The Readings Foundation Grant Recipients Announced for 2014

The Readings Foundation, established in 2009 to support individuals and organisations that wish to further the development of literacy, community work and the arts, has announced grants totalling $134, 750 to support a range of projects and organisations within Victoria in 2014.

Next year, the Foundation will fund projects that encourage an appreciation of books and reading, including projects which aim to address the need to improve English literacy skills among adults and children. Writers will also be supported in a professional context through a number of fellowships and programs.

Ten per cent of Readings’ profits are donated to the Foundation each year. Funds are also contributed from individual donations and from Readings’ customers who make gold coin donations in return for gift wrapping and attend in-store events.

Readings’ Managing Director, Mark Rubbo OAM, said, “ It is a great privilege to be able to help our community in this way and I hope that our example may inspire other small- to medium-sized businesses to support their communities too. It’s not hard to do and the owners, staff and customers love the feeling that they are contributing to help change people’s lives for the better.

48 applications for funding were received and seven organisations will receive funding for their projects in 2014.

The successful grant recipients for 2014 are:

RISE (Refugee Survivors and Ex-Detainees) - $20,000

To provide free ESL (English as a Second Language) tutoring classes to refugees and asylum seekers, addressing a severe and identified societal gap for refugees and asylum seekers who are unable to access such resources due to visa restrictions.

The Wheeler Centre - $20,000

To provide 20 x Hot Desk Fellowships for writers working across the fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama and young adult genres. The Fellowships enable writers to pursue their writing at a dedicated desk at the Wheeler Centre for two months, supported by a $1,000 stipend for each writer.

VACCA (Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Agency) - $19,760

To promote a love of books and reading among Aboriginal children in VACCA’s foster, kinship and residential care services in three metropolitan Melbourne regions by providing to them free books through the Books in Homes program which encourages children and foster carers to read together each day.

Save the Children - $19,990

To fund an after-school literacy and homework support program for refugee and humanitarian migrant children (4-12 years) – and their families – living in the high-rise housing commission estate in Collingwood.

100 Story Building - $15,000

To fund daily and after-school workshops for culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) children and young people at the 100 Story Building premises in Footscray.

Reading Out of Poverty - $15,000

To provide an early literacy intervention program for disadvantaged children (0-5 years) and parents in Geelong.

Stella Prize - $10,000

To help establish an educational program, the Stella Prize Schools’ Program (SPSP), including professional development with teachers and librarians; school visits by notable women writers and Stella Prize board members; workshops with young writers; and active engagement with the curriculum decision-makers.

Readings prides itself on a long history of supporting local causes. The Readings Foundation will continue to support Sacred Heart Mission with a donation of $6,000 and The Brotherhood of St Laurence HIPPY (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) program also with a donation of $6,000 in the coming year. The Foundation will also continue to fund a writer’s fellowship at Glenfern Writers’ Studio, administrated by Writers Victoria for mid-career writers, with a donation of $3,000.

The grant committee of The Readings Foundation includes Mark Rubbo, author Helen Garner, Peter Donoghue (ex-Managing Director of publisher John Wiley Australia), Gerald Smith (Phase III Accounting) and Readings’ staff.

All contributions to the Foundation over $2 are tax deductible and can be made at any Readings shop or