Grant from U.S. Bank Foundation Supports Webster University's Student Literacy Corps

Sep. 11, 2013

ST. LOUIS, September 11, 2013 – U.S. Bank Foundation has awarded a $25,000 grant to Webster University's Student Literacy Corps (SLC).  The grant will go toward educational supplies and also stipends for student tutors who provide one-on-one instruction to low-literacy children and adults. 

“For too many students, literacy is a barrier rather than a threshold to learning,” said Webster University President Elizabeth “Beth” J. Stroble. “The Webster University Student Literacy Corps, established in 1990, has excelled in providing tutoring support with a track record of success that enables learning on the part of the students and their tutors. The support of the U. S. Bancorp Foundation is instrumental to the program's continued success in serving new and struggling readers in our community.”

The Student Literacy Corps began as a service-learning project within the Webster University School of Education. Now entering its 23rd year, the program places more than 50 student tutors each semester. They tutor in schools and other educational programs serving “high-needs” populations, that is students from low-income communities and from families whose adult members have low levels of literacy and education, as well as students who do not have an English speaker in the home. During the 2012-2013 academic year, Webster University students tutored more than 900 struggling readers at 23 locations throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area including schools, homeless shelters and adult education programs. 

The SLC program brings struggling readers, their teachers and SLC tutors together in a highly successful partnership that provides a consistent schedule of one-on-one sessions with the same tutor for a semester or more. The SLC tutors are close in age to their students which promotes a uniquely effective bond. This proven model fosters an individualized tutoring relationship that can overcome common barriers to literacy learning such as low self-esteem, mistrust, alienation and language issues.

“We are extremely grateful to U.S. Bank Foundation for its support for this program,” said Brenda Fyfe, dean of the Webster University School of Education. “We receive positive feedback from teachers and principals whose students have been tutored by the Student Literacy Corps. They've told us they would like to see even more students receive tutoring. This grant creates an opportunity for more Webster University students to become tutors while also allowing us to expand our library of books and teaching tools that engage learners in reading. 

"At U.S. Bank, we believe that strong communities are built on strong foundations," said Joe Imbs, St. Louis market president for U.S. Bank. "To help build those foundations, U.S. Bank invests in innovative programs like Webster University's Student Literacy Corps. The work that these organizations do each and every day out makes a lasting, positive impact on our local community."

About U.S. Bank Foundation

Through the U.S. Bank Foundation, U.S. Bank provided more than $23 million in cash grants to qualified nonprofit organizations in 2013. Tax-exempt 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations in U.S. Bank's 25-state banking region that are interested in applying for a grant should review our grant guidelines and grant application at Questions should be directed to the appropriate charitable giving contact.

About U.S. Bank

U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB), with $353 billion in assets as of June 30, 2013, is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the 5th largest commercial bank in the United States. Celebrating its 150th anniversary this year, the company operates 3,087 banking offices in 25 states and 5,032 ATM and provides a comprehensive line of banking, brokerage, insurance, investment, mortgage, trust and payment services products to consumers, businesses and institutions. Visit U.S. Bancorp on the web at

About Webster University

With its home campus in St. Louis, Webster University ( is the only Tier 1, private, non-profit U.S.-based university providing a network of international residential campuses and a robust online learning program. Founded in 1915, Webster University's campus network today includes metropolitan, military and corporate locations around the world, as well as traditional residential campuses in Asia, Europe and North America, with a campus in Africa expected to open in 2014. The university is committed to delivering high-quality learning experiences that transform students for global citizenship and individual excellence.