Director, Public Information

Vol. 44, No. 12

February 9, 2010


Tax Refund Donations Help Launch

New After-school Reading Programs

Nearly $11,000 donated by Missouri citizens and corporations from their tax refunds is supporting eight new after-school reading programs across the state. The programs will help about 450 students in grades K-9 develop their reading skills this spring.

The After-School Retreat Reading and Assessment Grant Program Fund is the newest trust fund established by the state legislature, making a total of 17 such programs which benefit a broad range of community needs.  Beginning with the 2008 tax year, the after-school reading trust allows individuals, couples and corporations to donate portions of their tax refunds, or make direct contributions, to help improve reading skills of Missouri students.

Managed by the Department of Education, the After-School Retreat fund provides financing for after-school programs that emphasize reading and improvement of students’ skills. The primary purpose of the program is to serve schools in which at least 40 percent of the student population is eligible for free or reduced-cost meals.

The department solicited competitive proposals from public schools in December; 30 applications were submitted.  Each grant could be up to $2,000 and requires a 15 percent match by the school district, which may consist of money or in-kind contributions.  The eight grant recipients are:

  • Bronaugh School District (grades K-9)
  • Butler R-V Elementary School (grades 3-6)
  • Green City R-I School District (grades K-6)
  • Lewis County School District, Highland Elementary (grades 4-5)
  • Lutie School District (grades 4-6)
  • Maplewood Richmond Heights Elementary (grades 4-6)
  • Miller Central Elementary (grades K-6)
  • University City School District, Brittany Woods Middle School (grades 7-8)

“We anticipate the next round of grant applications will be solicited next fall,” said Cindy Heislen, director of community education programs at the department.  “Of course, it all depends on whether money is available in the fund to make awards each year.”