Boundless Readers™ Awarded $220,000 Louis R. Lurie Foundation Grant

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Grant will support launch of a new ‘whole school’ group initiative that will serve as a national model.

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“BEST is a breakthrough new program for Boundless Readers that will serve as a catalyst to propel our organization to a new level of positive, sustainable change,” says Mary Hicks, Executive Director of Boundless Readers.

Boundless Readers, the leading provider of literacy-based professional development resources and programs to Chicago Public Schools (CPS), announced today that it has been awarded a legacy grant of $220,000 from the Louis R. Lurie Foundation. The grant is awarded for the development and launch of a new Boundless Readers initiative called Building Exemplary Schools Through Teams (BEST): Leveraging Literacy to Transform Schools.

In keeping with its mission to transform students into passionate lifelong readers, learners, and thinkers, Boundless Readers’ BEST pilot program will build on the innovative work it currently does with teacher teams (study groups) around literacy. Intended as a national model, BEST will multiply Boundless Readers’ impact exponentially – from working with a single teacher team at a school to working with all the teachers and staff at a school in multiple study groups.

“BEST is a breakthrough new program for Boundless Readers that will serve as a catalyst to propel our organization -- and the schools, teachers, and students we serve
-- to a new level of positive, sustainable change,” says Mary Hicks, Executive Director of Boundless Readers.

Another significant component of BEST is the support it will allow Boundless Readers to provide to CPS principals and literacy support staff. The program will affect 175 educators including principals and support staff from five or more elementary schools. Each year 4,500 students will be served.

"For our legacy grants, we look only at the highest performing organizations out of the hundreds we have worked with over the past 30 years,” says Gary Wood, Louis R. Lurie Foundation Trustee. “We choose only to invest in the most innovative programs with the potential to truly alter the organization and dramatically expand its impact. Boundless Readers is one of these proven organizations, and holds enormous promise as a positive force for change in our public education system. By creating collaborative learning communities for teachers around reading, its BEST initiative has the potential to develop more lifelong readers and learners than ever among our public school children,” he adds.

About Boundless Readers

Chicago-based Boundless Readers, formerly called the Rochelle Lee Fund, is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. For more than 20 years, Boundless Readers has dedicated itself to unleashing the power of reading in children. By building the capacity of Chicago public schools and teachers through its professional development programs and resources, Boundless Readers transforms students into passionate lifelong readers, learners, and thinkers. For more information about Boundless Readers, visit http://www.boundlessreaders.org.

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Susan Schneider
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