The Children’s Home of Cincinnati to fund SPARK: Supporting Partnerships to Assure Ready Kids program that promotes early literacy in the home by supporting kindergarten readiness for children ages 3-5. During monthly home visits, parents receive developmentally appropriate books, art supplies and activity cards to ensure families continue to read the books and engage in the lesson’s activities all month. Additional supports include a summer program for children entering kindergarten.

The top winning organization, and recipient of a $100,000 grant, will be announced during the Scripps Howard Awards, the prestigious annual journalism recognition program presented by Scripps Howard Foundation. The show will take place at The Aronoff Center for the Arts on April 12. The remaining finalists will each receive a $25,000 grant to support their literacy programs.

By empowering children to read, the grant recipients help them to escape the cycle of poverty that can plague generations of families.

Interested nonprofits submitted their letters of intent in February. The funders reviewed those forms and narrowed the field to 14.

WCPO 9 On Your Side will live stream the Scripps Howard Awards show on its website April 12 from 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern.

About the Scripps Howard Foundation
Dedicated to excellence in journalism, the Scripps Howard Foundation educates, empowers and honors extraordinary journalists who illuminate community issues, and partners with impactful organizations to drive change and improve lives. As the philanthropic arm of The E.W. Scripps Company, the Foundation is a leader in industry efforts in journalism education, scholarships, internships, minority recruitment and development, literacy and First Amendment causes. With a special commitment to the regions where Scripps does business, the Foundation helps build thriving communities.

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.

About Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of the communities where its customers live and work. The foundation provides more than $30 million annually in charitable gifts. The foundation’s education focus spans kindergarten to career, particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), early childhood literacy and workforce development. It also supports the environment and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture. Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit

Media contact:

Valerie Miller, The E.W. Scripps Company, 513-977-3023,
Jennifer Powell, The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, 513-768-6142,
Sally Thelen, Duke Energy Foundation, 513-287-2432.

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