Jobs Launches $50M ‘Super School’ Challenge: Lauren Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, launches a $50 million competition to reimagine and redesign the American high school. The XQ: Super School Project, as the competition is called, is an open call to create high schools that prepare students for the rigorous challenges of college, jobs, and life. To that end, the project will provide at least five winning teams with expert support and funds totaling $50 million over five years to create model “Super Schools.”
Foundation to Focus on Youth Projects: The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut in New London rolls out a new strategic plan for creating a healthy, thriving, sustainable region. The plan reaffirms the foundation’s commitment to the area’s nonprofit sector and to bringing resources and knowledge to local organizations, and focuses on four impact areas: empowering youth, promoting basic needs and rights, preserving the environment, and advancing animal welfare.
District of Columbia
KIPP DC Receives $4.2 Million Gift for Expansion: KIPP DC, a public charter school organization, gets $4.2 million from retired businessman and philanthropist Joel Smilow to support the renovation and expansion of its D.C. campus, which will be renamed after the donor. The single largest gift in its history will enable the public charter school organization to expand the campus that currently houses 685 students at the Arts and Technology, Quest, and Valor academies to serve 1.100 PK-8 students. In addition to a complete overhaul of the existing building, KIPP DC will add a new middle school wing and an expanded early childhood wing, bringing the facility to 11,000 square feet.
MacArthur Foundation Names 2015 ‘Genius Award’ Recipients: The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation designates the 2015 class of MacArthur Fellows. Working in fields ranging from environmental health, inorganic chemistry, and urban sociology to journalism, dance, and puppetry, the 24 fellows will each receive unrestricted grants of $625,000 over five years. Winners include: Alex Truesdell, executive director and founder of Adaptive Design Association, a social enterprise that provides low-tech, affordable tools and furniture that enable children with disabilities to participate actively in their homes, schools, and communities. Other fellowship recipients include Atlantic magazine national correspondent Ta-Nehisi Coates; LaToya Ruby Frazier, a photographer and video artist at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Harvard Medical School neuroscientist Beth Stevens and puppetry artist and director Basil Twist.
Boston Foundation Awards $6.5M in Grants:
The Barr Foundation in Boston makes 16 grants totaling $6.5 million in support of local and education initiatives. In support of education, Barr awarded three grants totaling $2.6 million, including $2 million to Boston After School & Beyond to strengthen partnerships and deepen the knowledge base contributing to its out-of-school-time program quality and $400,000 to Strategies for Children to continue its work to strengthen early-education policy.
Four Educators Receive 2015 Carnegie Awards: The Carnegie Corporation of New York names the recipients of its 2015 Academic Leadership Awards. The honorees’ respective institutions will each receive $500,000 to be used at the discretion of the honoree to further his or her academic priorities. Established in 2005, the award honors leaders of American universities who, in addition to fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity, have demonstrated vision and commitment to excellence and equity in undergraduate education. This year’s recipients are: Ronald J. Daniels, president of Johns Hopkins University; Patricia A. McGuire, president of Trinity Washington University; Diana Natalicio, president of the University of Texas at El Paso; and C.L. Max Nikias, president of the University of Southern California.
Foundation Awards $4.3 Million for College Prep: Truckee Meadows Community College in Reno receives $4.3 million from the William N. Pennington Foundation in support of workforce training and college preparation programs for high school students. The largest gift to TMCC will fund the second phase of renovations at its Applied Technology Center and the launch of a Technical Pathways option for high school juniors and seniors. Two classrooms, training lab space, and office space at the center will be dedicated to the technical career program, a dual-credit system that will add technical coursework to the high school curriculum. Students in the program will graduate with a high school diploma and a college certificate.
Hispanic Federation Receives $1 Million for Education: The New York City-based Hispanic Federation receives a three-year, $1 million grant from the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation to expand its national college readiness initiative. The grant will support enhancements in CREAR (College Readiness, Access and Retention) Futuros 2.0, a national initiative designed to improve retention, graduation rates, course completion, and the GPAs of Latino high school students. The program will be added to three City University of New York colleges and include technology enhancements such as portable tablets and a virtual curriculum tied to independent study, incentives such as MetroCards, credit-bearing independent study programs, and a long-term evaluation of program outcomes.
$153K from Boys Trust to Groups: The Oklahoma City Community Foundation makes grants totaling $153,431 through its Margaret Annis Boys Trust, Parks and Public Space Initiative, and Fund for Oklahoma City. Recipients include Edgemere Park Preservation, the Oklahoma City Bicycle Society/OKC Running Club, the Martha King Scholarship Fund, and the Oklahoma City Police Athletic League.
Brown Receives $12.5M for Child, Health Institute: Brown University gets $12.5 million, which the university will match, from the family of Alan Hassenfeld to create a child and family health institute. In partnership with Hasbro Children’s Hospital and Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Institute will transform the health of children by targeting urgent child health-related challenges such as autism, asthma, and obesity. Scheduled to open in 2016, the institute also will seek to promote research and teaching through the Hassenfeld Child Health Innovation Awards, the Hassenfeld Child Health Scholars program, and workshops, symposia, and lectures.
Microsoft Pledges $75M in YouthSpark Funding: Microsoft promises to spend $75 million over three years in support of its YouthSpark initiative to expand access to computer science education for youth — especially those from underrepresented backgrounds. Launched in 2012 with a three-year, $500 million commitment, YouthSpark supports nonprofit organizations around the world with cash grants and other resources to provide computer science education and equip youth with the computational-thinking and problem-solving skills necessary for success.The new funds will bolster those efforts, including the flagship Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program, which pairs tech professionals with educators to team-teach computer science in U.S. high schools.