Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

New Survey Reveals Benefits of Older-Younger Tutoring Teams

New Survey Reveals Benefits of Older-Younger Tutoring Teams

For the past year, Ampact, with support from CoGenerate’s Generations Serving Together program, placed cogenerational pairs of AmeriCorps members in elementary schools. The older and younger adults worked side by side to improve students’ reading and math skills. A...

The Billionaire Who Gave Away His Fortune Took a Big Chance on Us

The Billionaire Who Gave Away His Fortune Took a Big Chance on Us

We at CoGenerate (formerly Encore.org) are mourning the loss of Chuck Feeney this week. Without Chuck's vision and generosity we likely would not exist as an organization. Twenty-five years ago Atlantic Philanthropies took a chance on our start-up, playing a...


Mimi Levin Lieber

Literacy Inc.
Purpose Prize Fellow 2011

Lieber promotes childhood literacy in less advantaged New York City neighborhoods by corralling community resources.

In 1997 Mimi Lieber, founder of Lieber Attitude Research Inc., a consumer and public opinion research organization serving numerous Fortune 500 companies, tapped into her long-standing interest to promote childhood literacy in disadvantaged New York City neighborhoods.

Armed with 40 years’ experience as consumer attitude consultant and 15 years as one of the New York State Board Regents, she created Literacy Inc., which brings innovative literacy programs to children 8 and younger. She hired, trained and supervised field coordinators from the communities with which they worked to organize literacy networks.

Today Literacy Inc. partners with community members to take part in weekly and monthly reading partner programs at a variety of neighborhood sites. Lieber sees opportunities everywhere, from a family literacy night at the local library to a reading corner at the local shoe store.

The organization’s programs engage parents to start and support reading development in their homes and communities; pair young readers with older children, community members and senior citizens; and encourage communities to collaborate with cultural organizations to improve children’s literacy development.

By leveraging a community’s own resources, Lieber developed a low-cost “Reading Everywhere” model that can be replicated in other urban communities. Literacy Inc. partners with New York’s five boroughs, 46 public schools, seven libraries and 38 community-based organizations, reaching more than 6,000 children.

“It does take the whole village to raise a child, and urban villages have lots of available readers and helpers if they are recruited properly, trained and recognized for their efforts,” Lieber says.