Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

Foundation Extends Jack Kent Cooke's Longtime Interests with New Grants



LANSDOWNE, VA - Jack Kent Cooke made his name in professional sports, including as owner of three-time Super Bowl champion Washington Redskins. His knack for finding formerly unheralded talent - such as his longtime head coach Joe Gibbs - was one of the keys to his success. But he had another great interest - the arts, a passion which, early in his career, led him to become a musician, composer, and even a leader of a big band in Canada, where he was born and raised. Mr. Cooke's legacy, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, has been carrying out the wishes declared in his will by combining these two interests, finding students nationwide and offering them some of the largest scholarships available, particularly to students in the arts.

Today, the Foundation is expanding that commitment with new grants totaling $3 million to help organizations find and support talented low-income students, especially in the arts. The grants include $1.38 million to six organizations with programs in the District of Columbia and Arlington. The Foundation has also invited the recipients of today's grants to apply for future funding that could total an additional $6 million.

"These organizations do an outstanding job finding, educating, and bringing attention to talented young students who have overcome many obstacles and deserve support," said Dr. Matthew J. Quinn, executive director of the Foundation. "We are proud to help these programs expand their work with the next generation of leaders, especially young artists, who will enrich our community and our nation."

These grants further extend the Foundation's support for students in the arts. The Foundation already seeks out up-and-coming artists through its scholarships, which include graduate student awards worth as much as $50,000 per year and awards for community college transfer students worth as much as $30,000 per year. Since first offering these scholarships in 2001, the Foundation has awarded scholarships that could be worth as much as $4 million to 34 students in the fine and performing arts.

With the grants announced today, the recipient organizations will expand their own services to high-achieving, low-income students and encourage new young artists to apply to the Foundation's unique Young Scholars Program, which provides extensive supplementary educational services to high-achieving, low-income high school students nationwide. Young Scholars receive the support and guidance required to benefit from a range of experiences, including

  • enrolling in intensive summer academic or arts programs
  • taking online courses
  • obtaining computers or software
  • improving their musical or scientific skills
  • exploring their career goals
  • Each Young Scholar receives a tailored combination of these and other services.

A list showing each recipient organization and the purpose of the grants is below.


The Foundation is a private, independent foundation established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help young people of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education.


Total awards: $3.02 million
Purpose: In addition to special activities mentioned below where applicable, each organization will

  • Expand its own services to high-achieving, low-income students and
  • Encourage students to apply to the Foundation's unique Young Scholars Program, which provides extensive supplementary educational services to high-achieving, low-income high school students nationwide.

DC Area (Total: $1.38 million)

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) (Arlington, VA), with the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute: This international association supports the educational success of students with disabilities, including twice-exceptional youth - students who demonstrate both gifted and learning-disabled characteristics.

  • Grant: $150,473, including for building a comprehensive, published assessment of existing informational resources for twice-exceptional students, parents, and teachers.
  • More information: Mr. Richard Mainzer, 703-620-3660,

Higher Achievement Program (HAP) (Washington, DC): This year-round academic enrichment program works with 240 academically talented, motivated, low-income middle school students from Washington, D.C, and prepares them to enter top local high schools.

  • Grant: $251,814, including to expand into Prince George's County, Md., and Alexandria, Va., in 2006.
  • More information: Ms. Maureen Holla, Executive Director, 202-842-5116 x. 111,

Knowledge Is Power Program (KIPP) Schools (San Francisco, CA): KIPP schools enroll low-income students in 38 schools in 15 states and the District of Columbia and provide instruction that routinely results in dramatic improvements in test scores for students.

  • Grant: $750,000, including to expand programming in the DC area.
  • More information: Mr. Marlon S. Evans, Director of Operations, 415-874-7482;

Levine School of Music (Washington, DC): One of the nation's largest and most prestigious community music schools, Levine has four campuses serving more than 3,500 students in the metropolitan Washington, D.C., area.

MusicLink Foundation (Arlington, VA): Working with music organizations, community music schools, and independent music teachers in 40 states, MusicLink provides free or low-cost music lessons for talented, low-income students.

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) (Washington, DC): This organization brings attention and supports the unique needs of youth with demonstrated talents as well as those who may be able to develop their potential with appropriate educational experiences.

  • Grant: $73,475, for a national conference organized with the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary to focus on identifying and serving low-income gifted students.
  • More information: Dr. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Executive Director, (757) 221-2347,

Outside DC Area (Total: $1.64 million)

Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, Inc. (New York City, NY): This 11-year-old organization nationally administers the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards for seventh through twelfth grade visual artists and writers. The awards were founded by Maurice R. Robinson in 1923.

Breakthrough Collaborative (San Francisco, CA): This nationwide after-school program serves highly motivated, low-income students.

Citizen Schools (Boston, MA): This nationwide out-of-school program offers instruction and apprenticeships to middle-school students and is recognized as one of the nation's most successful programs at engaging low-income students in schoolwork.

From the Top (Boston, MA): Distributed by Public Radio International and heard on approximately 250 stations across the country by 750,000 listeners each week, "From the Top" - which features America's best young classical musicians - ranks among the top five weekly radio programs on public radio. It airs in the Washington, DC area on WGMS 103.5 FM.

  • Grant: $509,000, including for 25 scholarships worth $10,000 each for 25 of the best low-income young classical musicians in the US, who will perform live on the program.
  • Media information: Mr. David Balsom, Director of Marketing and Communications, 617-437-0707, ext. 107,

Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University (CTD) (Evanston, IL): This accredited learning center and research facility serves gifted students in the Midwest.

Rocky Mountain Talent Search at the University of Denver (RMTS) (Denver, CO): RMTS provides talent search programs for gifted students in seven Rocky Mountain states and conducts annual outreach for Young Scholar applicants.

  • Grant: $8,000.
  • More information: Ms. Kristin Rigby, Director, 303-871-2533,

Talent Identification Program at Duke University (TIP) (Durham, NC): TIP identifies and provides innovative educational programs to academically talented students, particularly in the South and Southeast.

  • Grant: $90,000.
  • More information: Ms. Judy Hammes, Director of Development, 919-668-9112,





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