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Indy Reads

Listing Last Update: October 22, 2018


40 East Saint Clair Street
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Primary Contact

Lydia Johnson

(317) 275-4040 Ext:4040

Educational services

  • Reading and writing
  • English language
  • How to use Computers/Technology
  • Volunteer at a Program

Instruction Type

  • Classroom

Program Overview

For over 30 years, Indy Reads has promoted literacy to families and adults in Central Indiana. We believe that the foundation for success is literacy. High literacy levels give access to better educational, career, and developmental opportunities, but statistics show that 1 in 6 Hoosier adults currently read at or below a fifth-grade level. Through our interactive Community Classroom model, we offer programs for adult learners to increase literacy and English language proficiency. Our vision to Make Indianapolis 100% Literate will give everyone the necessary skills for a greater quality of life.

In our Literacy Classrooms, students work with trained tutors 1-1 or 2-1 in two hour sessions twice a week, at minimum. When students reach a 6th grade reading level, our Student Navigators connect them to an Adult Basic Education (ABE) or High School Equivalency (HSE) program to continue their education. Additional resources for job certifications and training are also available to students.

Due to our unique model at Indy Reads, our ELL classes offer both highly individualized lesson plans that incorporate the goals of each student and sensory-cognitive instruction, which allows students to progress faster. The same instruction that we provide our literacy students also improves progress with ELL students, especially since English is not a phonetic language. Students attend class twice a week for two hours. An Indy Reads Instructor facilitates the overall lesson while trained tutors work with students in small groups of 1 to 3. Tutors enable the instructor to teach at a pace appropriate to each student, rather than being forced to teach to the middle. Class sizes are limited to 15-20 students. The small class size combined with small-group tutoring allows us to provide encouragement and extra support for low-level ELL students who often get lost in the shuffle, including those with learning difficulties. At the same time, we are able to challenge our higher-level students to help them reach their goals faster. When students reach a level 5 in both reading and listening, they are re-tested to determine their eligibility for the literacy program. When students reach a 6th grade reading level, our Student Navigators connect them to ABE/HSE, job certification or college programs to continue educational pursuits.

Our office is located on the 1st floor of Central Library in downtown Indianapolis. For more information about Indy Reads, call (317) 275-4040 or visit

Mission Statement

Our mission is to promote and improve the literacy of adults and families in Central Indiana. Our vision is to make Indianapolis 100% literate.

Hours of operation: M-F 8am-5pm

Cost info: Our literacy and ELL classes are free!

Student and Volunteer Success Stories

Margaret M. began attending Indy Reads classes in September 2017. She had dropped out of high school and struggled against a lack of education and health challenges, but returned to school and received her GED at the age of 58. Despite her hard work, she didn't feel as though she truly deserved her GED as she still struggled to read and write. In just a few months, Margaret had advanced significantly, and her work ethic and ability to inspire her fellow students earned her the Student of the Year award for 2017. Now, just nine months later, Margaret has enrolled in a local college in pursuit of a medical degree program, and is looking forward to putting her education to work in serving others.

Program’s Demographics/Metrics

Indy Reads serves students in multiple classroom sites across Indianapolis and Marion County. For a complete list of current and potential classroom sites for this school year, please visit

Indy Reads serves adult learners, and most students are between the ages of 20 and 60 years of age.

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