KSA Community Champions: Gordon Philanthropies, Inc.

KSA Community Champions: Gordon Philanthropies, Inc.

Gordon Philanthropies, Inc. Program Director Sylvia Beanes with KIPP Scholar Academy students

From reading competitions and challenges to “Drop everything and read” blocks in English classes, instilling a love of reading is deeply rooted in KIPP Scholar Academy’s (KSA) core values.

However, after the pandemic, KSA School Leader Tiffany Moore noticed a significant dip in reading growth and achievement, so she was determined to have her scholars fall in love with reading again. 

Then, she heard about Gordon Philanthropies, Inc. (GPI)—a Los Angeles-based charitable foundation whose goal is to support the reading growth of students in underserved communities—and immediately reached out to learn more. 

In response to Moore’s outreach, GPI Program Director Sylvia Beanes visited KSA and was so inspired by the talent, intelligence, and kindness of our KIPPsters that she solidified the partnership, launching their Communities That Read Together, Grow Together literacy program at KSA in the fall of 2022. 

"The foundation’s vision and mission are to create a reading mindset in students and to support efforts to provide our kids with the best education possible so they can excel in their academic studies,” said Daniel Gordon, GPI Chairman and Founder. “Gordon Philanthropies is grateful to have a school partner with the same vision and commitment.”

Through the program, teachers ordered two sets of classroom textbooks (one for the classroom and one for students to take home), and students had the opportunity to choose books to grow their classroom libraries. The program also allowed families to order up to eight books (under $15) per child, even if they were not KSA students, to grow their libraries at home. 

“Gordon Philanthropies provided a perfect partnership for our students to get their hands and eyes on high-interest, high-quality books that reignited their love for reading,” said Moore. “This program breathed life back into our reading initiatives and goals. We are deeply thankful.”

When the books arrived at KSA, students were thrilled to put their names on their books and fill up the shelves with books they collectively chose to foster their love of reading. It was evident from the smiles on their faces that the first book drop was an impactful success. 

“Thank you, Gordon Philanthropies, for giving us this many books for our class. We are very grateful for this opportunity,” said KSA 7th grader Elizabeth.

GPI donated 3,000 new books, which has resulted in over 25 Million words read by KSA students, and will continue to provide free books every semester so that students can continue to reach—and exceed—their reading goals, one book at a time. 

KSA is excited for the next book drop, scheduled for March, and looks forward to continuing to be able to inspire a love of reading through this immensely impactful program.

Learn more about Gordon Philanthropies, Inc.