Washington, DC – The Literacy Lab is proud to announce that MacKenzie Scott has made a one-time, $10 million gift to the organization. It is the single-largest gift in the history of the organization.
Rooted in the belief that literacy is a human right, The Literacy Lab provides high-dosage, daily literacy instruction to thousands of students daily across six communities through two programs. The organization also strives to improve student outcomes by diversifying the educator pipeline and advancing equity in all its partner communities.
“We are grateful and humbled at Ms. Scott’s generosity. This organization has worked tirelessly over the past 13 years to help as many students as possible achieve grade-level literacy targets. With this gift, we’re going to be able to work more strategically and with a long-term vision in place,” said Chief Executive Officer Heather Jenkins, PhD. “We’re going to be making new investments in family engagement, improved experiences and supports for our Tutors and Fellows during their service year and beyond, and long-term sustainability for our organization.”
The significance of helping students achieve literacy targets by the end of 3rd grade is difficult to overstate. Nearly three quarters of students who do not achieve grade-level proficiency by the end of third grade continue to perform below grade level in high school—making third-grade reading proficiency a key predictor of high school graduation.
“We focus on literacy because it is a powerful tool to improve student outcomes. Literacy has been and will be our starting point,” said Jenkins. “We’re also acutely aware that literacy outcomes are disparate. Historically, most of the children we serve are students of color and from communities with income levels far below the national average. We must reverse that cycle.”
The Literacy Lab is about to embark on its first-ever strategic planning process this spring. More details about organizational plans for these funds will be available at the close of that process.