Stopping the summer brain drain: Duke Energy funds $400,000 in Indiana summer youth reading programs

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PLAINFIELD, IND. - The Duke Energy Foundation is investing approximately $400,000 in Indiana youth statewide to help maintain and improve reading levels over the summer.

"Studies show that students can lose more than two months of learning after summer vacation, which is why summer learning programs are important," said Duke Energy Indiana President Doug Esamann. "Literacy is a major part of student success, and it affects a student’s education in all subjects. It also has an impact on the community when it’s time for a student to enter the workforce."

Twenty Indiana schools are receiving grants ranging from approximately $9,000 to $36,000 for wide-ranging reading initiatives. (List of schools below.) The programs largely target students prior to third grade. Some examples include:

Avon Community School Corporation - A week-long camp in July targeting incoming first and second graders for whom English is not their primary language. The camp will focus on vocabulary skills and pair students up with their teacher for the coming year.

Brooklyn and South Elementary schools (Martinsville School Corporation) - A summer reading program that includes parent workshops to focus on reading strategies that can be used at home. Each student goes home with a backpack of projects for students and parents to use.

"We started funding pilot summer reading programs in Connersville several years ago," Esamann said. "There we saw that 60 percent of students advanced by one reading level and 87 percent increased their scores overall. The programs work."

Facts on reading and education

  • During the summer break, low-income students can lose more than two months of reading achievement.
  • Approximately 14 percent of Indiana students did not pass the IREAD3 test administered in the third grade.
  • A child who is not reading at grade level at the end of the 3rd grade is four times more likely to drop out of high school.

In Indiana, the Duke Energy Foundation invests approximately $2 million annually for community support and charitable contributions. To learn more about Duke Energy Foundation, visit

Schools receiving Duke Energy 2015 summer reading program grants:

Attica Consolidated School Corporation $22,600
East Washington School Corporation $10,572
New Albany Floyd County Schools $13,278
North Lawrence Community Schools $34,856
Foundation of Monroe County Community Schools $19,385
Franklin Community School Corporation $9,500
South Dearborn Community School Corporation $19,990
Vincennes Community School Corporation $15,000
Rochester Community School Corporation $8,950
MSD of Martinsville $22,639
Shelbyville Central Schools $35,800
Decatur County School Corporation $16,350
Clinton Central $19,954
Vigo County School Corporation $16,111
Sheridan School Corporation $21,094
Greater Clark Schools $15,086
New Castle Schools/Wilbur Wright Elementary $9,677
Avon Schools $25,000
Kokomo School Corporation $25,000
Bartholomew Consolidated Schools $30,000

Duke Energy

Duke Energy is the largest electric power holding company in the United States with approximately $121 billion in total assets. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 7.3 million electric customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. Its commercial power and international energy business segments own and operate diverse power generation assets in North America and Latin America, including a growing portfolio of renewable energy assets in the United States.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 250 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at