More than $1.3 million awarded to community organizations from GAR Foundation

Dina Younis \
February 23, 2015
Akron, Ohio (February 12, 2015) The Distribution Committee of GAR Foundation announced today $1,325,000 in funding to 27 community organizations in the areas of education, basic needs and independence, arts and culture, and civic enhancement.
Many of the education programs focus on professional development and literacy intervention, including a $73,000 grant to the Kent State University’s College of Education, Health and Human Services to provide a comprehensive K-3 literacy professional development program in Barberton City Schools. “One of the most important factors contributing to a student’s success in school is the quality of teaching,” said Kirstin Toth, senior vice president of GAR Foundation. “This strategic instruction is targeted to achieve significant improvement for students, while supporting a critical predictor of future educational achievement for third graders on the Cradle to Career continuum.”
The foundation also awarded L.I.N.K.S Community and Family Services $20,000 for the Boys and Girls After-School Academy. The Academy is a volunteer-led program that engages families in the University Park neighborhood and focuses on the educational and emotional needs of at-risk students in grades K-6. The program provides structured lesson plans, character development activities, transportation services, meals, and monthly home visits for each student. “The Academy’s holistic approach empowers students by addressing the barriers to academic success, while providing a safe, structured environment where students are nurtured and supported,” said Brittany Grimes Zaehringer, senior program officer at GAR.
Among the nine grants to support Basic Needs and Independence was an award to Metro Assistance Group, a volunteer led effort which will provide free bus passes to low-income individuals who cannot access transportation.
The Nightlight Cinema, Akron’s new independent film house, received $20,000 to continue providing high-quality arts and culture programming that engages audiences and enriches the quality of life in Akron. Additional arts and culture grants include support to The Cleveland International Film Festival for screenings in Akron and a$25,000 operating grant to Magical Theater Company in Barberton.
GAR also invested in a number of programs that address civic innovation in an engaged, productive community – from small business advisors at Akron SCORE to neighborhood community-building efforts of South Street Ministries.

The organizations receiving support include:

  • Akron Art Museum ($100,000):  For operations
  • Akron Council on World Affairs ($7,000): For the Global Scholars Program
  • Akron Creative ($20,000): For film screenings at The Nightlight Cinema
  • Akron Public Schools ($350,000): For the APS North Cluster Expansion and Career Academy Development
  • Akron Score ($35,000): For operations
  • AxxessPointe Community Health Center ($60,000): For general operations and pharmacy residencies in 2015
  • Boys Hope Girls Hope of Northeastern Ohio ($25,000): For Hope Prep in 2015
  • Christ Child Society of Akron ($30,000): For the Clothing Center
  • Cleveland International Film Festival ($20,000): For film festival screenings in Akron
  • Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway ($25,000): For operations
  • East Akron Neighborhood Development Corporation ($20,000):  For the Emergency Home Repair program
  • Friends of WKSU ($20,000*): For the spring 2015 Spring Fund Drive
  • International Institute of Akron ($40,000): For operations
  • International Soap Box Derby ($50,000): For operations
  • Kent State University Foundation ($73,000): For the K-3 Literacy: Research Designed Reading Instruction program in Barberton City Schools
  • Kent State University Foundation ($50,000): For the Last Opportunity Scholarship program
  • Lawrence School ($40,000): For professional development and literacy intervention collaboration with Emmanuel Christian Academy
  • Let’s Grow Akron ($30,000): For operations
  • L.I.N.K.S. Community and Family Services ($20,000): For the L.I.N.K.S. after-school youth program
  • Magical Theater Company ($25,000): For operations
  • Metro Assistance Group ($5,000): For the line bus fare program
  • Opportunity Parish Ecumenical Neighborhood Ministry (Open M) ($50,000): For operations
  • Project Learn ($50,000): For operations
  • South Street Ministries, Inc. ($30,000): For operations
  • Summa Health System ($50,000): For the Lay Navigator Program at the Center for Health Equity
  • United Disability Services, Inc. ($50,000): For the VR3P program
  • United Way of Summit County ($50,000): For fiscal sponsorship of the Bridges Out of Poverty Summit County Collaborative

*This award consists of a challenge grant

Contact: Dina Younis, Communications Manager, GAR Foundation, 330-572-2809, [email protected]