Foundation News

Central Minnesota groups get more than $150,000 in foundation grants

“More than $158,000 in grants from the Initiative Foundation has been awarded to Central Minnesota groups. Three dozen organizations in the 14-county region received money, including several of those in the St. Cloud area. [...] Children's Dental Services Inc. received $5,000 for its Comprehensive Dental Care for Low-Income Families program to provide hands-on education and employment training to 10 disadvantaged and displaced workers. Children's Dental will also address access to dental care for low-income children and pregnant women by expanding services in Central Minnesota.”

Foundation gives $750,000 for low-income Mainers

“A Portland-based foundation is giving $750,000 to the Maine Centers for Women, Work and Community to help low-income residents become financially stable. The John T. Gorman Foundation announced the grants Wednesday at the University of Southern Maine's Lewiston-Auburn College. The foundation says the money will be used to help 1,000 low-income residents and families learn ways to save money, financial literacy and ways to take advantage of tax refunds.”

$3 million grant to help combat school dropouts

“In the most challenging low-income schools in Greenville County, where poverty is pervasive and English is the second language for many students, the school district, United Way of Greenville County and the Riley Institute at Furman University will begin an innovative program to detect when students begin to slide down a path that eventually leads them to drop out of school. [...] The United Way will match the grant dollar-for-dollar, and grants from private foundations and corporations could boost the total to $15 million, Hendry said. The Hollingsworth Fund, the Community Foundation of Greenville and Wells Fargo already have made commitments, Hendry said.”

Wisconsin’s Black Children Remain Trapped in Poverty, Study Says

“The state ranks last in the country in the overall well-being of African-American children based on an index of 12 measures that gauge a child's success from birth to adulthood, according to a new report being released Wednesday by the Wisconsin Council on Children & Families. [...] The report builds on an earlier national report released this year by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that drew attention to the effects of widespread poverty among African-Americans in Wisconsin — and the state's ranking last in the country for African-American children.”

Teaching Money Skills to the Poor

“What changed her mind was a program that sent a literacy specialist to her home for 30 minutes, twice a week, for the past year to show her how to spur Tahji's language development. New research done at New York University found positive effects from this long-standing effort for 2- and 3-year-olds in poverty called the Parent-Child Home Program. [...] The Parent-Child Home Program, launched in 1965, got a boost in June with a $175,000 grant from the city. Most of its funding comes from philanthropies such as Robin Hood Foundation. The Reader's Digest Foundation is expected to announce a $500,000 gift this week to expand it in the city, Westchester County and Milwaukee.”

Literacy Effort Pushes Parents to Start Sooner

“What changed her mind was a program that sent a literacy specialist to her home for 30 minutes, twice a week, for the past year to show her how to spur Tahji's language development. New research done at New York University found positive effects from this long-standing effort for 2- and 3-year-olds in poverty called the Parent-Child Home Program. [...] The Parent-Child Home Program, launched in 1965, got a boost in June with a $175,000 grant from the city. Most of its funding comes from philanthropies such as Robin Hood Foundation. The Reader's Digest Foundation is expected to announce a $500,000 gift this week to expand it in the city, Westchester County and Milwaukee.”

After Ferguson, Grant Makers Seek Solutions to Racial-Justice Issues

Education and health have improved for US children, says annual report

“Broadly speaking, American children are making gains in health and education. Child-wellness indicators in four main areas – economic well-being, education, health, and family and community – reflected an overall increase in the well-being of America’s youths, as measured by the 2014 Kid’s Count Data Book report, released annually by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private charitable organization in Baltimore, Md. Of the 16 categories, 10 improved, five worsened, and one remained the same.”

Belin-Blank Center receives $500,000 grant to launch STEM Excellence and Literacy Program

“Susan Assouline, director of the University of Iowa College of Education’s Belin Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, has received a $500,000 Talent Development Award from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the nation’s largest scholarship foundation to expand the center’s STEM Excellence and Literacy (SEAL) program. The grant will be used over the next three years to help 330 high-ability, low-income middle school students living in rural, low-resource school districts in Iowa to participate in a rigorous after school math and science enrichment program.”

Banyan plans $5M community center in Minneapolis’ Phillips neighborhood

“Banyan Community is planning to build a $5 million community center in the Phillips Neighborhood of Minneapolis where it will expand its program to help students succeed in school. The Christian economic development nonprofit bought 2529 13th Ave. S. from the Minneapolis Park Board for $200,000 in 2013 and raised $2 million in the past year to develop the new center. It’s on pace to break ground in September 2015, according to Sue Riesgraf, Banyan’s development director. Notable donors to the capital campaign include the Schulze Family Foundation and the Otto Bremer Foundation, she said.”

OU Health Sciences Center receives $11.5M grant to focus on senior health

“Many Oklahomans aren’t living out the long, healthy lives they could be, a long-term issue that doctors and aging advocates are hoping to help turn around, thanks to a recent grant. The University of Oklahoma Health and Sciences Center has been awarded a three-year, $11.5 million grant by the Donald W. Reynolds Foundation to focus on improving the health of aging residents. [...] Dentino said he attributes some of Oklahoma’s poor health outcomes among older residents to the large rural regions of the state that oftentimes do not have good access to quality health care. High poverty rates further exacerbate that problem, he said.”

Lilly Endowment awards $22.5 million in grants

“Early-education advocates said Thursday a $22.5 million Lilly Endowment grant for early education will help the state build a strong network that should encourage even more donations and government investment in preschool learning. [...] The state this year funded a $10 million pilot program for low-income 4-year-olds in five counties. […] Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has proposed a $50 million plan to expand access to preschool for low-income 4-year-olds in Marion County using $25 million in city funds and the rest in donations.”

