Since 1999, The Illinois Literacy Foundation (ILF) has been a leader in promoting literacy efforts and supporting local literacy projects throughout Illinois.
From 2003-2010 the Foundation and Borders Superstores/Waldenbooks partnered to raise money from customers to enhance literacy awareness and local literacy initiatives in Illinois. Book drives and holiday season donations from Borders/Waldenbooks customers generated $971,517 over the eight-year period. From 1999-2002, a similar partnership with Barnes and Noble booksellers generated $201,010 for literacy efforts. Collectively, more than 1.4 million dollars was donated by customers.
The Foundation has participated in various book fairs and company sponsored events to inform the public of how the ILF works to enhance literacy. In 2002, the ILF hosted a successful statewide literacy conference at DePaul University, featuring representatives from academia, the Illinois Library Association, and the private and corporate sectors to exchange ideas about how to promote literacy awareness. ILF has hosted dinners for its award recipients. Stipends were awarded to individuals and agencies for literary needs. Secretary of State Jesse White issued Certificates of Appreciation to ILF partners, fundraisers and donors such as Cubby Bear and the Make-a-Dent Foundation.
More than 300,000 pieces of ILF literature have been distributed statewide, along with other promotional tools such as ILF rulers, stickers, pens and posters. Promotional materials are distributed to schools, libraries, literacy organizations/agencies, shelters, senior centers, special education centers, Boys and Girls Youth Centers and bookstores.
In 2011, the ILF initiated a new tool—“Webinars”, or online informational workshops, to promote literacy. The Illinois Auditor General conducts biannual audits of the ILF and reports its findings to the Illinois General Assembly. The Illinois Literacy Foundation is committed to ensuring that every Illinois citizen has the reading, writing, math and English skills necessary to achieve their utmost potential.