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Education Grants

In 2016, Akron Community Foundation’s board of directors approved $537,400 in education grants focused on early childhood education, as well as programs that align with Summit Education Initiative’s Cradle to Career continuum.

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.

In addition to the board-directed funds, donor advisors contributed $41,500 to the programs as part of Akron Community Foundation’s grant co-investment program, where fundholders are able to review the grant requests the community foundation receives and supply funding to the programs they’re interested in. Are you a donor-advised fundholder who would be interested in participating in the co-investment program? Please contact Margaret Medzie at 330-436-5610 or mmedzie@akroncf.org. Or, are you interested in learning about these and other exciting programs in our community? When you have a donor-advised fund with us, we can help introduce you to the most promising nonprofits in the community.

The following are the education programs our board and fundholders have chosen to fund:

  • 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

Grant deadline

Education grant applications open online Nov. 15 and are due by Dec 15. Preview the application questions.

  • 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 tenth 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 teaching them 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 graduation 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 by creating an external switch, so children with disabilities can play with the toy, $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