Breakfast for young champions in Reading schools (Subscription Required)

“For the first time, the Reading School District is offering all of its students a free breakfast. And in the district's elementary schools, those meals are being enjoyed in the classroom. On Tuesday morning, the district showed off the new program. [...] The program is fully paid for with federal funding, with startup costs covered by a grant from Newman's Own Foundation, a philanthropic foundation formed in 2005 by actor Paul Newman. And in a city like Reading, where poverty is a constant challenge, the breakfast program gives students a chance to start the day off right, school officials said.”

Next Door Foundation’s new school opens for influx of Head Start pupils

“As thousands of children swarmed back to public schools Tuesday in Wisconsin, the smallest of the bunch headed somewhere equally important: Early education centers. In Milwaukee, that included Next Door, a longtime provider of federally financed Head Start programs for low-income families with infants as young as 6 weeks, to 3-, 4-, and 5-year-old children in preschool.”

Gorman foundation grants almost $1 million to Maine groups

“The John T. Gorman Foundation is awarding $960,650 to 62 nonprofit organizations in every Maine county to provide low-income residents food, clothing, heating assistance, furniture, prescription drugs, transportation, medical care and counseling. The grants will benefit Mainers of all ages — from children to seniors — and will cover basic needs

$49 million grant helps low-income students at UAB

“UAB has been awarded a seven-year, $49-million grant for low income students. The grant will allow the university to work with more than 10,000 students from 53 schools in West Alabama. […] Governor Bentley says the grant is welcome support and will help build a solid foundation for students in high-poverty schools.”

Seeking Mobility Through Higher Graduation

“There are many bumps in the road to social and economic mobility in the U.S., and 11 large research universities are taking steps to level one of them. [...] Last week, the University Innovation Alliance announced it's raised $5.7 million for the project from six major backers. [...] The alliance is an outgrowth of universities' long experience with the challenges of getting students who are the first in their families to attend college to complete their studies. [...] The donors include the Ford Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Kresge Foundation, Lumina Foundation, USA Funds, and the Markle Foundation.”

Walmart Foundations awards grants to three Wichita nonprofits

“Three Wichita nonprofit organizations have received a share of $315,000 in grants from the Walmart Foundation. The Kansas Food Bank was awarded $50,000 to help the organization offset the cost of providing weekend food packets for kids who don’t have access to meals outside of school hours. The Urban League of Kansas was awarded a $44,740 grant to support its work force development program for low-income people.”

University of Findlay awarded $1.2M grant

“A $1.2 million grant awarded to the University of Findlay will help train teachers to work in schools with low-income students in area schools. The private Hancock County university received the grant from the National Science Foundation’s Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Program. The funding will support a five-year effort to recruit science and math students and professionals who must teach for at least two years in schools with high needs.”

Grant will serve education programs in Mid-Columbia school districts

“A Kennewick-based children’s literacy organization received a $3.8 million federal grant to work in 16 high poverty school districts across the country and in the Mid-Columbia. That includes expanding to serve families in Connell, Othello, Pateros and Shelton in Washington state. The National Children’s Reading Foundation, the parent to the Mid-Columbia chapter that already works in Tri-City schools, will use the two-year grant to help students but also help parents and educators better guide their children’s education.”

Sims Foundation awards $1.2 million in grants

“The J. Marion Sims Foundation, Inc. has made awards totaling $1,286,015 to 13 different community organizations in a wide range of areas in its Responsive Grants Program. […] $131,525 for its reconnecting low-income fathers through health access and responsible fatherhood program.”

Pearces give $3.4 million to help homeless, the poor

“Jim Pearce started talking with Bob Morris of the Community Foundation about creating an endowment to help needy families about a decade ago. The idea was that when Pearce died, the fund would make grants to local agencies that work with the homeless, people in poverty, people in need. Pearce, who is 92, decided this summer he didn’t want to wait. The first recipients were told Tuesday that they would share in $150,000, the income generated by the $3.4 million endowment.”

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation awards $25 million to HIV vaccine research

“Oregon researchers developing a vaccine that has shown promise in preventing HIV infection in primates said on Wednesday they have been awarded a $25 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations. Oregon Health & Science University scientists, [...] said they hope to develop a vaccine that not only prevents the HIV virus from infecting people exposed to it, but also eliminates the virus from those already infected […] The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation aims to eradicate the world’s most deadly diseases and poverty.”

Mothers Trust golf outing raises $25,000 for children in need

“The Mothers Trust Foundation’s recent golf outing at Lake Bluff Golf Club netted more than $25,000 for the charitable organization. Mothers Trust is a nonprofit group that tries to meet the critical needs of disadvantaged children in Lake County [...] Almost all of the children’s families are at or below the federal poverty level, and 30 percent list no income whatsoever.”

Arts, science centers join forces to help preschoolers succeed

“Hoping to narrow the achievement gap for children in poverty, Orlando Science Center and Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts are teaming up to introduce hundreds of disadvantaged preschoolers to arts and sciences. The partnership, announced Thursday, will target preschool students from Parramore's Nap Ford Community School and Washington Shores Head Start program as well as their teachers and families. [...] The program, called Project WoW, World of Wonder, is being bankrolled by a three-year, $400,000 grant from The PNC Foundation, the charitable arm of a financial-services group that expanded into Central Florida five years ago. Nationally, the foundation has made early-childhood education its top cause, funneling $350 million into the decade-old initiative.”