Foundation grantmaking focuses on four major program areas.
These programs touch upon a number of major issues.
Each grantmaking program also works within clearly stated geographic parameters or regions.
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visit our Philanthropy Resources page.
Kids on the Move: Afterschool Programs Promoting Healthy Eating and Physical Activity
America After 3PM: Afterschool Programs in Demand
Expanding Minds and Opportunities: Leveraging the Power of Afterschool and Summer Learning for Student Success
The Mott Foundation’s Education program supports initiatives around the U.S. that promote learning beyond the classroom especially for traditionally underserved children and youth — as a strategy for improving public education.
This grantmaking includes strengthening afterschool through technical assistance, research, evaluation and policy development, and by building public support. We also fund community schools internationally under our Civil Society program, as well as afterschool-related projects in Mott’s hometown of Flint, Michigan, via our Flint Area program.
Education plan puts youth and education first
Kyle Caldwell joined the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation as program director for its Education program in January 2013, in the midst of a major effort to refocus the Foundation’s national grantmaking to reduce the impacts of persistent poverty. During the next 18 months, Caldwell led his team in creating the Education plan, which was approved by the Foundation’s Board of Trustees in late 2014. Below, he explains the new plan, its grantmaking strategies and factors that influenced its development.
Kyle Caldwell, Pathways to Opportunity program director, visiting with Brownell STEM Academy students.
Photo by Rick Smith
The Foundation last updated its anti-poverty grantmaking program 15 years ago. What prompted the decision to develop a new plan that focuses on opportunity?
The Great Recession really influenced the way we looked at poverty. Over the past several years, the Foundation has been taking a hard look at the research on poverty, and one glaringly obvious fact that influenced our thinking was the profound and persistent negative effect it has on families, and especially children.
Prior to my arrival, the Foundation had discussions with many experts in the field about these trends — the most alarming being that too many children in poverty lack access to quality education and career opportunities. As a result, we became more and more concerned with the widening gaps in opportunity that children and young people from low- and moderate-income families are facing today. This helped us identify the “north star” for our planning process and defined the way we think about pathways to opportunity.
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When Herb Higgin, coordinator of the Safe Harbor afterschool program in Michigan City, Indiana, asked Al Walus to mentor a newly organized high school robotics team, Walus not only signed on as a volunteer, but eventually recruited 16 engineers from other area companies.
Walus is a longtime member of Michigan City’s Economic Development Corporation and on the staff of Christopher Burke Engineering. He was concerned with preparing the area’s next-generation workforce — one capable of filling the increasingly high-tech, high-skill demands of local industry and businesses.
“Afterschool was our foot in the door,” he said. “It was an opportunity to pique kids’ interest in science, technology and engineering.”
Increasingly, Walus is convinced that afterschool is a space where curriculum innovation can take place — innovations that eventually could impact the regular school day.
“Our local branch of Purdue University had expanded their engineering program — that’s what ultimately sold me on the value of Safe Harbor,” he said. “If our kids are going to take advantage of that opportunity, we have to start engaging them with the sciences before high school. That’s just too late.”
This grant will support the Oklahoma Public School Resource Center to continue a statewide afterschool network in Oklahoma. Over the next three years, the Oklahoma Statewide Afterschool Network will build a statewide coalition in support of afterschool programs and coordinate a unified vision to inform policy and quality afterschool initiatives. During this grant, the network’s initiatives and priorities will include: 1) informing and engaging key stakeholders in the network; 2) assessing afterschool programs throughout Oklahoma; and 3) creating a communications plan to raise awareness of the afterschool field and the network.
This grant will allow McLean Hospital to support the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency to continue to serve as the lead assessment advisor for the statewide afterschool networks on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) opportunities in afterschool programs. As part of a comprehensive partnership initiative with the Noyce Foundation, the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency will: 1) conduct a qualitative and quantitative outcome assessment of 150 programs in ten states; 2) create a data system that can be accessed annually to provide information on STEM learning in afterschool programs; and 3) develop a summative report that can be distributed to policymakers, funders, and key stakeholders. The overall goal of this program is to increase the availability of high-quality informal science education for students attending afterschool programs and to increase the number of students who are interested in pursuing careers in the STEM fields.
This grant will support the After-School All-Stars in implementing and developing an afterschool program at the Stuart-Hobson Middle School located in Washington, D.C. The mission of the After-School All-Stars is to provide comprehensive afterschool programs for at-risk middle school students to keep them safe and help them achieve in school and in life. As a result, the afterschool program will focus on a variety of areas such as tutoring, life skills, mentoring, and health and fitness. In addition, this program will serve as a pilot site for new and innovative national initiatives that will be disseminated to the afterschool education field.
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