The Cleveland Foundation has announced grants totaling $19.9 million to local nonprofit organizations working to advance programs in the areas of education, economic transformation, arts and culture, and youth development.
The foundation awarded four grants totaling $2.25 million to College Now Greater Cleveland, Cuyahoga Community College, Naviance Succeed, and the Cleveland Foundation Scholarship Selection Committee to strengthen college readiness and completion rates in the region, especially among Cleveland Metropolitan School District students; a total of $2.2 million to NorTech, Team NEO, and JumpStart in support of their efforts to sustain regional business startups and development; and more than $1.4 million to eleven arts organizations as part of the foundation's Engaging the Future project, which supports efforts to attract a younger, more diverse audience to arts and cultural events.
In addition, the foundation awarded $1.5 million to NewBridge in support of the organization's youth and adult career development programs, and $150,000 each to the Greater Cleveland Sports Commission for programs aimed at promoting successful aging for the region's seniors in conjunction with the National Senior Games scheduled for 2013 and the Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, which is partnering with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority to develop a housing community that serves low-income families with grandparents raising grandchildren.
Still, the bulk of this quarter's grants were awarded to boost graduation rates. "Only 11 percent of Cleveland residents 25 and older have a bachelor's degree or higher," said Cleveland Foundation executive vice president Robert Eckardt. "Armed with that statistic and the knowledge that secondary education is tied to higher incomes, better health, and longer lives, our team created a strategy last year to bolster secondary education success among local students."