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Wichita Community Foundation Awards $160K Grant To Promote Literacy

Courtesy photo
Watermark Books & Cafe owner Sarah Bagby at literary symposium. The bookstore is one of the three literacy grant recipients.

The Wichita Community Foundation has announced a $160,000 grant to help impact literacy in Wichita. The foundation will partner with the Wichita Eagle, the Wichita Public Library and Watermark Books & Cafe.


Impact Literacy is an initiative by the Wichita Community Foundation whose goal is to help increase academic readiness, success in the workforce and economic growth in the community.

"What we hope to do is not only raise the importance of reading but raise the importance of parents being involved in reading with their children and helping them be literate," says Courtney Bengtson, Wichita Community Foundation's director of strategic initiatives.

Watermark will coordinate with the Wichita Police Department to connect families with reading projects. The Wichita Eagle will publish stories on literacy in the community and staff will read to kids in schools.

The Wichita Public Library will target underserved populations as it expands its "1000 Books Before Kindergarten" program to reach 7500 students, which is up from the current number of 1184. The projects will get underway over the next year.


Carla Eckels is assistant news director and the host of Soulsations. Follow her on Twitter @Eckels.

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