Three Wichita entities, including The Eagle, will receive a share of $160,000 in grant funding from the Wichita Community Foundation for efforts aimed at improving literacy, the foundation announced Wednesday.
The Wichita Eagle and Kansas.com will dedicate a portion of a reporter’s time to researching issues related to literacy in the community through stories and in-depth projects. The Eagle also plans to develop a partnership that offers employees the chance to read to children in schools.
“Grant-funded journalism is new territory for us,” said Steve Coffman, The Eagle’s executive editor. “But such arrangements are being used by respected journalists and organizations across the country to produce top-quality work that impacts communities.”
The Solutions Journalism Network will assist the newsroom as it develops plans for news content associated with the initiative.
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Watermark, 4701 E. Douglas, plans to work with the Wichita Police Department on book distribution projects, organized discussions and read-alouds.
Wichita police Officer Charley Davidson said the program, which will launch in June, is intended to “break down barriers and build strong community bonds.”
The Wichita Public Library plans to use its grant funding to expand its 1000 Books Before Kindergarten campaign, targeting efforts to underserved populations.
“One of the best ways that adults can help children develop strong early literacy skills is to read with them,” said Cynthia Berner, director of libraries.
For more information about the Impact Literacy projects, visit wichitacf.org.