Cleveland Foundation announces $2.5 million in October grants

release date: 10.30.2015

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors has approved $2.5 million in grants for the month of October.

A focus of the foundation’s October funding supports programs promoting youth development and the overall well-being of young people in our community.

“Youth development has long been a priority focus of the Cleveland Foundation,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. “Now more than ever, it is imperative we continue to support programs that keep Cleveland’s youngest residents safe, healthy and positively engaged in our community.”

October grants include:

  • $185,250 to Partnership for a Safer Cleveland, which focuses on preventing youth crime and violence. This grant will support the Partnership’s work to unite existing youth violence prevention programs in our community under shared goals, objectives and data-driven strategies. This alignment supports the city of Cleveland’s recent selection to participate in the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention, a network of communities and federal agencies that work together, share information and build local capacity to prevent and reduce youth violence.
  • $7,500 to Youth Opportunities Unlimited (YOU), the youth employment lead agency for MyCom, the foundation-led youth development initiative. This grant provide employment opportunities for 14- and 15-year-old Cleveland students, helping fill a funding gap created when the state refocused its youth employment budget earlier this year to solely support jobs for 16- to 24-year-olds. In addition to this grant, the foundation provided $200,000 in June to support this effort and rallied community partners to allocate an additional $800,000 for jobs this year.
  • $200,000 to New Directions, Inc., a comprehensive treatment facility for chemically-dependent adolescents and their families. In researching ways to sustain the recovery process for young people released from its inpatient program, New Directions discovered an app that has shown impressive results nationally in the follow-up treatment of alcohol-dependent patients. This grant will allow New Directions to purchase and adapt the app technology and align its staffing model to support this highly interactive aftercare program.
  • $125,000 to Cuyahoga County Public Library to continue the foundation’s decade-long support of the library system’s Homework Centers, which provide kindergarten through eighth grade students with high-quality homework support and academic tutoring at 10 library branches. In addition to general program support, this grant will assist with newer programming, including Family Literacy Nights and keyboarding and mouse skills instruction for kindergarten through third grade students to prepare them for school-based computerized testing.
  • $175,000 to Greater Cleveland Volunteers (GCV) for its Experience Corps program, which pairs older adult volunteers with underperforming kindergarten through third graders to improve literacy skills. A national program of the AARP, GCV manages the local initiative within the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, assisting nearly 1,000 students in 15 schools each year. This grant will support the tutors’ individualized work with students twice a week for the full academic year and will also allow GCV to pilot a new “team leader” staffing model in six schools to provide additional support to tutors and enhanced communication with school staff members. This organization is part of the foundation’s Encore Cleveland initiative, which helps to connect and fund a network of organizations to provide experienced Greater Clevelanders with an array of meaningful opportunities in the community.
  • $15,000 to the ACE Mentor Program of Cleveland to support the organization’s annual service program that engages 120 CMSD high school students in a year-long design project in the community. The program pairs the students with volunteer mentors from local architecture, engineering and construction firms. This year’s project will be a design contest focused on two improvement projects for the Cleveland Cultural Gardens, ahead of the Gardens’ 2016 centennial. The winning design ideas will help inform the Gardens’ planned updates to its entrance and visitor center.
  • $33,000 to Cleveland Classical Guitar Society (CCGS) to expand its guitar instruction program within the CMSD. The grant will help fund additional in-school and after-school instruction classes for students at Lincoln West High School and will allow the program to expand to Walton Elementary, to engage students at younger ages. CCGS launched the free program at Lincoln West three years ago and, in that time, participation has grown from 20 students to 150 students.

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Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.2 billion and 2014 grants of $98 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – economic transformation, public-school improvement, youth development, neighborhood revitalization, and arts advancement – and responds to the community’s needs.

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