Cleveland Foundation Grants Total $15.3 Million
Early childhood and youth development
Since 1999, Invest in Children has worked for the well-being of young children up to 5 years of age in Cuyahoga County by providing supportive services to parents and caregivers, and building awareness and advocacy in the community around children and family issues. In light of the program’s ongoing success, the board authorized a grant of $500,000 for evaluation, public awareness and outreach, and strengthening of existing services.
The board also voted to award $236,000 to Voices for Ohio’s Children for its work in helping Greater Cleveland youth transition successfully into adulthood. Part of the grant is dedicated to MyCom, the Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Foundation youth movement that provides young people, kindergarten through graduation, with the positive experiences and caring adults they need to reach their full potential and become good citizens. MyCom offers employment opportunities and out-of-school-time activities, helps young people through school transitions (e.g., home to kindergarten, elementary school to middle school, etc.), and links them to resources and opportunities in their neighborhoods.
Public education reform
The foundation committed up to $831,000 to the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s (CMSD) “Portfolio of Excellent Schools” strategy. Through this effort, CMSD has established several new schools since 2006. These schools have significantly outperformed their district peers in test scores, student attendance and retention, teacher retention, safety, and discipline. CMSD also received $95,000 for leadership development for principals and district administrators charged with turning around low-performing schools.
The Village Preparatory School will receive $180,000 to support its first two years of operation. The new elementary school for students in kindergarten through fifth grade will serve as a complement and feeder school to the Entrepreneurship Preparatory School (E Prep), a charter school authorized by CMSD for students in sixth through eighth grade. Village Prep plans to adopt many of the core practices that have made E Prep so successful, including an extended school day and year, uniform policies, a strict code of conduct, and a culture of high expectations.