At F.C. Tucker we talk a lot about “paying our civic rent,” so for the month of November, we would like to express our gratitude to the many organizations and individuals who serve their communities tirelessly and make Indiana a better place to live and work. We obviously can’t highlight everyone, but we would like to salute these 30 organizations that are making a difference.
30 Days of Thanksgiving – Day 28: Indy Reads
Reading is, as they say, fundamental. But sometimes circumstances can stand in the way of people receiving the proper education to gain literacy. And sometimes, this can stick with someone well into their adulthood. Indy Reads is an Indianapolis organization working to curtail the illiteracy issue that plagues many adults and families around the state.
As of 2014, nearly 50,000 adults in Marion County alone suffer from illiteracy. As Indy Reads’ website says of reading, “It is a process so automatic for us, that we rarely think about its power”. A profound statement indeed, and one that has paved the way for this organization’s mission. Those affected by illiteracy suffer a multitude of challenges, one of the main ones being difficulty finding employment, which of course is a fundamental aspect of living a comfortable life. Here’s where the group’s community classroom programs come in. First off, there’s the literacy program which assists adults whose reading skill level is below that of a 6th grade student. You may be asking yourself how it’s possible that adults have gone this far in life without proper literacy? Well, many of Indy Reads students suffer from learning disabilities and never received the proper attention and education to combat it. Through trained tutors and instructors, these students take part in a sensory-cognitive process made special for their exact learning disabilities. This literacy program brings these students up a certain skill level enabling them to then enroll in a High School Equivalency program to continue their education.
They also have the ELL program which takes a more classroom style approach to teaching adults who’d like to improve their literacy skills. From there, they split into smaller groups for a more one-on-one learning method. Same as before, once they reach a certain level, they’re graduated to another program and eventually sent off to tackle the HSE or other job certification programs. Indy Reads even has their own bookstore on Mass Ave which works directly with the organization by giving every dollar it earns right back into their literacy programs. If you’re looking for a local bookstore to pick up your new winter read, head to Indy Reads Books where you can also support a great cause.
Indy Reads is always putting together fun events in collaboration with local businesses. These events not only work to raise money for their cause, but also to spread the word about the great charitable work they’re doing. Recently they hosted a spelling bee at Lino’s Coffee in Speedway, with support from Sun King Brewery and the Dallara Indy Car Factory. Other past events have included scavenger hunts on Mass Ave, word game-nights at the downtown Hyatt and even a letter-themed cocktail party fundraiser! Coming up, they’re helping host the Indiana Taps & Touchdowns mini-spelling bee at the Pavilion at Pan Am on Dec. 1. Come out and compete in a friendly spelling competition and enjoy some all-you-can-taste delights from a ton of local breweries and restaurants. Just another great way to support another great local charity!