Announcing the 2016 Good Neighbor Grant Recipients

Cooke FOundation Good Neighbor Grant KIPPDC


LANSDOWNE, Va. – The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation today announced $150,000 in Good Neighbor Grants to seven nonprofit organizations that provide academic and arts enrichment programs serving more than 3,600 students in Northern Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. The one-time grants range from $10,000 to $35,000 each.

“These grants will benefit bright young people, including many from low-income and moderate-income families, who live in the metropolitan area where the Cooke Foundation is headquartered,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “Programs we are funding will provide high-quality learning experiences to students from elementary school through high school, helping them reach a new level of academic and artistic excellence and better preparing them for college.”

The grant recipients were selected from 148 organizations that applied for Good Neighbor Grants. They are:

826DC (Washington, D.C.) – A $20,000 grant will support the Young Author’s Book Project, which provides an intensive, one-year writing and publishing opportunity to approximately 50  students in grades 5-12. Through rigorous workshops, students learn about voice, form, and theme, create and refine their original works and participate in all aspects of publishing.

Audubon Naturalist Society (Montgomery County, Maryland) – A $15,000 grant will enable 24 low- and moderate-income high school students with an interest in science careers to attend the Stream Science Academy, a 10-week hands-on, project-based, enrichment program in stream monitoring and conservation. Students will conduct independent research using ANS’ proprietary Creek Critters smartphone application to identify threats to local water quality and create action plans to educate fellow students on best practices for protecting our waterways.

Cooke Foundation Good Neighbor Grant Audubon Naturalist Society

The Bluemont Concert Series (Clarke, Fauquier and Loudoun Counties in Virginia) – A $20,000 grant will enable Bluemont’s Artists-in-Education Project to bring high-quality cultural and environmental enrichment programing to more than 3,500 K-12 students in the region. Folklorists, historians, musicians, storytellers and authors will collaborate with schools to present programs that enhance curriculum and bring excitement into the classroom.

First Star, Inc. (Fairfax County in Virginia; Prince George’s County in Maryland; and Washington, D.C.) – A $25,000 grant will support year-round enrichment and college access programming for approximately 23 highly motivated foster youth beginning in 8th grade. Students benefit from a four-week residential summer immersion program at George Washington University where they participate in college-level classes and attend seminars on financial planning, independent living, and the college application process.

KIPP DC (Washington, D.C.) – A $35,000 grant will give 20 high-achieving seniors at KIPP DC College Preparatory the opportunity to participate in college-level English classes through the school’s unique Dual Enrollment program at Trinity Washington University. Taught by full-time Trinity professors over the course of the academic year, the course enhances college readiness and provides exposure to a college campus environment.

Cooke Foundation Good Neightbor Grant Traveling PlayersLoudoun Youth (Loudoun County, Virginia) – A $10,000 grant will provide 20 scholarships to outstanding low-income students in grades 10 to 12 enabling them to attend Leadership Loudoun Youth. During the one-week summer program, students enhance their skills in leadership, goal-setting and public speaking, and meet and learn from business and community leaders in the region.

Traveling Players Ensemble (Arlington, Loudoun, Fairfax and Prince William Counties in Virginia; Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties in Maryland; and Washington, D.C.) – A $25,000 grant will provide up to 20 scholarships for low- and moderate-income students in grades 5 through 12 to participate in this award-winning classical theater summer camp and winter classes. The rigorous curriculum allows students to participate in all aspects of theater, from set to stage, and includes plays by Shakespeare, Molière and the ancient Greeks.


The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. It offers the largest scholarships in the U.S., comprehensive counseling and other support services to students from 8th grade to graduate school. Since 2000 it has awarded about $147 million in scholarships to more than 2,000 students and $90 million in grants to organizations that serve outstanding low-income students.

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