Philanthropy Column

By Meg Sommerfeld — May 06, 1992 2 min read

The Knight Foundation last month awarded a $750,000 grant to Teach For America and a three-year, $300,000 grant to Cities in Schools.

Teach For America, a two-year-old privately operated organization, recruits recent college graduates to teach in districts with teacher shortages. The group will use the grant to solidify the financial stability of its general operations, which are headquartered in New York City.

The grant brings the group a major step forward in meeting a $3-million goal to match a “challenge grant’’ awarded by Phillip Morris Companies Inc. earlier this year. (See Education Week, Jan. 15, 1992.)

The grant, the largest Phillip Morris ever awarded to a single education organization and the largest that Teach For America has received to date, is contingent on being matched dollar-for-dollar by other donors.

Cities in Schools, a comprehensive dropout-prevention program based in Alexandria, Va., will use its award to expand its state, regional, and national networks to reach 500,000 at-risk youths and their families by 1995.

The Knight Foundation has also awarded grants in the past two years to Cities in Schools affiliates in Wichita, Kan., Charlotte, N.C., and Palm Beach County, Fla.

Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities, a philanthropic offshoot of the McDonalds restaurant chain, has pledged $1 million over the next three years to the National Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse.

The Chicago-based organization will use the funds to launch “Healthy Families America,’' a model child-abuse-prevention program, in 35 states.

Based on a partnership between the Hawaii Family Stress Center in Honolulu and the Hawaii Department of Maternal and Child Health, the main focus of the initiative is a home-visitor program in which paraprofessionals check up regularly on at-risk families.

The child-abuse-prevention committee estimates that home-visitor programs cost approximately $2,000 per family, or roughly half of what would be needed to pay for welfare services required each year by families that do not receive early-intervention assistance.

Russell G. Mawby, the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, received the Council on Foundations’ annual “Distinguished Grantmaker Award’’ at the council’s conference in Miami Beach last week.

The Kellogg Foundation, headquartered in Battle Creek, Mich., targeted roughly 30 percent of its $167 million in grants during the 1990-91 fiscal year to youth and education programs.

A version of this article appeared in the May 06, 1992 edition of Education Week as Philanthropy Column