Archived Grant Applications

I Would Rather Be Reading

609 W. Main St.
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
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Ashley Dearinger

Contact Person if not President or Executive Director

Allison Ogle

Chief Director of Operations

Grant Request ($ Amount)


Project Title

$9K Grant Request to Implement the Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) Day Camp Pilot

Project Begin Date


Project End Date



Ashley Dearinger





1. Describe the proposal in a detailed narrative of services and benefits it will provide in improving standards of living and opportunities, meeting social purposes or responding to needs.

I Would Rather Be Reading (IWRBR) is responding to a need in the community that has recently surfaced because of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are grateful for the opportunity to submit our first grant request to the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation with an intent to secure $9,000 to help implement a pilot project (a Non-Traditional Instruction Day Camp) with our partner, Inside the Lines; another Louisville nonprofit working to improve the lives of youth living in impoverished neighborhoods. Your investment will help us to enrich the lives of students living in South and West Louisville through providing tools to excel academically and develop characteristics of leadership, while simultaneously enhancing their athletic foundation. We are asking for money to train, tutor, and mentor.

The Non-Traditional Instruction (NTI) Day Camp responds to this specific need. In late July, Jefferson County Public Schools (JCPS) announced school closures for (at least) the first six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. We fully understand this is the safest option, and we agree with this decision, but we are also keenly aware that parents are left to figure out how to educate, feed, and meet the needs of their children, all while trying to make ends meet. For low-income families, and this population dominates South and West Louisville, and single parents this is an unprecedented challenge that many will not be able to navigate on their own. This is where we step in.

IWRBR and ITL worked collaboratively to create a day camp solution that with the backing of Metro Council will offer NTI (non-traditional instruction) support, math and reading enrichment, mental health services, and healthcare. IWRBR and ITL believe all children deserve equitable, safe access to education. Parents and guardians deserve the ability to work and/or go to school, without the pressure of their child being left behind educationally. Together IWRBR and ITL believe our NTI day camp solution can be a wraparound support offered to families in this time of need.

COVID-19 is new, and like all nonprofits we have spent precious time and resources to design new ways to execute programming so that we continue to cater to our mission in a world that prohibits gathering. At this point, we have enough information about this virus to know that the cultural norms we have followed our whole lives are no longer valid in this new world. This pilot project will be executed with that in mind. Fresh data will be collected and analyzed with an intention to perfect this program and provide a replicable model for others to use.

2. Attach your Project Budget.


3. Provide a narrative that clearly defines how Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation funds will be used and accounted for in relation to the Narrative above. Provide the start dates and timelines for tasks.

A $9,000 grant from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation pays for trackable, tangible items that are needed for program implementation. With your grant dollars, we will purchase the following supplies to accommodate 3 camps at 80 students per camp, 240 students in total:

● Copier
● Printer
● Large dry erase boards
● Individual dry erase board for each student
● Math Manipulatives
● Chart Paper
● Communication System
● Hand Sanitizer
● Internet/WiFi for one location of NTI Day Camp
● Fees for one location of NTI Day Camp

NTI Day Camp will begin on 9/8/2020 and will continue throughout the duration of JCPS NTI. We will continue with after school programming when school resumes in order to address gaps in development due to COVID school closures.

With input and help from the folks at Inside the Lines, we designed the curriculum for this program.

Daily, two sessions take place from 9:00-12:00 and 1:30 - 4:30 with 40 students in each camp totaling 80 students served daily. As stated before, these camps target a specific population – children from South and West Louisville neighborhoods, two areas that are plagued by deep, persistent poverty and social determinants of health (Greater Louisville Project Report, “A Focus on Poverty,” 2016).

A total of 240 students will be served through the NTI Day Camp. There will be 3 camps with 80 students in each. One site at St.Paul Baptist Church at Shively Height, where our partner Inside the Lines Training is located. Their rent is $500 per month, which will be covered by IWRBR. The other two are community centers in South and West Louisville, the use of these centers is being donated by Louisville Metro Parks department and Wi-Fi is included.

