Today, Akron Community Foundation announced grants totaling $3,188,714, including $530,981 in competitive education and early learning grants chosen by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee.
This quarter’s education and early learning funding included a $10,000 grant to Alchemy Inc. to support its group mentoring program for urban adolescents in Akron Public Schools. The nationally acclaimed program uses storytelling and mythology to help students set goals, build critical thinking skills, and reach their full potential.
Originally designed to empower African-American male youth, this year’s mentoring program will also feature a pilot group for sixth-grade girls at Hyre Community Learning Center. All students in the program will receive mentoring and support through high school and beyond, helping them achieve both academic and career success.
“We use mythological storytelling to help our adolescents understand their life in an indirect way,” said G. Kwame Scruggs, founder and director of programs and training at Alchemy. “A myth removes them from the situation and allows them to look at their situation objectively. Through this storytelling method, we help youth understand character traits such as sacrifice, perseverance and humility, and incorporate them into their own lives.”
An additional $13,250 in education and early learning funding was contributed through the community foundation’s grant co-investment program, which enables donor-advised fundholders to review the board’s competitive grant applications and support initiatives that align with their charitable interests. Participating in the co-investment program this quarter were the Howard Atwood Family Fund, Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Family Fund, and Peter Piglia Family Charitable Fund.
Their funding joins that of the following field-of-interest and board discretionary funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Adam Fund; V.E. (Tom) Atkins Fund; Betty R. Axline Fund; Board of Directors Annual Giving Fund; Community Fund; Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund; Lillian D. and Lincoln H. Gries Fund; Vivienne S. and Russell R. Johnstone Family Fund; Arthur Kelly Fund; William C. Krisher Fund; John A. McAlonan Fund; Polsky Fund; Helen S. Robertson Fund; James G. Robertson Fund; Roush Memorial Fund; Sanatorium Contingent Fund; Schrank Family Fund; Shaw Foundation Fund; George Stevens Fund; and William Wallace Fund.
Their grants will support the following education and early learning programs:
Akron Children’s Museum, to expand its in-school field trip program, which brings interactive learning experiences to Head Start classrooms throughout Akron, $8,600
Akron Inner City Soccer Club, for an after-school soccer program for inner-city youth, $10,000
Alchemy Inc., to support its in-school group mentoring program, which uses storytelling and mythology to empower urban adolescents in Akron Public Schools, $10,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Summit, Medina & Stark Counties, to support a one-on-one mentoring program for children in low-income and at-risk families, $12,500
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, for after-school and summer programming for underserved youth, including homework help, hot meals and enrichment activities, $79,500
Building for Tomorrow, to support the Early Childhood Initiative, which equips parents to be their child’s first and most important teacher, while also providing physical and behavioral health services, $90,500
Child Guidance & Family Solutions, for the Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding Program, which offers training and on-site support for teachers, students and families to increase the social and emotional well-being of young children in preschool programs, $75,000
The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, to support diversity and inclusion programming in Summit County schools, $7,500
Dreams Academy, to support a mentoring program for African-American male youth that builds problem solving, financial literacy and entrepreneurial skills, $5,500
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, to support an after-school program for underserved girls in Akron Public Schools that builds leadership skills through community service projects and hands-on educational activities, $12,500
Global Ties Akron, for the Know Your Community–Know Your World program, which teaches students about diverse global cultures through guest speakers and classroom projects, $15,000
He Brought Us Out Ministry, for an after-school tutoring and summer enrichment program for at-risk students in the North Hill neighborhood, $8,000
Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, to support financial literacy programming for students in Akron Public Schools that builds work readiness and entrepreneurial skills, $10,000
Kent State University Foundation, to support a residential summer program featuring campus tours and educational projects for students in Akron Public Schools’ College and Career Academies, $16,000
Lenibug Foundation, to provide books for local children living in poverty, $8,000
MAPS Air Museum, to support U.S. history and STEM programs for Summit County students, including aviation-related activities and museum tours, $20,000
Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, to provide summer internships for first-generation, underrepresented Akron Public Schools graduates who have been accepted to the University of Akron, $11,350
Project GRAD Akron, for the Bridge to Kindergarten program, which prepares children for kindergarten through a summer academy, parent engagement activities, and family support services throughout the school year, $25,500
Project Learn of Summit County, to develop an advanced course for English language learners that prepares them for careers in health care, hospitality and entrepreneurial development, $20,531
RePlay for Kids, to promote STEM education in Summit County public schools by teaching students to adapt toys for children with disabilities, $5,000
Shanti Community Farms, to support a farm-to-school program for students in the North Hill neighborhood that includes harvesting crops, adding locally grown produce to the school lunch menu, participating in farmers markets, and increasing multicultural awareness, $10,000
South Akron Youth Mentorship, to provide mentoring and incentives to disadvantaged students in Southeast Akron to help them excel in school and escape generational poverty, $5,250
Students With A Goal, to support an after-school mentoring program for students in the Summit Lake neighborhood that teaches leadership and life skills, $7,500
Summit Education Initiative, to support the Readiness Coalitions program, which convenes Summit County’s early childhood education providers to align their efforts in preparing children for kindergarten, $30,000
Tri-County Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates, to provide dropout prevention and recovery programs for at-risk youth in Summit County, $12,500
University of Akron Foundation, to support literacy coaching for teachers at Dunbar Primary School in Tallmadge, $11,000
Urban Vision, for the Set On Success after-school program, which provides academic support and life skills classes for at-risk youth in the North Hill neighborhood, $10,500
World Relief Akron, for an English as a Second Language tutoring program for refugees, $5,500
For info or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call (330) 376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.