The Lincoln Financial Foundation will help develop early literacy and increase academic achievement in student success in college through $528,400 in education grants made recently to 17 local nonprofit organizations.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Indiana received $40,000 to fund the College Success Mentoring program, a one-to-one program that continues the traditional mentoring of at-risk youths after graduation from high school. This program was designed to reverse high school dropout trends, prepare youths for college and decrease first-year college attrition. Mentors and staff provide students with support and encouragement to graduate from high school and prepare for college and career success.
Other education grants awarded include:
Turnstone Center: $49,000 for children and adults with disabilities to subsidize child-care fees for families with special needs children at the Robert Kimbrough Early Learning Center.
Science Central: $45,000 to support educational programs offered in the Lincoln Financial Foundation Demonstration Theater and Lincoln’s employee attendance package.
Early Childhood Alliance: $42,000 to support the Families Ready program, which provides information, screening and resources to families of preschool children with the ultimate goal of preparing children to enter kindergarten ready to learn.
YMCA of Greater Fort Wayne: $42,000 to support youth programs at its Southwick Elementary, Renaissance Pointe and Camp Potawotami sites.
Allen County Education Partnership: $40,000 for Project READS (Reading, Early Assistance in Developing Skills), which helps children in kindergarten through third grade develop and improve their reading and writing skills.
IPFW: $40,000 to provide financial assistance to low-income, academically advanced high school students enrolled in the Collegiate Connection Program. This program allows students to earn college credit while still in high school.
Educational Opportunity and Talent Search Center: $33,000 to provide classes and services to students in the grades 2 through 12 that include tutoring, computer training, GED preparation, English asa second language (ESL), college awareness and preparation, financial literacy and writing.
Lifeline Youth and Family Services for Building Blocks Preschool: $31,000 to serve the low-income community of Brookmill Court Apartments.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Fort Wayne: $30,000 for Project Learn, an after-school program that includes homework help and tutoring, high-yield learning activities, technology and enhancement programs, incentives and recognition.
Girl Scouts of Northern Indiana-Michiana: $25,000 to allow girls from low-income families the opportunity to attend summer camp.
Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo: $23,900 to support Animal Tales, a preschool literacy program that also teaches young children about science and nature.
Northeast Indiana Public Radio: $20,000 to support a pilot program with the IPFW Communicator, the student-operated newspaper at the university.
Southeast Youth Council: $20,000 to support the Education Center and Afternoon Drop-in Center, which helps youths with homework and offers other types of educational assistance.
Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society: $18,500 for the Heritage Education Fund, which helps provide free tours to the History Center and the Chief Richardville House for students, teachers and school groups.
Mental Health America: $15,000 for Kids on the Block puppet programs. These programs teach children about bullying and a variety of disabilities issues, including cerebral palsy, hearing impairments, diabetes, developmental disabilities and spina bifida, and teach acceptance of, and appreciation for, children who are different.
Fort Wayne Public Television: $14,000 for the PBS Kids Go! Writers’ Contest that encourages children in kindergarten through third grade to celebrate the power of creating stories and illustrations by submitting their own original work for judging.
Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana: $100,000 to support the Elementary Economics and Lincoln Finance Park programs. This is the final payment toward the foundation’s two-year commitment awarded in 2013.
The Lincoln Financial Foundation, established in 1962, is a nonprofit organization formed and supported by Lincoln Financial Group.
Under foundation guidelines, grants are made in the areas of arts, education, human services and economic/workforce development.
The foundation awarded more than $2.5 million to support nonprofits in the greater Fort Wayne area in 2013. Since 2006, the foundation has contributed nearly $25.1 million to Fort Wayne nonprofits.