CFO awards $135K to support education

On Wednesday, March 11, 2009 the Community Foundation of the Ozarks awarded $135,000 of grants to seven Springfield area agencies providing vital services to children in need as part of the Foundation’s Children’s Issues in Education grant round. The seven projects funded each address “Red Flag” issues affecting children identified in the Community Focus report. Children’s Issues in Education grants facilitate innovative learning opportunities for children, progressive teaching strategies for professionals in the field and/or needed resources for educators and adults.

The grant round was extremely competitive, with more than $326,296 in original requests.

Pictured above: Dequienton Grant, a participant in Drury’s Summer Scholars program, discusses his experience. Drury professor Dr. Mark Wood, in the background, helped start the program with fellow professors Drs. Bruce Callen and Peter Meidlinger.

Difficult economic times are especially challenging for many nonprofit organizations, as the demand for services increases. CFO’s grantmaking programs play a vital role in helping nonprofit agencies serve their constituents by funding innovative programs such as these seven. Visit our donor services page to learn more about how you can get involved with charitable organizations that are important to you and your family or support community grantmaking programs. Visit this page for more information about our Metropolitan Springfield Community Grantmaking Program.

The agencies receiving grants and brief description of the programs funded are listed below.

Drury University, $23,390 – Drury’s Summer Scholars Program is a week-long residential academic enrichment experience that prepares African-American students for successfully pursuing higher education. The program, which takes place in July, brings in numerous partners throughout the community for innovative learning opportunities and follows students through their high school graduation. This grant will allow Drury to expand the program to welcome back the initial 15 students who participated in 2008 as well as invite a new group of boys and girls from Pipkin Middle School as well as a group of girls from Central High School.

Developmental Center of the Ozarks, $10,000 – Funds will be used to provide classroom learning centers for DCO’s Early Child Care and Education program, including developmentally appropriate materials. classroom instruction is based on a developmental model and offers a wide variety of activities including language stimulation, motor development, learning centers, and play activities.

Lighthouse Child & Family Development Center, $19,820 – Lighthouse Child & Family Development Center (LCFDC) is a faith-based child and family development program that assists low-income, high-need families in their efforts to become informed, self-sufficient members of our community. With the demand for services now exceeding the capacity to provide them, the Lighthouse Center will use this grant to help pay for a second facility and the necessary equipment in partnership with the Messiah Lutheran Church.

Foundation for Springfield Public Schools, $37,960 – This money provided by Community Foundation of the Ozarks, which will be completely matched through a commitment by the Foundation for Springfield Public Schools, will be used to fund high-impact program proposals exceeding $5,000 developed by teachers and principals. The high-impact grants would encourage collaboration and creative thinking. These grants could include requests for multiple items to jumpstart an academic program or a multi-year project. Multi-school collaboration would also be encouraged, though not a requirement.

Discovery Center/Boys & Girls Clubs of Springfield, $16,430 – This grant will fund a 10-week, inquiry-based science learning program called “Summer of Science” in conjunction with the Discovery Center and the Boys and Girls Clubs. The project also includes a field trip and establishing Green Teams to promote sustainability projects.

Springfield Public Schools, Pleasant View School, $25,000 – Funds will be used to create a school garden project which will be incorporated into the school menu to teach students about healthy diets as well as part of the school’s science curriculum. The garden will be cultivated by the students with the assistance of a part-time master gardener and a technical expertise from local organic farmer, Curtis Millsap.

North Springfield Betterment Foundation, $2,400 – This grant will support the NSBF’s program promoting school attendance among students at north side schools, including materials and prizes, including a trip to the Springfield Cardinals game. This is technical capacity grant.

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