Youth Literacy

Indy Reads Youth Literacy Program


The Need

Research shows that when students struggle with literacy in high school they often drop-out or disengage. Literacy is essential to every school subject, and therefore it is the foundation upon which a student’s entire education and understanding of the world is built. Countless studies illustrate the dramatic role that literacy plays in determining student’s life opportunities and choices.

Educators and guardians work incredibly hard for our students, yet the challenges our students face can be daunting. There’s no reason that teachers and parents should struggle in isolation to support our Indianapolis students. We are here to help.

The Solution

In partnership with Indy Pulse, Indy Reads is proud to announce our new High School Youth Literacy program.

For too long Indy Reads has had to say “no” to caring parents who seek literacy support for students under 18. Our community partners, and school leaders, agree that literacy support for students beyond elementary school is lacking.

Indianapolis high school students desire and deserve: the highest-quality, culturally relevant texts; individualized attention and lessons; and a consistent community in which they can be courageously curious about challenging topics, cultivate their voice, and become critically literate about their world and the place they want to have in it.

Indy Pulse has been deeply engaged in this work for three years and is primed to take the lead in creating this standards-aligned, culturally relevant mentoring and tutoring program for our high school youth. Tutors training in culturally responsive pedagogy will lead one-on-one lessons and group sessions with high school students.

Additionally, our Youth Literacy program’s book clubs, spoken word events, and media clubs will nurture and extend the learning and community students experience with their tutors and peers.

Call to Action

For Educators

Do you have a struggling reader/writer? Do you have a student who often shuts down, or acts out when asked to read or write?  Refer them to us!

Are there students at your school that need support in passing the End of Course Assessment in English to graduate? We can help. Our tutors are trained to understand the standards, and the weight they are given on the English 10 ECA, and they are well-equipped with resources and support from us.

To refer a student, or to begin a partnership with us to launch a cohort-model of literacy tutoring and mentoring at your school or community center, contact


For Tutors

Words matter. They help us create and destroy. The ability to read and write (i.e. literacy) allows us access to the diverse viewpoints in our society. With strong literacy skills, we can analyze different claims, and then craft our own perspective, and live by it.

For this reason, literacy is essential to democracy, equity, and leading a meaningful life. Through reading vibrant stories, our humanity increases; we come to better understand the world and all of its people. Interesting stories that are relevant to our lives are the foundation of what makes us value reading.

If you believe, like we believe, that our Indianapolis high school youth have immense potential, and if you want to support hard working educators and loving parents as they invest in the next generation—join us!

After training, and with on-going support, you will positively impact the life of our students and help ensure that 100% literacy in Indianapolis is realized.

Two opportunities to engage in the youth literacy tutor training: Monday-Thursday from 5:30-8pm on the weeks of August 8th and August 15th at the Indianapolis Central Library (address: 40 E. St. Clair Street)

Interested in learning more? Want to register for training so you can become a youth literacy tutor?


For Donors

Indianapolis Public Schools Foundation has already contributed seed funding to support this program. If you would like to donate, please contact us!


“The book to read is not the one that thinks for you, but the one that makes you think.” -Harper Lee