LCSC receives $30,000 grant to support Raising a Reader program

The mission of the Raising a Reader program is to engage caregivers in a routine of book sharing with their children from birth through age eight.

Lakes County Service Cooperative recently received a $30,000 LA Amundson Ohana Foundation grant to support the Raising a Reader Program. From left is Lyn Zeppelin, former branch president of First Security Bank; Don Peschel, superintendent of Brandon Evansville Schools; and Deb Barry, LCSC’s Raising a Reader Early Literacy Initiative coordinator.
Contributed photo

BRANDON-EVANSVILLE — Deb Berry is passionate about providing learning opportunities for children, and it shows through her work with the Brandon Evansville Early Childhood Family Education program and serving as the Lakes Country Service Cooperative’s Raising a Reader Early Literacy Initiative Coordinator.

“Our local children are the people that will be taking care of me in the future in my community, and I want them to be able to read and thrive,” Berry said in a press release.

When the opportunity became available to invest time and resources into the Raising a Reader program, Berry looked to find local funds to make this program possible. With the help of First Security State Bank in Evansville, Berry applied for a matching fund grant through the LA Amundson Ohana Foundation for $30,000.

The mission of the Raising a Reader program is to engage caregivers in a routine of book sharing with their children from birth through age eight to foster healthy brain development, healthy relationships, a love of reading, and the literacy skills critical for school success.

Caregivers of the children participating in the program will receive training to help establish a routine for reading in the child’s home. A Red Bag exchange date is scheduled at each child’s childcare or ECFE program, and they will rotate the books for the 14-week program. Earlier in 2021, Berry coordinated a test roll-out for 25 local families and is now planning to launch the program this February.


“I am from a literate family, and I know the difference it makes when families work with their children on reading skills," Berry said. "I have worked with families where reading was not a priority, and I can see the difference in the children and their level of reading skills.”

To learn more about the Raising a Reader Program, visit the Education Services page at You can also visit the Raising a Reader website at

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