The Community Foundation strives to create a hopeful future for our region by helping children succeed in school. Through scholarships, matching grants to classrooms through DonorChoose, and investment in community-based programs, we’re helping to create Linn County’s next generation of leaders.
The Community Foundation joined with United Way of East Central Iowa, Cedar Rapids area schools, public libraries, municipalities, businesses, and nonprofit partners to launch this initiative to increase the number of children reading proficiently by the end of third grade. The local initiative, Reading into Success, became a national Campaign for Grade Level Reading community in 2016.
In 2015, two Community Foundation fund holders were interested in expanding access to the Kids on Course University, which aims to reduce summer learning loss. Through extensive collaboration, and with philanthropic support from the Community Foundation, KOC expanded to 15 new elementary schools and now serves more than 700 students.
Dolly Parton's Imagination Library
To improve literacy rates and kindergarten readiness, the Cedar Rapids Public Library and the Marion Public Library teamed up with the Dollywood Foundation to mail free books to children under the age of five every month. The program launched in 2018 in Cedar Rapids and 2019 in Marion with help from grants from the Community Foundation.