News Releases for the 2015 - 2016 school year
November 24th, 2015

1checkThe Cowles Foundation Literacy for Life Program recently made a generous gift of $300,000 to the Children and Family Urban Movement in support of students at Moulton Elementary School.

The money will be used to offer after-school and summer programming to students in need, increasing enrollment from 75 students to 150 students.

Please take a minute to read a news release from CFUM below, and learn about a movement to raise additional funds to support this program.


DES MOINES, Iowa – Nov. 16, 2015 – Children & Family Urban Movement (CFUM) of Des Moines, IA, announces that it has received a $300,000 grant from the Cowles Foundation for expansion of its Literacy for Life Program. An effort is underway to raise $100,000 to match the Cowles’ gift.

The Literacy for Life Program is the umbrella for two out-of-school programs which serve the children at Moulton Elementary School. The Haven meets daily during the school year and provides academic support, creative self-expression, healthy self-development, and breakfast and evening meals. Awesome Summer Days is an all-day program offered during the summer break. Academic support also is at the heart of this program, which includes participation in the arts, recreation, community engagement, and purposeful field experiences. Students participate in the programs for multiple years – building mutual trust, high expectations, and academic success.

The neighborhood where CFUM and Moulton are located in is one of the most economically disadvantaged in Des Moines.  100 percent of the students at Moulton Elementary School receive free school meals. While 54% of Moulton students were assessed as reading proficient, 88% of those enrolled in the CFUM program were reading at grade level.

“CFUM has been at capacity with 75 children in grades K-5 for several years, with a growing waiting list of children—currently at 90 —who would benefit from academically-based out-of-school programs.  The generous and ground-breaking gift from the Cowles Foundation enables CFUM, in collaboration with Moulton Elementary School and Des Moines Public Schools, to significantly expand the number of students benefiting from high quality out of school programs,” says Carmen Lampe Zeitler, the Executive Director at CFUM.

Charles Edwards, President of the Cowles Foundation, expressed the reason for his support: “CFUM has a proven track record of making a difference to children and families in one of the highest areas of poverty in our community. We are delighted to enable them to expand to serve more children”.  Lisa Kruidenier, Cowles Foundation Trustee, has been a reading buddy to a five year old child at CFUM and Lisa has contributed to the positive results – “Being able to help a young child develop her reading and comprehension skills has been a remarkable experience for me.”

About Children and Family Urban Movement

Children and Family Movement, founded in 1992, is a non-profit organization whose mission is to create a community to support the potential of children, youth, and families through educational success, healthy living, and community engagement. For more information visit

About Cowles Foundation

The Cowles family once owned the Des Moines Register, the Des Moines Tribune and other media outlets including The Star Tribune in Minneapolis and Look Magazine. The Cowles Foundation was established in 1939 by a gift from Gardner and Florence Call Cowles. Since its inception, the Foundation has given millions to support educational, cultural, and human services organizations including recent gifts to the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines for the Cowles Commons project; the Des Moines Symphony, Des Moines Metro Opera, and Des Moines Art Center for arts education programming; Planned Parenthood of the Heartland for education programming; and Drake University for Cowles Library.

Pin It