Published Online: January 30, 2002
Published in Print: January 30, 2002, as Philanthropy

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A Holistic Grant

The Brown Family Foundation donated $5 million this month to set up the Turning the Corner Achievement Program, an initiative for African-American middle school students in Baltimore.

Eddie C. Brown, the founder and president of the Baltimore-based investment firm Brown Capital Management, established the foundation with his wife and their two daughters. "Our country is filled with young people who are talented and determined, but lack the support necessary to change the course of their lives," Mr. Brown said.

To be administered jointly by the Baltimore Community Foundation, a collection of 290 charitable funds, and Associated Black Charities, a philanthropic umbrella group, the two-part Turning the Corner program is set to begin this summer.

The first and more intensive part will serve 70 students in two low-income Baltimore neighborhoods that have not yet been selected. For 39 months, starting the summer after they finish 5th grade, the students will receive tutoring and mentoring and will be enrolled in after-school, weekend, and summer enrichment programs.

In addition, that portion of the program also will provide support to the participating students' families through social services that could include job training, health services, and housing assistance. The exact details have not yet been worked out, said Gigi Wirtz, a spokeswoman for the Baltimore Community Foundation, an organization that coordinates charities' efforts.

Case managers will be assigned to each child to make sure that the support services are coordinated. "Mr. Brown understands that helping the child academically can't stop when the school bell rings," Ms. Wirtz said.

The second part of the program will provide tutoring in reading, writing, mathematics, and science to a group of 35 students who show the potential to take a college-preparatory path in high school. The students will receive the support for 15 months, starting the summer after they complete 7th grade.

Some of the students chosen for the program's second part will be from the original cohort, and the rest will be selected from low-income areas of Baltimore, foundation officials said. The students' progress will be closely followed by case managers and program administrators, who will monitor the youngsters' standardized-test scores and how often they receive tutoring.

—Michelle Galley mgalley@epe.org

Vol. 21, Issue 20, Page 11

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