GAR Foundation awards more than $1.2 million in grants to Akron organizations

May 28, 2019

GAR Foundation recently awarded more than $1.2 million to Akron organizations in the areas of education, economic and workforce development, basic needs, arts and culture, and nonprofit sector advancement.

The largest grant in the amount of $529,000 was awarded to Akron Public Schools to support the implementation of the College and Career Academies of Akron over three years. The grant will support three areas that directly impact the success of the Academies: teacher professional development around problem-based learning tactics; student leadership development for goal setting and achievement; and a strategic communications plan.

“The critical element to transforming what happens for students is transforming what happens for teachers.”

“The critical element to transforming what happens for students is transforming what happens for teachers,” said Kirstin Toth, senior vice president of GAR Foundation. “We view the College and Career Academies of Akron as an excellent and critical model for deep, comprehensive learning experiences for our students and the development of our future workforce.”

This approach to learning prepares students for careers by linking academic subjects to career themes prevalent in Akron’s local economy. It also offers extensive real-world contact with professionals currently working in the field of interest.

In the area of nonprofit sector advancement, Project Ujima received $10,000 to train moderators to facilitate conversations about systemic issues in the community. The moderated Circle Discussion format is designed to bring citizens together to discuss issues of shared concern, develop relationships of trust, discover common ground, and create solutions.

“Project Ujima is tackling structural barriers rooted in racial and economic inequalities.”

“Project Ujima is tackling structural barriers rooted in racial and economic inequalities, a direct match to GAR Foundation’s values,” said Christine Mayer, president of GAR Foundation. “They provide an opportunity for all voices in a group to be heard and then to create solutions around complex community issues.”

Other notable grants include up to $100,000 to the Akron Urban League for its operations and workforce programming; $60,000 to Project Learn of Summit County in support of its adult literacy and learning programs; $25,000 to Open Tone Music for its programming to engage Akron youth in high-quality after-school music education; and $60,000 to Family & Community Services for the Mobile Meals program.

The organizations receiving support this quarter include:

  • Akron Art Museum, $125,000, for operations
  • Akron Public Schools, $529,000, for the College & Career Academies of Akron over three years
  • Akron Urban League, up to $100,000, for operations
  • ArtsNow, $125,000, for operations
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of the Western Reserve, up to $85,000, for operations
  • Community Legal Aid, $35,000, for operations
  • ConxusNEO, $125,000, for operations
  • Family & Community Services, $60,000, for Mobile Meals operations
  • GroundWorks DanceTheater, $30,000, for operations
  • Leadership Akron, $40,000, for operations
  • LINKS Community & Family Services, $35,000, for operations
  • Musical Arts Association, $65,000, for the 2019 Blossom Music Festival
  • Center for Applied Theater and Active Culture, $7,500, for operations
  • Open Tone Music, $25,000, for the Akron Music Academy
  • Project Learn of Summit County, $60,000, for operations
  • Project Ujima, $10,000, for operations
  • Shelter Care, $30,000, for operations for Safe Landing Shelter for Girls
  • South Street Ministries, $35,000, for operations
  • Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens, $30,000, for operations
  • SWAG (Students with a Goal), $20,000, for operations
  • Urban Vision, $35,000, for Set on Success Afterschool Enrichment
  • Western Reserve Historical Society, $35,000, for operations for Hale Farm
  • Women’s Network, up to $35,000, for operations

For more information contact Dina Younis [email protected], 330.572.2809

GAR Foundation
GAR Foundation was established in 1967 by Galen Roush, co-founder and chief
executive officer of Roadway Express, and his wife Ruth Roush. GAR Foundation’s
mission is to help Akron become smarter, stronger, and more vibrant. Visit for more information.

Header photo: c/o Akron Public Schools.