The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Foundation today announced that it has received a $1 million gift from the
Herbert Simon Family Foundation to expand its early childhood literacy initiative.
The program, “Ready
to Read,” prepares children under 5 years old for school through a series of specialized programs and services.
One of those, “On the Road to Reading,” will use the grant money to help it quadruple the number of children
the library reaches in licensed, home-based daycare centers who receive book deliveries and listen to story-time programs.
The library estimates that nearly 2,600 children will be served by the program.
The library said it also plans
to develop more programming for preschoolers within branch libraries, to provide new child-friendly computers equipped with
educational software and to dedicate a new early-learning Web site.
Library Foundation President Danny Dean
said in a written statement that he is grateful for the Simon Foundation’s support. Herb Simon is co-owner of the Indiana
Pacers and co-founder of the company that became Simon Property Group.
“A respected community leader, Mr.
Simon is also an avid reader,” Dean said. “We are honored he chose to share his enthusiasm for reading with the
children of Indianapolis through a gift to the Library Foundation.”