Connecting Our Community

GAR Foundation is committed to connections. We understand that the strategic areas where we work are all deeply connected to one another. We see that the best community solutions often arise from connected people and organizations, working together across sectors and subject areas to leverage their strengths. We know that people are at their best when they are connected to other people. We believe that we can foster and support connections that will make Akron smarter, stronger, and more vibrant.

We pledge to use all of the tools in our toolbox – grantmaking, convening, listening, research, advocacy, information sharing, and communications—to connect Akron.

Early Childhood Education

  • Support high-quality, culturally relevant childcare and PreK initiatives that help children become ready for kindergarten
  • Support statewide advocacy efforts to help connect public resources to local needs
  • Lead collaborative planning for universal PreK with local partners

K-16 Education

  • Support conditions for healthy learning, student social-emotional well-being, safety, and extended learning for Akron Public Schools students
  • Support great teaching and learning through the Educator Initiative Grant program
  • Support the development of College and Career Academies of Akron
  • Help our local universities to retain students and to remove financial obstacles from their path

Economic, Workforce, and Community Development

  • Continue to support an inclusive economic development system through Elevate Greater Akron and its work on Business Retention & Expansion, Opportunity, Downtown Vibrancy, and Entrepreneurship
  • Support efforts that foster full employment, navigable pathways to full employment, and connected workforce system
  • Expand community development – through resident engagement, leadership development, entrepreneurship, and creative placemaking – in neighborhoods, especially those that have been overlooked

Arts & Culture

  • Support the artistic content and sustainable business practices of diverse anchor arts organizations serving the Akron community
  • Support innovative arts and cultural initiatives, especially those that significantly advance the Akron Cultural Plan
  •  Invest in the overall health of the arts and culture sector by supporting quality sector infrastructure

Basic Needs

  • Support high-capacity food distribution hubs that address food insecurity
  • Support emergency shelters and related services for people in crisis
  • Support the basic life needs of Akron’s immigrant and refugee population to enable successful life in Akron