United Way of Central Indiana grants $175,000 to Indy Reads for family programs

INDIANAPOLIS – United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI) announced Wednesday that it is awarding Indy Reads $175,000 from its Family Opportunity Fund.   

The fund supports the integration of services that improve the education, financial stability, and overall health and well-being of families. The work is rooted in what’s called the 2Gen – short for two-generation – approach, which focuses on supporting children and their caregivers to break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Indy Reads will use this funding to provide comprehensive and integrated services to address the needs of its adult students, their children, and families to create a thriving and literate community. 

“For nearly 40 years, Indy Reads has been a leader in the region for adult literacy,” Ruba Marshood, Indy Reads’ chief executive officer said. “With this generous support from the United Way of Central Indiana, we can now serve entire families who benefit from literacy and other essential family programming even more deeply. This grant really allows Indy Reads to become a space where we can live our vision of 100% literacy for all,” Marshood added. 

Indy Reads – one of 34 Central Indiana recipient organizations – serves adults and their families through a 2Gen approach, built on the belief that whole-family engagement is an effective way to build literacy skills and advance intergenerational cycles of opportunity. The organization began adopting a 2Gen approach two years ago with UWCI’s support. Its 2Gen programming now engages adult learners and their children in programs that foster education, economic support, social capital, health, and well-being.   

“We remain committed to working alongside our partners, who are providing innovative and integrated 2Gen services and programs to families throughout Central Indiana,” said Shannon Jenkins, United Way’s impact senior director.  “Sustaining investment in new and innovative models that lead to positive outcomes for families is what will lead to intergenerational opportunity for thousands of Central Indiana families over the next five years.” 


About Indy Reads 

Indy Reads builds literacy, English language, and job readiness skills to empower adults and families to reach their full potential. For nearly 40 years, the nonprofit organization has worked toward a vision of 100% literacy for all. High literacy levels grant access to greater developmental, educational, 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, Indy Reads helps adult learners increase their literacy and English language proficiency, prepare for their High School Equivalency (HSE) diploma, and build workforce skills to improve their employability and advancement potential. Indy Reads proudly serves adults of all literacy skills levels, including the most beginning-level.  

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