Carnegie Literacy Center dba Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning

A nonprofit organization

$1,215 raised by 27 donors

When you arrive at the Carnegie Center in Lexington, the first thing you might notice is the beautiful Carnegie library building that we call home. Large columns reminiscent of Greek architecture gracing the front hint that this is an institution for learning, but welcoming you inside are the red double doors.

You’ll soon realize why the Carnegie Center received one of the inaugural MetLife Innovative Space Awards ‘for providing art with a cause: literacy.’ In our lobby, you’ll see a smiling elementary-aged boy who is greeted by his tutor before they head upstairs for their hour-long session tailored to meet the child’s particular learning needs. A young adult inquires at the front desk about which room she should go to for her Spanish class. A retiree pours over his short story one more time before heading into his writing class where he will receive helpful feedback in a supportive environment. A parent registers her daughter for the Early Learner Book Club that will meet that coming Saturday. These are just a few of the people using the Carnegie Center. For beginning to master learners of all ages, you quickly see there is something for everyone here.

As you look a little closer, you’ll discover the high quality of our family literacy programs and other educational events. Perhaps on the night of your visit, we have an author who is reading to a group of children for our Family Fun and Learning Night event, such as Scholastic Books’ #3 All-Time Bestselling Author, Marcia Thornton Jones, author of The Baily School Kids series. You can see the children holding crafts and materials they received during learning activities that the families did together earlier this evening, and are told we’ll be giving away a free book to every child and will soon be serving dinner for every person present. We tell you that we know not all families will make it to the Carnegie Center for events like this, so we also have a Youth Meeting Authors program that we take into local Title I schools; the author reads to the children and we give away free books. It’s a rewarding experience for all involved. Programs like this are the reason that people living in 44 of Kentucky’s 120 counties came to the Carnegie Center for their learning needs last year.

If our award-winning tutoring program piqued your interest, you might be pleased to know that we have 180 children in grades K-12 meeting here each week for help in reading, writing, math, and other subjects. We have two literacy specialists on staff, so that children two or more years behind in reading or students taking advanced math classes like Calculus can find the specific help they need from a literacy expert. Last year, a random sampling of children in our tutoring program showed a gain of 1.7 grades on average over the course of the school year. We do all this and only require a low annual registration fee, and then tutoring sessions are free for the rest of the year. More than half of our tutored students come from low-income families and pay the scholarship rate; at the Carnegie Center, they receive the help they need at a cost they can afford.

Speaking of affordability, you might be amazed to know that many of the Carnegie Center’s programs are offered at no cost; last year, over 9,000 people came for free programs and workshops, like our reading groups for kids and a writing practice class for adults. Some workshops and programs do have low fees, but scholarships are available for those in need, and to date, we’ve granted every request. For these reasons, nearly 80% of our annual operating budget is provided through community support in the form of grants and individual contributions.

When you think of our mission--to empower people to explore and express their voices through imaginative learning and the literary arts—you think of the children and adults who need the Carnegie Center the most. You’ve seen just a sampling of those people on your visit, and realize that to serve these varied needs, we need contributions from people like YOU.  We hope you decide to give!


Organization Data


Organization name

Carnegie Literacy Center dba Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning

Tax id (EIN)



Arts & Culture Education




(859) 254-4175