An early intervention childhood literacy program in Pittsburgh still hopes to preserve some programs. The East Liberty-based nonprofit Beginning With Books closed its doors Friday after informing its 17 employees 2 days earlier that it could no longer afford to operate. The organization provided educational books to children, operated 2 story mobiles, and taught parents and day care workers how to read to kids. Beginning With Books had an operating budget of $1.5 million last fiscal year but saw a drop in funding from corporations and foundations that were dealing with their own financial troubles.
Linda Pool, interim executive director, says they've been trying 7 months to prevent a shutdown..."working with our largest foundation supporters to come up with an alternate strategy. Despite an immense amount of hard work on the part of our board and those foundations, it became pretty clear that it was not going to work out. So, everyone worked hard....it just wasn't meant to be."
Pool says Beginning With Books is working with a couple of local organizations trying to preserve at least some of their programs, but she isn't ready to divulge their names at this point. Pool says the staff, which has so much experience in early childhood literacy, might continue to provide programming under the auspices of another organization.