Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

Foundation Awards First Good Neighbor Grants


Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Awards $200,000
to Eight Local Youth Organizations

LANSDOWNE, VA – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $200,000 to eight local organizations to help students succeed in school and beyond. The programs, based in Northern Virginia, Metropolitan Washington, DC, and Maryland, use enrichment activities such as dance, tennis, chess, and digital journalism to build creativity, perseverance, and critical thinking among low-income students. 

These awards, ranging from $10,000 to $35,000, are the foundation’s first Good Neighbor Grants, an initiative that builds and strengthens ties with neighboring nonprofit organizations working in areas related to the foundation’s mission to help students with financial need reach their potential through education.   

“We have a national mission that starts right here by supporting local students,” said Dr. Lawrence Kutner, the foundation’s executive director. “We want to be a good neighbor to youth-serving organizations making a difference.”   

The recipients provide high-potential, low-income students with academic enrichment, leadership training, college counseling, and opportunities to engage in visual and performing arts. They are: 

The Dance Institute of Washington (Washington, DC) -- $35,000 to support the Positive Directions Through Dance program, which combines high-quality educational services and life skills with dance instruction. The program recruits low-income students, ages 4-18, for its after-school, Saturday, and summer programming. 

Greenbrier Learning Center (Arlington, VA) -- $35,000 to expand the Learning ROCKS! Program, an intensive after-school and summer program which supports the academic success and social and emotional development of 60 third through fifth graders from low-income households in Arlington County. 

Chess Challenge in DC (CCinDC) (Washington, DC) -- $35,000 to support out-of-school chess instruction to 180 high-potential elementary and middle school students in 16 District of Columbia Public School sites during the 2012-13 school year. Taught by chess coaches, the Chess Challenge program develops critical thinking and problem solving acumen while instilling a sense of self-confidence, self-control, and patience. 

Edu-Futuro (Fairfax County, VA) -- $30,000 to expand the Emerging Leaders Program into Fairfax County to provide yearlong comprehensive leadership development and college access counseling through workshops and one-on-one mentoring to 30 college-bound Latino high school students.

First Generation College Bound (Prince George’s County, MD) -- $23,580 for the College Retention program, which begins with counseling for high school seniors and continues educational counseling and career planning through college. 

Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) (Washington, DC) -- $20,000 to fund 60 students in the Center for Excellence (CFE), an after school and summer program of intensive academic enrichment, tennis, and youth development for students in grades 1-12 in Washington, DC. 

Passion for Learning (Silver Spring, MD) -- $15,000 to support 15 high-performing middle school students in the “Dig.Lit Scholars” after-school literacy and technology program. Through a series of creative projects, students will learn digital journalism as they produce websites, weblogs, e-zines, digital stories, podcasts, and short films. Guest instructors will include communications and technology professionals, writers, web developers, and film makers.

Young Playwrights’ Theater (Washington, DC) -- $10,000 to the In-School Playwriting Program, which brings professional teaching artists into classrooms in high poverty areas for 12 weeks to guide students writing original plays, scenes, monologues, and other dramatic works and then see them performed by professional actors. 



About the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Foundation is a private, independent nonprofit established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help exceptional students with financial need reach their full potential through education. Foundation programs include the largest scholarships in the US for community college transfer students, scholarships to college and graduate students, individualized educational support for high school students, and grants to organizations that serve high-achieving students with financial need.






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