iREAD Grant Program

Community Foundation Sonoma County

Grant amount: US $10,000

Anticipated deadline: Oct 6, 2018 4:00pm PDT

Applicant type: Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Applied Project / Program

Location of project: Santa Barbara County, California

Location of residency: United States

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The Issue

Education is the bedrock for addressing disparities in our community; it is a human right and essential to ensuring that all children meet their greatest potential. Yet research shows that out of the starting gate, children who grow up in poverty face hurdles that can become nearly insurmountable if not addressed early. Children growing up in low-income families are exposed to less verbally rich home environments and are less likely to attend preschool, creating a ‘word gap’ of millions of words between them and their more affluent peers before they’ve even entered kindergarten.

Significant research shows that reading aloud to children from day one is the single most important thing a parent can do to help a child enter kindergarten ready to succeed. In Sonoma County, however, only 57% of parents read to their children every day. It is critical that we equip parents with the knowledge and tools they need to be effective role models and teachers, and remove the obstacles—real or perceived—to engaging their children in reading.

Community Foundation Sonoma County is an active member of Cradle to Career, a countywide collective impact effort working to ensure that children are successful throughout the educational pipeline. Through this partnership we launched the community literacy campaign iREAD to promote parents and family members reading to their young children. Through iREAD we seek to raise awareness that no matter what activity parents are doing with their children, they can build literacy at the same time—by reading the back of a cereal box, traffic signs or describing the pictures in a book.

To view and download the iREAD images, visit Cradle to Career Sonoma County’s website.

 The Grant Program

Community Foundation Sonoma County’s iREAD grants program enables community organizations with trusted relationships with families of young children to explore innovative ways of promoting family literacy. Funding may be used for new or existing programs; if the program is existing, applicants must clearly demonstrate how this grant will enhance their work to promote literacy.

We will prioritize proposals that have a clear, strong path for promoting family literacy. Criteria include:

  • Program increases the number of days per week parents or other family members read to their children
  • Families and children receiving support may not typically have access to books or literacy training
  • Key staff implementing the program have experience working with families

Grants for the iREAD program are $10,000.

Please note: iREAD grantees will be expected to attend a meeting to learn about resources and collect iREAD materials.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Our competitive grants are open to incorporated, charitable 501(c)(3) organizations serving Sonoma County. 


  • We generally do not fund competitive grant applications for:
    • Annual fund campaigns, fundraising events or debt retirement
    • Capital campaigns
    • Conferences or one-time events
    • Grants (or loans) to individuals, except academic scholarships
    • Grants to primary and secondary schools or to individual schools academic foundations
    • Political or religious purposes (or programs requiring religious participation)
    • Projects that primarily serve residents outside of Sonoma County
    • Organizations that discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability or any other characteristic protected by law.

About this funder:

View past grantees & full 990 summary