The value of literacy is more than a book.  Together, we advance and impact the cause of literacy through advocacy, funds awarded and opportunities for involvement.

Literacy statistics in Arizona are dire.

  • Only 4 in 10 Arizona students are reading at grade level.
  • Less than half of all third-graders passed the 2019 standardized AzMERIT reading test.
  • AzMERIT scores dropped by 11% from 2019 to 2021.  Disrupted learning due to the pandemic has negatively impacted reading scores even further.
  • Students who struggle to read by the end of third grade are 4 times mores likely to drop out of high school.

Every member's personal enrichment from reading and connection extends to enriching others.  Since 2005, the Literacy Society has granted over $200,000 to nonprofit literacy programs and student scholarships in Arizona through net proceeds from memberships and donations.  Recently, our generous members met the challenging  goal to raise an additional $25,000 for our literacy mission, doubling our grant budget to $50,000.

Annual membership fees and generous donations provide funding for the mission of the Literary Society to make contributions to community organizations making positive impact for literacy in Arizona. 

Click here to download the list of 2021-2022 Grantees. 

Click here to download the list of 2020-2021 Grantees.

Creative Writing Contest

For several years, the Literary Society has supported students of Maryvale High School competing in a writing contest organized by their teacher and librarian, Jean Kilker. During the 2020-2021 school year, seven students submitted short stories.

The $5,000 prize money was awarded as follows:

  • $3,000 to Cynthia, 12th grade
  • $500 to Noemi, 11th grade
  • $500 to Luis, 9th grade
  • $500 to Wendy, 11th grade
  • $150 each to the other three entries. The Grant Committee congratulates these talented, young writers and expresses so much gratitude to the Literary Society members who generously provided their time and careful consideration reviewing these essays.
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