Make Way for Books received a $400,000 grant to expand its programs into Avondale.

Make Way for Books in Tucson received a $400,000 grant to expand its Neighborhood School Readiness project into Avondale in Maricopa County.

The Tucson area nonprofit received the grant from the Phoenix-based Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust.

The Neighborhood School Readiness Project, developed by Make Way for Books and implemented across 19 neighborhoods in Pima County, provides comprehensive early literacy and language programming for children from birth through 5 years old. It’s focused at and around elementary schools to ensure young children have the early learning opportunities critical to school readiness and future academic success.

In the Avondale School District, only 39% of students have third-grade reading proficiency and all elementary schools are Title I schools serving high percentages of economically-disadvantaged children. Currently, only 35% of young children in Maricopa County have access to early education.

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Make Way for Books’ comprehensive early intervention approach uses three main strategies which engage children, parents and families, and early childhood educators.

The grant will support the implementation of the model to impact more than 2,000 children through the three-year project.

Established in 1998, Make Way for Books is a Tucson-based nonprofit organization that impacts thousands of children, families and early childhood educators throughout southern Arizona each year. For more information, visit makewayforbooks.org.