Advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Awards $2.23 Million for High-Achieving Low-Income Elementary School Students




LANSDOWNE, VA - Extending its strategies for supporting high-achieving low-income students and the educational institutions that serve them, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is expanding its efforts into the elementary school arena. Today, the Foundation announces the recipients of more than $2 million in grants to organizations dedicated to serving high-achieving students, grades K-5, from low- to moderate-income households.

"Too often opportunities for the most promising students are reserved for children whose families can afford them," said Joshua S. Wyner, executive vice president of the Foundation. "In these grantees, we have found partners that both foster excellence and expand such opportunity to exceptional lower-income students."

The four grants total just under $600,000 in the first year and grow to just over $800,000 in each subsequent year. Each of the grantees demonstrates a strong commitment and ability to deliver high-quality, cost-effective services to high-achieving elementary school students with financial need. They all provide rigorous, academically challenging curricula, have strong relationships with the school districts in which they plan to operate, and will provide additional services such as parent workshops and professional development for teachers to help ensure that students remain engaged and challenged beyond the three-year grant period.

The Foundation has awarded the grants to the following organizations:

  • Center for Talent Development (CTD) of the School of Education and Social Policy at Northwestern University. The program will identify low-income, academically talented students in grades 3 to 5 from three school districts in the Chicago area and recruit them to participate in CTD's Saturday Enrichment Program during the school year. Funds will also be used to provide scholarships and testing fee waivers, to create parent workshops and teacher meetings to help nurture academic development, and to fund enrichment activities such as field trips.
  • The Human Development Foundation (HDF). Grant funding will help expand the organization's OPEN GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Program to additional school districts in San Diego County. OPEN GATE reaches out to low-income students with high potential in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades who are not participating in an accelerated learning program and provides them with advanced in-school curriculum supplemented by peer support, technology, customized tutoring by university students, and academic enrichment. The grant will also help the program develop parent workshops.
  • Purdue University's Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI). Purdue will implement Project HOPE (Having Opportunities Promotes Excellence) in five area school districts in Indiana - two urban and three rural - to provide students with Saturday and summer enrichment experiences. Funding will also be used to provide training to K-5 teachers and counselors on the identification and counseling needs of lower-income, high-achieving students, as well as parent workshops.
  • Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY). Grant funding will establish an Honors Program for students at ten sites nationwide. The grant will provide scholarships for high-achieving students to participate in the technology-based curricula in math, science, language arts, and writing. Funding will also support teacher training, one-on-one tutoring, and year-round guidance from undergraduate mentors from Stanford.

The Jack Kent Cooke 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.  It focuses in particular on students with financial need.  The Foundation's programs include scholarships to undergraduate, graduate, and high school students, and grants to organizations that serve high-achieving students with financial need.






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