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ACF funds distribute nearly $3.2M in quarterly grants

Competitive grants support education and early learning programs in Summit County

AKRON, Ohio (March 1, 2019) - 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

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 63 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, 2018, it is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $205 million with a growing family of more than 630 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 $160 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.