Applications are now available for about $17,000 worth of literacy grants awarded by Altrusa International of Oak Ridge and the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club.
The grants are used to help improve literacy in Oak Ridge and Anderson and Roane counties, and they will be awarded to selected recipients. Applications and award criteria may be found on the Altrusa International website or Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club website. Hard copies are also available at the Oak Ridge Public Library.
Applications must be submitted by Nov. 1.
“Lack of literacy skills continues to be a serious problem in the lives of many of our East Tennessee neighbors and for many throughout the world,” a press release said. “Non-readers and below-grade readers cannot realize their full potential in life, which in turn adversely affects our local and national economies and society in general.”
The Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club and Altrusa International of Oak Ridge co-sponsor an annual fundraiser, Lunch 4 Literacy, to “address the needs of this almost invisible group,” the release said. Proceeds from the March 2013 event that featured author Carol Aebersold will be awarded on a competitive basis to organizations in Anderson and Roane counties whose programs, projects, or activities foster literacy.
Altrusa International of Oak Ridge Past President and Foundation President Laura Carrington Duckett, chair of the literacy grant selection committee, said funding will be available primarily for specific projects, programs, or activities that will foster literacy. Traditionally, funding has supported books, supplies, and instructional materials rather than staff support or the costs of developing a program
The funds will be allocated based on the following guidelines:
- Successful applications will propose specific projects or activities that will foster literacy in our community.
- While prior successful applicants are eligible to apply for continued support, all grants will be for one year. Each application will be reviewed on its own merits, and subsequent funding is not guaranteed.
- Funds for general operating support, capital campaigns, or endowments will not normally be funded, nor will grants be made to individuals or religious groups.
- Grants will be made to community-based groups and organizations that are based in or have a local presence in the service area that includes Oak Ridge, Anderson, or Roane counties; serve people who live and/or work in the service area; and/or have volunteers, members, or board members who live and/or work in the service area.
- Applicant organization or groups must be operated and organized in such a way that they do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, gender, age, national origin, or disabilities when they hire staff, let bids, or provide services.
- Organizations that received funds from this grant program the previous year must submit a project summary and report of effectiveness to be eligible for current funds.
Breakfast Rotary Past President Pete Peterson said the community has played a key role in making the Altrusa/Breakfast Rotary literacy grants possible through its support for the annual Literacy Luncheons.
“We have had a very strong response from area businesses and individuals in sponsorship of and attendance at this event in past years, and I would urge everyone to support the 2014 Literacy Luncheon in March so that we might continue making a real difference for literacy programs in our community,” he said.