Cooke Foundation Awards $225,000 in Good Neighbor Grants

JKCF GNG Seal 2017.jpegThe Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $225,000 in Good Neighbor Grants to eight nonprofit organizations to support academic and arts enrichment programs for over 700 K-12 students in Northern Virginia; Montgomery County, Maryland; and Washington, D.C.

In Virginia, organizations serving students in Loudoun County (where the Cooke Foundation is located), Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Falls Church received grants. 

“Students from low- and moderate-income families will benefit from our grants, often getting outstanding educational opportunities beyond the financial reach of their parents,” said Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “The grants will help develop the talents of students in our region, preparing them for success in school and careers.” 

A total of 152 nonprofits applied for 2017 grants, which range from $10,000 to $35,000. Including the new awards, the Good Neighbor Grants have provided over $1.2 million to 35 organizations serving thousands of students since being launched in 2012. New grants will go to:

Loudoun County

Loudoun Education Foundation – A $35,000 grant will support the launch of EDGE Plus, an 18-week afterschool program for 90 students who exhibit potential for high achievement in 4th and 5th grades from three Loudoun County elementary schools serving many low-income families. The program focuses on science, technology, engineering and math concepts, with an emphasis on computer coding and digital literacy. It prepares students for success in middle school, high school and college.

Rock Ridge High School – A $29,000 grant will make it possible for 30 low-income students to participate in the on-campus summer component of the College Now Project – a dual enrollment program in collaboration with Richard Bland College of William and Mary. The program enables students taking advanced classes in high school to earn college credits in science or in the visual and performing arts. It is the first free and open-access dual enrollment program in Virginia.

Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership – A $10,000 grant will provide scholarships to 16 low- and moderate-income students in 6th through 8th grades from Loudoun County for two-week summer sessions at the Extreme Journey Camp. The camp provides a history immersion program to 100 students that includes field trips to explore regional historic sites, along with student-led research, civic engagement and film production. 

Elsewhere in the Region

Montgomery College FoundationA grant of $32,755 will serve 20 high school juniors who participated in the Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success Research Opportunity Scholars Program. The students will be paired with Montgomery College faculty and participate in a rigorous year-long college-level research project, with the goal of submitting and presenting their work to at least one research conference and possibly an academic journal.          

Levine Music – A $35,000 grant will benefit 31 of the most promising and dedicated low-income students at the music school, which has campuses in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. The grant will allow the students to participate in the school’s rigorous Honors Program or Rising Stars Program. The programs provide enrichment activities including private music lessons. Honors Program participants can also participate in one to three recitals a year at locations such as the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage in Washington.

Higher Achievement – A $35,000 grant will enable 230 low-income 7th and 8th grade students to study writing at seven Higher Achievement Centers in Washington and Alexandria this summer. Students will learn how to conduct research and write an academic paper. The writing skills they acquire will prepare them for college preparatory high schools and education after high school.

Emerging Scholars – A grant for $28,245 will benefit 46 low-income 4th grade students from Washington and Arlington attending the summer Scholars Academy, where they conduct in-depth exploration of science, engineering math and language arts. The program includes experiments in physics, chemistry and earth science, as well as language arts. The summer program is a key component of the 14-month Emerging Scholars Program.

Edu-Futuro – A $20,000 grant will enable 204 students to participate in the Emerging Leaders Program, which provides low-income high school students in Arlington, Fairfax and Falls Church with a year of leadership development and college access counseling. Students learn about the college application process, networking, resume building and financial literacy. In addition, students are matched with mentors, participate in speech and scholarship competitions, visit college campuses and meet with professionals to learn about careers..    

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The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has provided over $152 million in scholarships to nearly 2,200 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also awarded over $90 million in grants to organizations that serve such students.