The next Literacy for Life partner meeting will be on August 25th at 9 AM, Beloit Public Library.


Build a Brain,
Build a Life,
Build a Community.

Become a Literacy for Life Partner!

Key Facts

  • Approximately 85% of a child’s brain development occurs during the first 3 years of life.
  • Literacy for Life is based on solid research demonstrating that early childhood brain development and literacy efforts will produce a 7 – 13% annual return on improved outcomes in health, education, teen risk behaviors, crime, income and employment per child, which amounts to a $7 return on investment per every $1 spent (WEDC).
  • Key Pillars in the community are committed to our mission and success (Health Systems-Beloit and Community), City Government, School Districts, Chamber of Commerce, Stateline Community Foundation, Library, Non-profit and Faith Based Organizations.
  • Key Partners include a variety of local nonprofits such as churches, agencies, childcare facilities as well as NAACP, Beloit College, businesses, foundations, and are the CORE for reaching families.
  • Assessment, transparency, and our programmatic efforts will be informed by nationally known experts on early childhood brain development and literacy.


Every child born in Beloit will be prepared for Kindergarten and given the opportunity to develop to their full potential.


By developing relationships with families built on trust, respect, honesty and a sensitivity to the fact that many of them are struggling with significant challenges.

By partnering and collaborating with our Pillars and Partners to build early childhood literacy efforts from the ground up-organically-to reach families and children where the impact is needed most.


  • Built positive relationships with over 40 organizations in the Beloit area and key support from our Pillars.
  • Re-established REACH OUT AND READ Program and facilitated the addition of a video on literacy & brain development at Beloit Health System to be shown to every mother and family prior to departing the hospital.
  • Published updates and stories thanks to the Beloit Daily News.
  • Received a proclamation of support for the Initiative from the City of Beloit.
  • Installed a popular bookcase for families in City Hall.
  • Put up billboards in key city locations both in Spanish and English with the tag line: Build a Brain, Build a Life, Build a Community.
  • Developed and are currently distributing “Brain Bags” to new mothers via partnering organizations with key information, book, toys and materials about the importance of early childhood literacy and brain development.
  • Opened Little Kids Libraries at community fire stations.
  • Obtained business support, especially Culver’s, for events that include reading to kids by community celebrities and first responders.
  • Received support from the library for bimonthly meetings and events.
  • Created a diverse library located at the Stateline Community Foundation where NPO’s can request books for distribution at their events.
  • Distributed over 13,000 books to kids and families in Beloit.
  • Developed an email listserv with over 200 engaged subscribers for BLFLI program meetings and updates.
  • Held 2 re-energizing events for all Pillars and Partners at ABC Supply Stadium to kick start efforts following COVID-19 isolation.
  • Supported a Bookmobile in summer of 2021 that travelled to various community locations for reading stories and book distribution, thanks to grants from UW-Madison, Stateline Community Foundation and support from the Beloit School District for Gloria Heiss, Project Coordinator.

Dr. Ron Ferguson & The Basics – Rock County

The Future Depends On What‘s In Our Kid’s Heads

Bill Barth
May 24, 2022
Beloit Daily News

“It was my good fortune last week to attend the Beloit Literacy for Life Initiative’s 2022 Recognition Luncheon. Like everything else, the pandemic interrupted the group’s annual gathering the past couple of years so, technically, this was only the second annual banquet. There should be many more in the future. The entire community ought to be behind this effort. Yes, it’s that important.”

Bookmobile Bus Logo

In The Works

  • Collaborating with PBS-Wisconsin and other community interests on project “Ready to Learn”.
  • Presenting to various community literacy stakeholders.
  • Continuing our annual awards luncheon to recognize individuals and organizations for extraordinary efforts in promoting early childhood literacy and brain development.
  • Collaborating with the Beloit Stadium Authority on early childhood literacy motifs in the new facility where families can “read the stadium”.
  • Including the Literacy for Life Initiative in the Stateline Community Foundation’s Capital Campaign.
  • Reaching the Latino Community with translated advocacy materials.
  • Collaborating with Quint Studer (Studer Community Institute) and Dr. Ron Ferguson (Harvard University) of The Basics. We will be hiring a full-time position to work with nonprofit partners in implementing a brain development texting program for parents of children, birth – age 3.

Recent News

Beloit Literacy For Life
Beloit Literacy For Life
Beloit Literacy For Life


What can partners do to influence the culture of literacy in Beloit and Rock County

• Create traditions around literacy and learning
• Support families
• Influence organizations
• Influence Beloit
• Build traditions for literacy and learning

Impact of Early Literacy

Possible suggestions for engagement

  • Empower families for literacy & language
    • “Talking is teaching” messaging
    • “Reading to your kids” messaging
  • Books in the hands of kids and families
  • Environmental signs in stores and around the community to promote talking
  • Community infrastructure – Playground talking structures, billboards, and bus stops
  • Volunteer for literacy programs
  • Sponsor a Little Little Free Library
  • Employee wellness programs for literacy and language development

Beloit Literacy For Life Goal

Read Aloud 15 Minutes

Read Aloud 15 minutes
Downloaded materials are free and can be taken to any printer. Please sign-up on the website and show how many of our community organizations are using the materials.

Talking Is TeachingTalking is Teaching
From the Too Small to Fail Foundation. Downloaded materials are free and can be taken to any printer. Please sign up on the website to have access to all of the “Talking is Teaching Communities” exclusives.

Annual Luncheon

Quint Studer | Literacy For Life Initiative Luncheon

Special Events

ABC Supply Stadium | Literacy For Life Initiative Event

Partners In Action

Youth To Youth Book Vault | Beloit Literacy For Life Initiative

Want To Support Our Grassroots Effort?

Bill Flanagan | Beloit College

Bill Flanagan
Literacy for Life Chair
Executive Advisor Emeritus to the President, Beloit College

Tara Tinder | Stateline Community Foundation

Tara Tinder
Executive Director
Stateline Community Foundation
(608) 362-4228

Jessica Austin | Stateline Community Foundation

Jessica Austin
Director of Early Brain Development
Stateline Community Foundation
(608) 362-4228

For General Information : Please contact Jamie Gurholt at / SCF Office: (608) 362-4228