Herbert Simon Family Foundation awards Indy Reads a grant to increase immigrant access to living wage jobs 

INDIANAPOLIS – Indy Reads announced this week that it has been awarded a grant from the Herbert Simon Family Foundation to accelerate English Language Learning (ELL) programming to advance immigrant access to living wage jobs. 

“Our English Language Learning program is our fastest growing,” Ruba Marshood, Indy Reads’ chief executive officer said. “For many of our learners, the journey to economically empowering employment is too long. We are honored to receive Herbert Simon Family Foundation support to create a pathway for industry-specific English acquisition, increasing access to living wage employment for our newest neighbors,” Marshood added. 

This year, 95% of Indy Reads adult learners are immigrants, people of color, and/or living at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. Indy Reads served more than 400 students during the 2023-2024 program year. These students represent 42 different countries of origin and speak 41 different first languages.  


About Indy Reads 
Indy Reads builds literacy, English language, and job readiness skills to empower adults and their families to reach their full potential. For 40 years, the nonprofit organization has worked toward a vision of 100% literacy for all. High literacy levels grant access to greater developmental, educational, civic, and career opportunities. Current statistics show that 1 in 6 adults in Indiana read at or below a fifth-grade level. Through its Community Classrooms and Programming, Indy Reads advances social equity through education, helping adult learners increase their English language and literacy proficiency, prepare for their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, build workforce skills to improve their employability and advancement potential, and engage more confidently in the community. Indy Reads is proudly one of few organizations that serves adults of all literacy skill levels, including the most beginning-level and beyond.

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