Los Angeles, CA – May 31, 2011 – The Winnick Family Foundation has made its initial grant to the Ready, Set, Read! Project of Los Angeles, which provides low-income parents in Southern California with the tools needed to read to their children. The project trains parents to use dialogic reading techniques, a proven interactive protocol of question-and-response methods that draw a child from initial descriptions of the images in a simple picture book to the accompanying words and script.

Merrily Weiss, Executive Director and Founder of the project, said: “We are grateful to welcome Karen and Gary Winnick with the Winnick Family Foundation to our growing family of contributors who fund our work in Los Angeles. The financial help we receive has a profound impact on these families and sets high expectations in each family early on for their child’s continuing academic success.”

Ready, Set, Read! project leaders first visit each preschool to conduct one-hour read-aloud workshops with parents, conducted in English and in Spanish. At the end of the session, a new children’s book is given to each parent. Since the program’s founding a decade ago, over 21,000 parents have been trained at workshops held at more than 170 school sites across Southern California.

Karen Winnick, Chair of the Winnick Family Foundation, stated: “We are delighted to support Ready, Set, Read! and the important work they do. In addition to donating libraries to preschools with few resources, they teach parents to work effectively with their children to improve reading skills. In this way, parents are enabled to stay actively involved in their children’s education.”

About the Winnick Family Foundation

The Winnick Family Foundation encourages project-specific programs but also selectively supports capital campaigns and unrestricted gifts to grantee organizations. There is a preference for projects in Los Angeles and New York – or for those having an international component.

Foundation naming grants include:

  •     Winnick Family Clinical Research Institute at Cedars Sinai Hospital
  •     Winnick House at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  •     Arnold S. Winnick Student Center at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University
  •     Winnick International Conference Center at the Simon Wiesenthal Center / Jerusalem
  •     Winnick Children’s Zoo in Los Angeles
  •     Winnick Faculty Scholar at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University
  •     Winnick Hall at the Skirball Cultural Center
  •     Arnold & Blanche Winnick Popular Library and Karen Winnick Children’s Gallery at the Los Angeles Central Library
  •     Winnick Hillel House at Syracuse University
  •     Winnick Board Room at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City
  •     Winnick Winners Mentoring Program for the Los Angeles Unified School District
  •     Winnick Fellows at UCLA School of Medicine
  •     Winnick Gallery at Yeshiva University Museum, Center for Jewish History

Karen and Gary Winnick and the Foundation have endowed university and high school literacy and scholarship programs at Brown University, at Mrs. Winnick’s alma mater Syracuse University, and at Gary Winnick’s alma mater, Long Island University.

They have also funded the transformation of the on-campus C.W. Post mansion administrative center – renamed Winnick House – as well as the main cafeteria which is now named in honor of Mr. Winnick’s late father.

In California, the Foundation has supported educational programs at the California Science Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, KOREH L.A., the Los Angeles Zoo, L.A.’s Best Afterschool Program, the Wonder of Reading, the Fulfillment Fund and Noah’s Ark at the Skirball Center.

Among the many other Foundation grantees are the Special Olympics, The Center for Jewish History, Children’s Scholarship Fund, Partnership for Better Schools, Teach for America, The Gettysburg Foundation, The National Parks Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, The Los Angeles Police Foundation, Shoah Foundation, and the Center for Public Leadership at Harvard University.

The Foundation also supports charities operating outside the United States, including the International Medical Corps, Flora and Fauna, World Wildlife Fund, the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, the Israel Museum, the Israel Philharmonic, the Jerusalem Zoo, Heifer International and the Bloomfield Science Museum at Hebrew University in Jerusalem. For more information on the Foundation and its work, visit http://www.winnickfamilyfoundation.com on the Web.
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