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Early Literacy and Lifelong Education

From getting every child ready to read, to K-12 student success, to continued adult learning, we support education programs that serve all ages.

The need: Seattle is the “most educated” big city in the nation. But wide educational gaps persist due to structural inequities. For example, recent declines in student test scores since the pandemic are most pronounced for female students, students of color, and students from families with lower incomes.

The Foundation’s role: Free programs available at every stage of life, from birth to retirement, help reduce learning gaps by serving people with less access to educational resources. The Foundation funds 16 library programs that spark early literacy development, expand educational offerings after school and in the summer, encourage college and career readiness, provide older adults with technology and information, and much more. Programs include:

College Readiness
Helping high school students prepare for graduation and college with academic coaching, test prep, resume help, and more.

Digital Media
Accessing books, movies, and online learning resources from anywhere.

Fresh Start
Removing lost items fees and restoring library access for teens and young adults.

Global Reading Challenge
Making reading fun for 4th and 5th graders through a citywide school trivia competition (pictured above left).

Homework Help
Offering tutoring for K-12 students after school at library branches across the city and virtually.

Older Adult Programming
Providing helpful programs aimed at adults 50+, from learning a new technology to planning for retirement (pictured below left).

Play & Learn, Story Time, and More
Sharing stories, songs, and fun learning activities in multiple languages to develop literacy skills while building community.

Summer of Learning
Filling the summer with reading activities, learning experiences, and fun programs for kids and families.

Teen Programming
Engaging teenagers with reading recommendations, tutoring, college and job skills, and more.