Ideally, these children receive personal attention from the teacher; therefore, our intention to ensure a 2:10 teacher/child ratio. To execute the pilot with complete fidelity, the following staff is needed to implement this camp Monday-Thursday:

● 1 certified teacher (teacher leader)
● 3 teachers (bachelor and masters program education students)
● 1 reading interventionist
● 2 floating assistants
● 3 project directors.

Project directors are responsible for specific tasks that are essential to the program implementation. Those tasks include, but are not limited to, billing, tracking data, coaching teachers, substituting when needed, sending home regular parent communication, organizing healthcare visits, communicating with partners, and designing curriculum.

Our other partner, Shawnee Christian Healthcare, is providing in-kind onsite health, vision, and dental screenings. We are currently in communication with many other community partners including JCPS, Louisville Metro City Council, The City of Shivley, UPS and Humana to join us as partners for this program and potentially help support staffing needs.

Again, the intention is to pilot this camp, collect data, and use the data for continuous improvement so it can be replicated and used by others. Additionally, we want to duplicate this model into the future and have two working sites: One site in South Louisville at St. Paul Baptist Church at Shively Heights, and one in West Louisville at a community center provided by Louisville Metro Parks Department. These partnerships are in place for these spaces.


4. Describe your agency’s service area with regard to population, cultural, racial and ethnic makeup.

I Would Rather Be Reading (IWRBR) provides children and families with equitable access to literacy support and advocacy opportunities within the educational setting, particularly to the most vulnerable populations due to poverty or the experience of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Our work increases academic proficiency in elementary age children who have been impacted by trauma exposure.

The NTI Day Camp will be available to students who attend Title 1 schools in South and West Louisville, are on free and reduced lunch, and/or are identified as ECE (special education).

There is a need for our services; 43.7% of children are living in out-of-home care; placed in foster care, kinship care, or in group living facilities. In Jefferson County, 34 children per 1000 are living in out-of-home care, and the reunification rate dropped from 36% in 2011 to 32% in 2018. Due to the transient nature of these placements, and exposure to childhood trauma, these students have significant learning delays. They do not accelerate like their peers living in secure households. This is our usual target population.

We take a deep-level approach to helping children succeed academically and behaviorally that have been exposed to early childhood trauma (ECT). ECT is correlated with social determinants of health and should be treated as a public health issue (National Institutes of Health, 2016). For our youth living in South and West Louisville neighborhoods, prevalence of ACEs is more significant than any other areas in Jefferson County (Next Louisville Project, 2019).

We put our theories into practice every day working with children like Alaya. Alaya is a 5th grader who first became involved with our summer camp, Camp Good Books. She lived with her aunt and five siblings in the Beecher Terrace housing complex and attended Byck Elementary. Family provided Alaya with positive relationships and a loving home, but factors like witnessing neighborhood gun violence, parental incarceration, and food insecurity brought her development to a halt. By the end of her 3rd grade year, Alaya was held back due to reading on 1st grade level. Students not proficient in reading by the end of 3rd grade face discouraging hurdles to success in school and beyond (Center for Public Education, 2015).

After attending Camp Good Books and having an aunt who trained to become a certified Trauma Informed Reading Mentor (TIRM) through I Would Rather Be Reading (IWRBR), Alaya is reading and writing at grade level for the first time. Without our supports, Alaya would be a struggling reader with frequent behavior problems in the classroom. Today, she is confident, at grade level, and involved in her school community .

5. Indicate total number of paid staff and total number of volunteers.

Paid staff: 12
Volunteers: 25

6. List the goals and objectives of your agency.

Our objectives are designed to help solve this problem: Children exposed to trauma have significant learning delays and do not accelerate as quickly as their peers living in secure households. Traumatic experiences that happen at a young age, cause children to fall behind academically and behaviorally (KYA, 2019). Our goal is to provide the extra support that is needed to prevent long-lasting negative health outcomes.


7. Describe why this project is needed and how it implements the purpose of the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation.

