Mayor Mallory, Cincinnati Public, and The Strive Partnership Win $40,000 Grant from Target

 Grant to support 50 tutors helping 100 students read by 3rd grade

East Price Hill – Mayor Mark Mallory, Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan, and The Strive Partnership’s Executive Director Greg Landsman announced a new, joint initiative that has won a $40,000 competitive national grant from Cities of Service and Service Nation, funded by Target.  The grant will be used to recruit and train 50 reading tutors who will help 100 students in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade in 5 targeted schools prepare to meet the 3rd Grade Guarantee.

“It all starts with reading,” Mayor Mark Mallory said.  “And there is no better way to help our kids learn to read than with one-on-one tutors who they can get to know and trust.  A committed adult can make learning to read fun.  This grant is going to have a huge impact on the lives of a lot of kids.”

Third Grade Reads is a high-impact service strategy in which the mayor’s office leverages the power of volunteer tutors to help children attain reading proficiency by the end of fourth grade.  Target is on track to give $1 billion for education by the end of 2015, to help kids learn, schools teach, and parents and caring adults engage.

“With the state's new Third Grade Reading Guarantee requiring reading proficiency by the end of third grade, it's more important than ever that we help our students master early literacy skills. This grant will help us recruit and train community volunteers to help us reach this vital goal,” Superintendent Mary Ronan.

The Cincinnati partnership will target the grant funds to help five Cincinnati Public Schools across the city: Roberts Paideia Academy in East Price Hill, Rockdale Academy in Avondale, Mt. Airy School, Pleasant Hill Academy in College Hill, and Pleasant Ridge Montessori School.

The partnership will use the grant to supplement the region’s early grade-level reading campaign, Read On!  The project will help prepare students for the new Third Grade Guarantee by recruiting 50 volunteer tutors to work with 100 students, purchasing new material designed expressly for young readers, and providing training for the volunteers. 

“We begin to break the cycle of poverty when kids show up to kindergarten prepared,” said Greg Landsman, Executive Director of The Strive Partnership. “We all but break it when children are reading successfully by the end of 3rd grade – the research is that compelling.  The Mayor, Cincinnati Public Schools, and Target are creating opportunities for citizens to make sure we are doing just that for more kids.” 

Cincinnati was one of only eight recipient cities of the Third Grade Reads grant.  The other seven recipients are: Atlanta, GA; Baltimore, MD; Charleston, SC; Chula Vista, CA; Kansas City, MO; Orlando, FL; and Vicksburg, MS. 

About Cities of Service: Founded in September 2009 in New York City by New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and 16 other mayors from across the nation, Cities of Service is a bipartisan coalition of mayors committed to addressing critical city needs through impact volunteering. American cities face serious challenges and many mayors want to take advantage of every resource available to them – including the time and energy of public-spirited residents – to address those challenges. But in cities across America today, citizen service is often an underutilized or inefficiently utilized strategy by municipal governments. By leveraging citizen service strategies, Cities of Service helps mayors address local needs and make government more effective.

About ServiceNation: ServiceNation is a campaign to increase national service opportunities and elevate service as a core ideal and problem solving strategy in America. The campaign is focused on two main initiatives: building a permanent grassroots constituency to advance service legislation and challenging the American public to view returning military veterans as civic assets and leaders who will reinvigorate our communities. ServiceNation envisions a day when a commonly asked question in this country is ‘Where do you serve?’ and when all Americans have the opportunity to serve in order to tackle pressing social challenges and strengthen our democracy. For more information, visit