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Funding woes close Baltimore Reads

The adult literacy nonprofit Baltimore Reads Inc. announced Friday it would cease operations June 30 because of funding problems. Founded in 1988 by then-Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke as part of the "City That Reads" campaign, the organization said it had helped more than 10,000 people learn to read when it celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. It also has taught English as a second language and GED preparation classes. The group lists a staff of 14 on its web site.

"This was not a decision made lightly, or without regard to its impact on the community which BRI has served for over 26 years," said Clare Miller, President of Baltimore Reads, Inc. As funding became harder to raise, the group's board sought a partner, without success. The Book Bank created by Baltimore Reads, which provides free books to youths, has been transferred to a new nonprofit, The Maryland Book Bank.

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