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Akron Community Foundation awards nearly $4 million in quarterly grants


Education grants include focus on early childhood programs, mentoring

Akron Community Foundation's board recently announced quarterly grants totaling $3.8 million and approved nearly $700,000 in competitive education grants chosen by the foundation's Community Investment Committee.

Among the nonprofits funded this quarter is Child Guidance & Family Solutions, which was awarded $81,000 for its Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding (TAPS) Program to provide training and on-site support for teachers, students and families to help nurture desired classroom behaviors in preschool-aged children. 

"Not many are aware of some of the issues associated with the very young children in our community who surprisingly can be expelled from preschool or child care centers for disruptive behaviors," said Karen Talbott, president and CEO of Child Guidance & Family Solutions. "And when that happens, they are not learning the way they should be to be ready for kindergarten, so we need to help their teachers and them and their parents learn how to deal with these disruptive behaviors." She added that these behaviors are often trauma-induced, so helping the students cope and better manage their emotions plays a role in a successful school path.

In total, 41 organizations received funding during the education cycle, including $12,500 for Students With A Goal (also known as SWAG), to help support after-school mentoring programs and activities for middle school and high school students in Akron. "As a nonprofit, we're addressing academics and mentoring and trying to end violence in our community, and Students With A Goal has one main objective – to engage, equip and empower youth," said Howard Harris, executive director of SWAG. "When they come in the door, we want to have conversations with them. We want to have rapport with them."

"The most important thing we can do is empower our students," he added. "Then our students are able to articulate what's going on in the world around them."

More than $15,000 in education funding was contributed by the Charles E. and Mary K. Booth Fund, Eleanor and Roger Lindway Family Fund and an anonymous fundholder 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.

Grants will support the following education programs:

ACE Mentor Program of Greater Akron-Canton, to support a mentorship program that introduces students to careers in architecture, construction and engineering, $4,000

Akron Children's Museum, to support the Mobile Museum in a Box program, which brings interactive learning experiences to Head Start classrooms throughout Akron, $12,000

Akron Fossils & Science Center, to support the Science Adventure Club program, a five-week STEM program for local schools that includes interactive, hands-on lessons, $500

Akron Inner City Soccer Club, to support youth academic and social development through after-school soccer programming for low-income families in Akron, $11,000

Akron Promise, to support the social and emotional health of students and families at Garfield and Innes CLC, $6,000

Akron Public Schools, for its middle school partner liaison position, which connects nonprofits and students with service learning and career exploration opportunities, $75,000

Akron Zoo, to provide in-school programming for Akron Public Schools kindergarten students, $7,850

Alchemy Inc., to support an in-school group mentoring program for urban adolescents in Akron that features mythological storytelling, drumming circles, mentors, journaling and other activities, $7,500

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Summit, Medina & Stark Counties, to support one-to-one mentoring for children in Summit County, $12,500

Boy Scouts of America, Great Trail Council, to support career exploration and workforce development opportunities for youth in Greater Akron, $10,000

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio, to support academic success for under-resourced youth in Greater Akron, $65,000

Bright Star Books, to support children's book-giving programs in Summit County, $10,000

Building for Tomorrow, to support early childhood home visits for residents of Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority focusing on parents' engagement in their child's education with an emphasis on social-emotional and early math and literacy skills, $92,500

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, $81,000

Citizens Akron Church, to support the Vincent House, a hub for after-school programming, youth development and community events in Akron's Middlebury neighborhood, $5,000

Cleveland Museum of Natural History, to support third-grade reading success in Akron Public Schools through Dig In, Akron!, a multifaceted, multidisciplinary science, literacy and math learning program, $7,500

The Diversity Center of Northeast Ohio, to support equity and inclusion education for students in Akron Public Schools, $8,000

Dreams Academy, to provide mentorship programs at East CLC, $6,000

Economics Center for Education and Research, to support financial education for students in Summit County, $7,500

Girl Scouts of North East Ohio, to support leadership development and STEM programming for girls in Akron Public Schools, $11,850

Global Ties Akron, to support global education and cultural diversity programs in Summit County schools, $12,500

Greater Akron Chamber, to connect high school and college students to work opportunities through the creation of a portal where local employers can post job opportunities, $10,000

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio, to support the development of a three-year strategic plan to help them gain a holistic perspective of how this student support organization fits into the workforce, entrepreneurship and financial literacy space, $10,000

Kent State University Foundation, to provide summer enrichment activities to students impacted by foster care in Summit County, $5,000

Law & Leadership Institute, to support a college pipeline for local high school students interested in pursuing law careers, $6,000

Leadership Influencing Teen Empowerment,to provide emotional intelligence and leadership programs for students in Summit County, $3,500

Limitless Ambition, to empower teen girls in Summit County through an art enrichment entrepreneurship program, $8,500

National Inventors Hall of Fame, for Camp Invention, a weeklong summer enrichment STEM program for kindergarten to sixth grade students, $10,000

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, $24,350

Project Learn of Summit County, to support a high school equivalence (HSE+) course in West Akron, $18,850

Proyecto RAICES, for programming that supports Hispanic and Latine youth in the Greater Akron area academically, emotionally and culturally, $10,000

Shanti Community Farms, to support the Yard Corps Youth program, which provides agricultural, academic and cultural programming for refugee/immigrant APS students in North and West Akron, $5,000

South Akron Youth Mentorship, to support academic mentoring programs for students in southeast Akron, $7,000

Springfield Assembly of God, to support the Power Up after-school program for students in the Springfield Local School District, including academic support, physical activities and healthy snacks, $5,000

Students With A Goal (SWAG), to provide after-school mentoring programs, tutoring, and other enrichment activities for middle school and high school students in Akron, $12,500

Summit Education Initiative, to support Readiness Coalitions, which promote community collaboration and kindergarten readiness in Summit County, $31,000

Tri-County Jobs for Ohio's Graduates, to support work-based learning opportunities for youth, $12,500

University of Akron Foundation, to support Summit County K-3 teachers in evidence-based reading instruction for at-risk readers, $10,000

Urban Vision, for the Set On Success after-school enrichment program, which provides academic support and life skills classes for students in Akron's North Hill neighborhood, $13,500

Young Entrepreneur Institute at University School, to support K-12 Akron educators through the YIPPEE entrepreneurial platform, which allows educators to "shop" for classroom resources at no cost, $5,000

Young Men's Christian Association of Akron Ohio (YMCA), to support high-quality, affordable early care and education programming, $37,500

About Akron Community Foundation
Celebrating 67 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. It is a philanthropic endowment of nearly $260 million with a growing family of more than 810 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 $217 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

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