Our NTI day camp implements your purpose in more ways than one. First, many of the youth we serve suffer from ACEs because their parent(s) is incarcerated. Interpersonal exposure to trauma, especially in a child’s early years, is significantly associated with decreased cognitive functioning (Enlow, Egeland, Blood, Wright, Wright, 2012) (Crosby, 2015). Neglect, abuse, abandonment, exposure to violence, or the loss of a caregiver through death, incarceration, or being placed in foster care are adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) which affect a child’s ability to learn and interferes with the ability to access the part of the brain where higher order thinking and new learning takes place. Research has shown that students with traumatic stress symptoms had lower reading and writing achievement, this effect is exacerbated when combined with living in poverty (Goodman, Miller & West- Olatunji, 2012)

Research shows that what happens to us as children affects cognitive, social, and behavioral development (Crosby, 2015). Positive, corrective relationships and literacy support can decrease the negative impact caused by childhood trauma.

Our organization targets children and families that live in high poverty areas and/or are involved in the family court system.

The targeted neighborhoods that we currently serve have the highest rates for child neglect and abuse. In addition, twenty seven percent of adults lack a high school diploma or its equivalent. When referring to the Adverse Childhood Experiences, our goal is to respond with trauma responsive academic and social emotional support, before the adoption of health risk behaviors occurs.

Second, our work helps to ensure better standards of living for those living in deep, persistent poverty through increasing equity for historically excluded populations. Making sure a young child does not fall behind academically early on in their educational career affects them positively for the rest of their lives.

I Would Rather Be Reading (IWRBR) is small, but mighty, and our deep-level approach to Education and Early Childhood Development is empirically shown to help trauma-exposed children develop their cognitive, social, emotional, and linguistic skills. This is a true exercise in closing inequity gaps among a vulnerable population. We can save children with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) before they fall victim to what an unfortunate start to life results in – poor health outcomes, risky behaviors, mental health issues, low educational attainment, and poverty.

Our targeted population is foster and kinship families, but our services trickle down to meet the needs of all children that have experienced trauma at an early age; a population statistically disadvantaged from the moment of birth or earlier. Some break out and achieve educational and economic success, but the odds are stacked against these children—now more than ever. When a child experiences trauma at an early age, such as being removed from their parents’ home, these ACEs negatively impact a child’s ability to read at grade level. Academic performance is a key indicator of a person’s quality of life as an adult; higher educational attainment equals higher paying jobs (Greater Louisville Project Report, A Focus on Poverty, 2016).

Among this already disadvantaged group of children, one subgroup stands out for the accumulation of factors that work against them enjoying a happy and normal childhood or beating the odds to achieve a fulfilling life as an adult characterized by a stable family, a good job, and financial independence. These most unfortunate and at-risk children are those removed from their homes by local officials and placed in the nation’s foster care system. These are the most disadvantaged children in the nation, and therefore have the greatest claim to public support (Brookings Institute, 2017).

In 2018, 30.2 % of children in Jefferson County were living in out of home care, a 5% increase since 2013 (KYA, 2019). The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (2019) reports high exposure to abuse and neglect puts children at high risk for cognitive, behavioral, and social delays. These findings align with the data from KY Kids Count, showing that only 46.5% of elementary students in the Jefferson County Public School system are proficient in reading.

8. How did you identify the need that is addressed by the proposed project?

In mid-March COVID-19 swept through the nation changing the way we go about our daily lives, conduct business, and receive an education, which has caused toxic stress that will impose lasting effects on long term health outcomes. In late July JCPS announced school closures for at least the first six weeks of the 2020-2021 school year. While doing so was the safest option, parents are left figuring out how to educate, feed, and meet the needs of their children, all while trying to make ends meet. IWRBR and ITL have created a day camp solution that with the backing of Metro Council, will offer NTI support, math & reading enrichment, mental health services, and healthcare.

IWRBR and ITL believe that all children deserve equitable, safe access to education. We believe that parents and guardians deserve the ability to work and/or go to school, without the pressure of their child being left behind educationally. Together IWRBR and ITL believe that our NTI Day Camp solution will be a wrap-around support offered to families in this time of need.

