Teaching Matters To Expand Early Reading Matters Program With Grants From Booth Ferris And Heckscher Foundations

by Editorial Team


New York, NY, September 12, 2019 – Teaching Matters, a professional learning organization dedicated to increasing teacher effectiveness to improve student success, has been awarded two grants in the combined amount of $450,000 to fund their Early Reading Matters (ERM) program. The grants come from The Booth Ferris Foundation and Heckscher Foundation for Children and will aid in the expansion of Teaching Matter’s mission to improve children’s access to effective instruction during the critical K-2 years. The grants allow ERM to reach 80 New York City schools, 1,564 teachers and 37,530 children by 2022.

“We are honored to have received these grants from The Booth Ferris Foundation and Heckscher Foundation for Children,” says Lynette Guastaferro, CEO of Teaching Matters. “This grant gives us the opportunity to spread the Early Reading Matters program, allowing more children, especially those from underserved communities, to access strong reading instruction.”   

Early Reading Matters began five years ago with significant multi-year investment from The Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education in the New York Community Trust. The program develops expertise critical to improving literacy in kindergarten through second grade by providing face-to-face support with weekly onsite coaching and ongoing teacher and school leader institutes. Last year, ERM resulted in a 60 percent and 46 percent increase in the percent of first and second grade students that met instructional-level expectations. Early Reading Matters places focus on literacy as a critical component to student success in and beyond high school.

The literacy program intends to support 1 out of every 5 of the highest-need schools across New York City. Teaching Matters looks forward to preserving the integrity of their work while providing a more comprehensive support to high-need schools with the help of these two grants. 

The Booth Ferris Foundation’s $300,000 grant will fund a senior leadership position, VP of Early Literacy, within Teaching Matters. The VP will lead the strategic growth of the program over five years and increase the impact on young learners in a financially sustainable model. 

The Heckscher Foundation for Children’s $150,000 grant will fund the expansion of ERM to achieve the commitment of closing the reading gap in New York City schools. The adoption of a blended professional learning will take place that strategically integrates face-to-face coaching with online and virtual support.