In 2014, the Comcast Foundation awarded $642,100 to organizations in Philadelphia, New Jersey and Northern Delaware. Of the 29 nonprofits to receive grants, 11 are Philadelphia-based.
Philadelphia READS, whose mission is to get students reading on grade level by 3rd grade, was among the grantees last year. According to Adrienne Jacoby, the organization’s executive director, the cable company has contributed $257,000 over the last dozen years.
In 2012, Jacoby said, the Foundation notably committed a $75,000 grant over three years to support the startup of Reading is Love, a mobile-friendly website that allows parents to read to their children “on-the-go.”
Illustrated by UArts students, a handful of stories are currently available, including classics like “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Little Red Riding Hood,” and a modern tale, “Jessie the Dog with the Waggily Tail,” penned by Jacoby.
The project is based on findings from a 2009 study conducted by Philadelphia READS to determine the literacy habits of elementary-aged children. Of the select Philadelphia families who participated, 95 percent did not have books in their homes and reported having little time to read to their children; 80 percent owned smartphones.
Reading is Love is a mobile solution to help parents carve out that time.
“When you read to your children, they develop concepts and vocabulary,” Jacoby said.
Comcast has also designated Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) toward the organization’s effort in the “READ! by 4th” campaign, a citywide initiative, and Summer READS, a six-week literacy program during the summer months.
Founded in 1999, the Comcast Foundation is primarily invested in three focus areas — promoting service, expanding digital literacy, and building tomorrow’s leaders. It has contributed nearly $158 million to organizations nationwide.
Other local nonprofits supported by Comcast in 2014 include People’s Emergency Center, Center for Literacy, Need in Deed, CONCILIO, Girls Inc. of Greater Philadelphia & Southern New Jersey, the Greater Philadelphia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the Enterprise Center, SquashSmarts, Project H.O.M.E. and The Urban League of Philadelphia.
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