Today, Akron Community Foundation announced grants totaling more than $4.5 million, an all-time high for its quarterly grant distributions, bringing its lifetime grantmaking total to more than $150 million.
Nearly $1.1 million of that total will support educational programs, including $491,300 in competitive education and early learning grants awarded by the foundation’s Community Investment Committee. An additional $40,500 in education 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.
A $30,000 grant to Akron Public Schools will help prepare teachers for the instructional shift to implement the new College & Career Academies model. Teachers will work in teams of small learning communities structured around a common theme. The goal of the College & Career Academies is to prepare students with skills that will make them competitive for college admissions or for high-demand, high-wage careers.
“We are focusing on transferrable skills,” said Rachel Tecca, director of the College & Career Academies at Akron Public Schools. “Which means we’re focusing on teaching students to think critically, work collaboratively (and) be creative.”
In addition to education and early learning programs, Akron Community Foundation’s board approved grants to support a broad spectrum of causes chosen by its fundholders. These grants, which were recommended by donor-advised, scholarship and other charitable funds at the community foundation, will benefit nonprofit organizations both locally and around the globe and support public health programs, historical organizations, wildlife preservation, food programs and more.
The following is a full list of organizations that received competitive education and early learning grants:
Akron Children’s Museum, to support an in-school field trip pilot program, which will offer hands-on learning experiences to six Head Start classrooms in Akron, $4,300
Akron Inner City Soccer Club, for an after-school soccer program for inner-city youth from underserved and at-risk families, $10,000
Akron Promise Inc., to help students at Kenmore-Garfield High School improve their ACT scores through workshops, practice tests, coaching and instruction, $1,500
Akron Public Schools, to train high school faculty in curriculum integration and collaborative team teaching for the new College & Career Academies model, $30,000
Akron-Summit County Public Library, to digitally preserve historic Akron video recordings, including oral histories, documentaries and other events, $11,000
Alchemy Inc., for storytelling and journaling sessions that help urban youth build character and a positive self-image by applying stories to their own experiences, $7,500
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Summit, Medina & Stark County, to support one-on-one mentoring services that pair an adult role model with a young person from a low-income or at-risk family, along with site-based after school programs and recruitment for community volunteers, $10,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, for after-school and summer programming for underserved youth, including homework help, hot meals and enrichment activities, $72,750
Bright Star Books, to expand the Growing Young Readers and free book fair programs, which serve children from birth to 8 years old, providing access to reading and books, $6,000
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, $86,000
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, $76,000
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, for the Journey Program, which builds leadership skills in underserved girls at Akron Public Schools through challenging activities and community service projects, $10,000
Global Ties Akron, for the Know Your Community – Know Your World program, which connects students with global and multicultural people and issues, $15,000
Great Lakes Biomimicry, to create a biomimicry education ecosystem in Summit County by engaging educators and students in nature-inspired thinking, wildlife conservation and STEM fields, $7,500
He Brought Us Out Ministry, for an after-school tutoring and summer enrichment program for high-risk students in the North Hill neighborhood, $8,500
Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, for after-school programs that teach students about money management, entrepreneurship and career planning, $10,250
Kent State University Foundation, to support a residential summer design program for students in Akron Public Schools’ College & Career Academies, $15,000
Project GRAD Akron, for the Bridge to Kindergarten program, which prepares children in the Buchtel cluster for kindergarten through a summer academy, parent engagement activities, and family support services throughout the school year, $26,500
Project Learn of Summit County, to develop and implement a high school equivalency and college and career preparation course for adults without a diploma, $25,000
Proyecto Raices, to provide educational support for children from Latino and Hispanic families through activities that increase bilingual literacy, introduce STEM programs, and retain cultural traditions, $10,000
RePlay for Kids, to promote STEM education for Summit County public school students by teaching them to adapt toys for children with disabilities, $3,000
The Salvation Army of Summit County, for the Learning Zone STEM program, which includes computer coding, 3-D printing and agriculture, among other activities, $6,000
Shanti Community Farms, to support Shanti Community Farms in providing the Farm to School Program for Akron Public Schools, $5,000
South Akron Youth Mentorship, for the Academic Incentive for Mentees (AIM) program, which provides monetary incentives for disadvantaged youth in Southeast Akron, helping to build character and academic skills, along with forging community partnerships, $5,000
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 regional early childhood education through Readiness Coalitions, which connect preschool educators, youth-serving community organizations and elementary schools, $30,000
Tri-County Jobs for Ohio Graduates, to provide dropout prevention and recovery programs for at-risk youth in Summit County, $12,500
The University of Akron Foundation, to support literacy coaching for teachers at Ledgeview Elementary School in Nordonia, $10,000
Urban Vision, for the Set On Success after-school program, which provides academic support and life skills classes for high-risk, inner-city youth, $10,000
Celebrating 62 years of building community philanthropy, Akron Community Foundation embraces and enhances the work of charitable people who make a permanent commitment to the good of the community. In 1955, a $1 million bequest from the estate of Edwin Shaw established the community foundation. As of Dec. 31, 2017, it is a philanthropic endowment of more than $222 million with a growing family of more than 590 funds established by charitable people and organizations from all walks of life. The community foundation and its funds welcome gifts of all kinds, including cash, bequests, stock, real estate, life insurance and retirement assets, just to name a few. To date, the community foundation’s funds have awarded more than $150 million in grants to qualified nonprofit organizations. For more information about Akron Community Foundation or to learn more about creating your own charitable fund, call 330-376-8522 or visit www.akroncf.org.