Literacy Partners - Menlo Park welcomed the New Year by acknowledging partners to whom we provided some $100,000 in grants. The generosity of community supporters allowed us to curate grants to five organizations that are making a difference in our broader community. We continue to thank our supporters who lead and share our vision.
In 2022 our goal is to continue to serve immediate local literacy needs while planning for a future, hopefully post-pandemic, world. For example, before COVID-19, organizations rarely needed to consider what they'd need to do if clients and tutors weren't allowed to meet face-to-face. That rarely happened in past years. But now kids or adult learners, tutors or mentors often can't meet in-person, and our partners have had to adapt, often changing strategies frequently. Literacy Partners Menlo Park, is striving to help our partners deal with current challenges while keeping an eye on the long game -- planning for future needs in what will surely be a changed world.
As always, Literacy Partners Menlo Park (LPMP) depends on our shared community for financial support, but our organization is also seeking active volunteer partners to help plan and execute our growing and much needed literacy mission. We'd love to hear from you with thoughts and suggestions.
In 2022 our goal is to continue to serve immediate local literacy needs while planning for a future, hopefully post-pandemic, world.
For a summary of our work in the past year and our continuing vision, here is the year-end letter Literacy Partners Menlo Park sent to supporters, friends and partners:
Dear Friend of Menlo Park Literacy:
Heartfelt thanks to all our supporters for implementing the vision of Literacy Partners – Menlo Park. You’ve made it possible to expand our mission to serve the literacy needs of more people of all ages throughout our community. Despite unprecedented challenges, certainly including COVID-19, it’s been an extraordinary year for LPMP and the start of our new vision to identify, encourage and support community education programs that benefit residents of all ages.
We have focused on identifying small programs that can do amazing things, often for a limited target population that otherwise would fall through the cracks. We also offer grants to larger programs where we see a niche where your contributions might make a difference. The grants funded in the past 12 months tell their own story:
$50,000 to StreetCode’s Level Up Initiative, providing laptops, internet, and free tech education to local students in East Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The technology focused, educational and motivational program includes a research component
(in collaboration with Stanford MBA students), and is run by an enthusiastic, youthful, diverse leadership that relates closely and often stems from the community it serves (streetcode.org).
$15,000 to support 20 teachers and more than 500 students via East Palo Alto Kids Foundation Micro Grants Program for the 2021-2022 school year. Teachers in the Ravenswood City School District and public charter schools in eastern Menlo Park and East Palo Alto apply for and receive grants, up to $1,500 yearly, for enrichment materials for projects they identify that otherwise would go unfulfilled. Physical books to be shared in the home and neighborhood — as well as educational field trips — are among the most requested items to individual teachers who are empowered to follow their passions to serve the needs of their students (epak.org).
$5,000 to Ravenswood Classroom Partners (formerly All Students Matter) to support distance learning programs in the Ravenswood School District by training, deploying and assessing volunteer tutors in eastern Menlo Park and East Palo Alto. The LPMP grant funded a 33% expansion of the project, critical when distance learning was the norm in early 2021 and creative solutions were especially imperative (ravenswoodclassroompartners.org).
$30,000 to JobTrain to provide support for the program’s Digital Literacy Program. JobTrain, a major source of vocational and related literacy education in the community, will use the one-year grant through 10/31/22 to provide basic digital skills to community members. JobTrain’s Digital Literacy classes help prepare students for employment,