Akron Community Foundation approves $2.7 million in education grants


Akron Community Foundation recently announced grants totaling $2,724,593, including $2,187,193 from designated, donor-advised, agency endowment and scholarship funds, and $537,400 in competitive education and early learning grants awarded by its Community Investment Committee.

Nearly all competitive funding went to organizations aligned with Summit Education Initiative’s Cradle to Career continuum, which focuses on key transition points throughout a student’s life, beginning with early learning and kindergarten readiness and culminating in high school graduation, college/career readiness and living-wage employment.

The board awarded Summit Education Initiative a $35,000 grant to continue their work on instituting consistent measurements for out-of-school programs. Akron Community Foundation began funding the initiative two years ago. Since then, 60 out-of-school providers have aligned with the continuum, Summit Education Initiative officials said.

DerranWimerDerran K. Wimer, Executive Director of Summit Education Initiative


“We are grateful for Akron Community Foundation’s support, which is helping us align the efforts of many of the organizations who are working with our community’s youth,” said Derran Wimer, executive director of Summit Education Initiative. “Our work has built stronger partnerships between all the providers and schools. Students benefit when we all work together to support their success.”

The Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Family Fund, Robert A. and Jean C. Meyers Family Fund, and an anonymous fund added $41,500 in donor-advised funding, nearly all for Cradle to Career aligned programs.

The competitive education grants were made possible by these field-of-interest and unrestricted funds, which were created by charitable residents to support emerging needs in our community: Adam Fund, V.E. (Tom) Atkins Fund, Community Fund, Charles C. and Dorathea S. Dilley Fund, H.A. Flannery Family and James R. Flannery Family Fund, Frances H. and Paul A. Frank Fund, Lillian D. and Lincoln H. Gries Fund, Kathleen Joyce Fund, Arthur Kelly Fund, John S. Knight Fund, Helen S. Robertson Fund, James G. Robertson Fund, Roush Memorial Fund, Schrank Family Fund, Shaw Foundation Fund, Georgia Urda Fund and Emma Vioran Fund.

The following organizations received grants:
Akron Inner City Soccer Club, to support year-round soccer programs for inner-city youth, $7,500
Akron Public Schools in partnership with College Now, for college and career advising, financial aid counseling, and college transition services for students through school- and community-based programs, $20,000
Arc of Summit and Portage Counties, for People Together, a program in Summit County schools that encourages understanding and acceptance of individuals with developmental disabilities through presentations and simulations that mimic the experience of living with a disability, $10,000
Asian Services in Action Inc., for the Ready Program, which helps prepare children 0-4 years old for whom English is a second language to successfully enter kindergarten, $10,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Summit, Medina & Stark County, for the Community Mentoring Program, which pairs a child age 6-24 who is in need of support with an adult volunteer who helps provide academic, social, educational and life-skills activities, $12,500
Boy Scouts of America, Great Trail Council, for the 2016 Pathfinder program, which brings the benefits of scouting to youth from disadvantaged or low-income areas, $7,500
Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, to support after-school and summer programming that focuses on building good character, physical health and academic success in at-risk youth, $77,500
Building for Tomorrow, to help parents be their children’s first and most important teacher through home visitation, outreach events, and physical and behavioral health services for families living in AMHA housing communities with children under age 5, $92,000
Child Guidance & Family Solutions, for the Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding Program, which teaches child care providers how to address children with behavioral issues and promote attachment, initiative and self-control in the classroom, $75,000
First Things First, for a developmental screening process and referrals to intervention services within the home visiting network, $10,000
Friends of Metro Parks, for the 2015-16 Outside Is In program, which helps sixth, seventh and 10th graders connect with nature, $9,000
Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, for the Journey Program, which provides girls who do not participate in Girl Scouts with age-appropriate activity books that lead them through a number of important topics, including community engagement, healthy living, financial literacy, the arts, outdoor experiences and environmental awareness, $9,000
Global Ties Akron, for the Know Your Community – Know Your World project, in which diverse speakers teach students about the importance of ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, $5,000
Greenleaf Family Center,  for the SPARK program, which prepares 3- and 4-year-olds for kindergarten through home visitations that address children’s educational, developmental and social-emotional needs and encourage parents to become their child’s first teacher, $17,000
He Brought Us Out Ministry, for after-school and summer enrichment programs for Akron Public Schools students who are at risk of academic failure to teach them about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, $10,000
International Institute of Akron, for the creation of the Center for Inquiring Minds, which will engage middle school youth, especially those learning the English language, in public speaking, critical listening, research, argumentation and refutation skills, $15,000
Jefferson Center, to teach local students about civic journalism, particularly how to gather information and report on the 2016 election, $10,000
Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, for after-school programs in Akron Public Schools that teach students about work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy, $12,500
Law and Leadership Institute, for the 2016 Akron Law and Leadership Institute, a tuition-free, four-year college preparatory program for promising high school students who are at risk of not graduating high school or attending college, $1,000
LeniBug Foundation, to purchase new, age-appropriate books for children from birth to age 18 living in poverty, $8,500
Miller Avenue United Church of Christ, for the Students With a Goal program, which provides marginalized students with a safe place to go after school and offers academic intervention, enrichment activities and leadership training, $7,500
Northeast Ohio Council on Higher Education, to implement blended learning programs that customize the learning experience for students at Findley Community Learning Center, $25,000
Project GRAD Akron, for the two-week Bridge to Kindergarten school readiness summer camp, $27,500
Project Learn of Summit County, for the Career Pathways Initiative, which helps GED students identify and complete individual career plans that focus on competencies and skills, $20,000
Proyecto Raices, to sustain Hispanic cultural heritage and encourage STEM learning through computer programming and math and science activities for low-income Hispanic children, $10,000
RePlay for Kids, to promote STEM education for Summit County public school students through workshops where they will adapt electronic toys for children with disabilities, $2,400
South Akron Youth Mentorship, for the Academic Incentive for Mentees program, which provides mentor relationships to disadvantaged children to help them succeed educationally, $2,500
Summit Education Initiative, to help out-of-school program providers align their metrics, measurement tools and programming with the countywide Cradle to Career effort, $35,000
Tri-County Jobs for Ohio Graduates, to provide school- and community-based dropout prevention and recovery programs to disadvantaged Summit County youth ages 16-24, $10,000
University of Akron Foundation, to provide literacy coaching to Summit County teachers who work with struggling readers, $10,000
Veggie U, to teach third-graders in Akron Public Schools about healthy lifestyles by providing them with gardening kits, $10,000

Celebrating 60 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, 2015, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $184 million with a growing family of more than 520 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 $131 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.

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