Today, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation continues its commitment to providing opportunities for the nation’s high-achieving, low-income youth by awarding $2.3 million to 10 summer enrichment programs.
Chosen from a highly competitive applicant pool, the 10 winning organizations will provide rigorous learning experiences in the sciences, humanities and mathematics for 730 students from rural and urban communities across the U.S.
“This initiative is part of our mission to find and assist high-potential youth in under-served communities,” said Dr. Lawrence Kutner, the Foundation’s executive director. “What’s particularly exciting is that these summer programs will involve talented students in fields such as robotics, environmental science and philosophy—subjects that are unlikely to be part of their high school curricula.”
The Foundation, Dr. Kutner said, believes that high-achieving, low-income students are a powerful and largely untapped resource for the U.S. “In programs like these, the students learn not only about the topics, but also about themselves and their potential,” he said.
The awards from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation range up to $250,000 apiece for the first year. In most cases, they will be renewed for two additional years. Recipients include university-based education centers, specialized math and science courses, and public and charter school systems. They represent diverse geographic regions and focus on middle or high school students. Most of the summer programs operate on college or university campuses with students living in dorms.
The 10 award winners for 2012 are:
The Art of Problem Solving Foundation (Cambridge, MA) — $100,000 for the Summer Program in Mathematical Problem Solving (SPMPS), a three-week residential summer program for rising eighth graders in New York City.
Carleton College (Northfield, MN) — $189,902 to offer high school students intensive study in writing, science and quantitative reasoning.
College of William and Mary – Center for Gifted Education (Williamsburg, VA) — $250,000 for Camp Launch, an initiative that will bring together rising 7th– and 8th-grade students from low-income communities in Richmond, Petersburg and surrounding areas for two-week courses in science, math and writing.
Johns Hopkins University – Center for Talented Youth (Baltimore, MD) — $250,000 for rural, gifted student access to CTY summer programs and year-round academic advising.
Maryland State Department of Education (Baltimore, MD) — $241,127 to Project Connect for 76 low-income, highly qualified students to participate in its 10 Maryland Summer Centers for Gifted and Talented Students, including two new science-focused centers in Baltimore and Prince George’s County.
Noble Network of Charter Schools (Chicago, IL) — $247,784 to the Summer of a Lifetime project, which sends students to academic enrichment programs at colleges and universities nationwide.
Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) — $250,000 to The Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) Project HOPE+ for 50 high-potential, low-income Native American students on Navajo (Arizona), Standing Rock (South Dakota) and Red Lake (Minnesota) Reservations to attend GERI summer residential academic programs. Project HOPE+ also seeks to validate methods for identifying talent among underrepresented students.
University of California Berkeley (Berkeley, CA) — $250,000 to the six-week Pre-College Academy, which will enable an additional 100 students from under-served urban high schools to study math, writing or engineering.
Vanderbilt University (Nashville, TN) — $231,713 to enroll 60 additional high-achieving students from the 20 poorest school systems surrounding Nashville in its high school residential summer academy and in its day program for 6th and 7thgraders.
University of Connecticut (Hartford, CT) — $250,000 to the Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development for 100 high-poverty, high-potential youth to attend a six-week enrichment program in science, art and math held at Renzulli Academy, a distinguished magnet school in Hartford.
The Foundation is a private, independent nonprofit established in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke to help low-income youth of exceptional promise reach their full potential through education. The Foundation’s programs include the largest scholarships in the U.S. for community college transfer students, scholarships to college and graduate students, individualized educational support for high school students, and grants to organizations that serve high-achieving students with financial need. www.jkcf.org
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