9. Does any other organization in your community serve this need?

IWRBR has heard mention of the YMCA providing CEP options during the NTI period, but their staff is not required to have an education background, like the staff of IWRBR does. The YMCA will serve as more of a daycare or safe place for the students to be while the parents are working. They may assist with NTI work a little but there isn't a definite plan in place that we are aware of.

Dr. Polio recently announced that he wanted to target ECE students, and children from underserved neighborhoods in the learning hub setting. We are working with the JCPS board, and Louisville Metro Council to provide an educational setting that is run and designed by educators and behavioral specialists. Our sites will serve as more than a daycare. Children will have intentional, standards based enrichment, social emotional learning activities, and teachers and assistants on site to help children and parents navigate NTI 2.0 and serve as a wrap-around support, being the connection between the family and school.

10. If so, what distinguishes your agency’s services from others?

Other organizations may have plans for NTI day camps , such as the YMCA, but we are the only one providing instruction designed by math and literacy specialists, NTI support from certified teachers, and social emotional learning lessons from mental health specialists.


11. Describe how you will measure outcomes of this proposal.

Qualitative and quantitative data will be collected and then used for continuous improvement. Our intention is to track activities as we go along to produce formative assessments to gauge how well students are doing throughout the school year. Methodology is in place and includes the following results and indicators.

Result 1. 240 children living in South and West Louisville neighborhoods participate in math, reading, and social emotional learning enrichment activities daily.
Indicator 1.1. Grant funds secured for the NTI Day Camp Pilot by 9/8/2020
Quantitative Data. Number of children served/Amount of funding secured/Number of investors
Qualitative Data. Feedback captured through casual conversations and surveys from teachers, partners, and students to gauge satisfaction with the NTI Day Camp

Result 2. Children actively participating in NTI Day Camp by 9/8/2020
Indicator 2.1. Children showing growth in all areas
Quantitative Data. Pre and post assessments show growth in grades, standard-based math assessments, social emotional learning scales, running records, developmental spelling assessments, and sight word inventory.
Qualitative Data. Feedback captured through casual conversations and surveys from teachers, partners, and students to gauge satisfaction with the NTI Day Camp

Result 3. NTI Day Camp serves as a wraparound support system for children, families, and teachers in the areas of education, health, and social emotional support.
Indicator 3.1. 240 Children complete 75% of NTI coursework during the hours of NTI Day Camp.
Quantitative Data. Number served/Amount of coursework completed
Qualitative Data. Feedback captured through casual conversations and surveys from teachers, partners, and students to gauge satisfaction with the NTI Day Camp

12. After the grant funds are expended, describe how you will assure continuation of grant-funded services or equipment maintenance.

Due to the fact that IWRBR is serving the families in the JCPS areas that are the hardest to reach, the students who attend Title 1 schools in South and West Louisville, are on free and reduced lunch, and/or are identified as ECE (special education), we plan to have a suggested rate of $75 per week per family. With encouragement from JCPS and Louisville Metro Council, we have decided to have a sliding scale payment option for families to make sure the NTI Day Camp is accessible for all families.


13. Attach your AGENCY BUDGET showing all financial resources.


14. What fees or charges are made by the organization for its services?

Services to schools and teachers:
$1,000 for our 3 hour training session "Trauma Responsive Reading Block"
$500 per teacher to become a Trauma Informed Reading Mentor.

15. What percent of the organization’s budget is used for fund-raising?

3.6%. This number is smaller in 2020 than in previous years due to COVID-19.

16. What percent of the organization’s budget is used for administrative costs?


17. If applicant has received prior grants from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation, provide dates, amounts, purposes and outcomes.

We have not received a grant from the Kentucky Social Welfare Foundation.

18. Attach your IRS 501(c)(3) tax designation letter.


19. Attach your 990 or 990-PF federal tax return.


20. Attach any additional documents you wish to include with this application.


Entry ID467

Entry DateAugust 10, 2020