Philanthropy Column

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The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has announced that it will award $1 million to help rebuild two south Dade County, Fla., elementary schools that were heavily damaged last summer during Hurricane Andrew.

But beyond the brick-and-mortar aspects, the grant from the Miami-based foundation will also help support a school-restructuring program designed to transform both institutions into "full service'' community centers for children and families.

The program will focus on parenting skills, early-childhood and adult education, community cultural enrichment, and health- and social-service delivery.

"Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc with the lives of thousands, but it also created an opportunity to try something new,'' Creed Black, the foundation's president, said in a statement.

The grant is part of a $10 million initiative launched by the foundation to help Dade County "recover and rebuild'' in the wake of the hurricane.

The Dade County school district has embarked on a broad effort to restructure some 60 schools in the areas hardest hit by the hurricane. (See Education Week, March 17, 1993.)

The DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund has announced that it will award a three-year, $736,000 grant to the National Black Child Development Institute to launch the "Spirit of Excellence Parent Empowerment Project.''

The program, a demonstration project directed at 40 young, low-income African-American families in the Anacostia neighborhood of Washington, D.C., will focus on helping parents better prepare their young children for preschool through training and mentoring projects.

"We've learned that to make a significant difference in the lives of our children, resources and interventions must also be directed at their parents,'' said Evelyn Moore, the executive director of institute.

The national organization is concerned with improving the quality of life for African-American children, particularly in the areas of health, child welfare, education, and child care.

In an effort to help nonprofit groups work more effectively with the media, the Carnegie Corporation of New York recently distributed a free set of media guides to all of its current grantees.

The nine guides, published by the Benton Foundation and the Center for Strategic Communications, examine talk radio, cable television, and newspaper op-ed pages, among other areas.

Copies of the guides are available to the public for $50 per set from the Benton Foundation, 1710 Rhode Island Ave., N.W., 4th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20036.--M.S.

Vol. 12, Issue 32

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