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Jennings Foundation Announced 2014 "Be Great After School Program" & "3rd Quarter" Grant Recipients

*$55,000 will be donated to selected Youth Education Programs in Minnesota and Michigan *

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (October 29, 2014) – The Greg Jennings Foundation announced the recipients of the BE GREAT After School Program Grants as part of the BE GREAT Youth Initiative, and the 3rd Quarter Grants.  Eight (8) diverse organizations in the greater Kalamazoo area of Mich. and Minneapolis, Minn. will receive a total of $55,000 in funding to support several youth education projects.* *

"I am so proud of our grant recipients.  This year we selected six (6) BE GREAT After School Program Grant organizations and two (2) 3rd Quarter Grant organizations throughout Minneapolis and my hometown of Kalamazoo that consistently find ways to improve the lives of children," said Greg Jennings.  "My wife Nicole and I are dedicated to helping children in underserved communities dream big, achieve their goals and BE GREAT." 

"We were inspired by all of the BE GREAT After School Grant and 3rd Quarter Grant requests we received.  Although we have awarded our last and final Quarter Grant, we feel blessed that we have provided support to these wonderful programs and the BE GREAT Youth Initiative programs will continue to positively impact the lives of children," said Nicole Jennings.    

The goal of the BE GREAT Youth Initiative is to identify and partner with effective organizations that empower and inspire children to fulfill their potential where the BE GREAT After School Program Grant equips youth for greatness by raising the capacity of youth development programs that deliver high quality, learning-centered, after school programming. The third annual BE GREAT After School Program Grants were awarded to groups that work with PreK-12 students in the areas of academic achievement, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and college readiness. 

These grants are funded via a number of fundraising efforts including the annual Greg Jennings Celebrity Golf Classic.  This star studded event takes place annually in June.  To learn how to become a sponsor or participate, please go to http://www.GJenningsFound.org      

Here is some highlighted information about the organizations selected:

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA

BE GREAT After School Program Grant Recipients

*Agape Child Development Center - After School Computer Lab *

The mission of the Agape Child Development Center is to promote a safe, nurturing and sustainable learning environment for approximately 60 students, ages 5-12, by providing computers and computer instruction to prevent delays in completing curriculum activities and finishing related assignments.  The onsite computer lab will help students build their confidence and practice keeping up with the ever-changing world of technology.

*Boys & Girls Club STARS Program *

The Boys & Girls Club of the Twin Cities "Striving to Achieve Reading Success" (STARS) Program serves over 800 children enrolled in kindergarten through 2nd grade who are at-risk of performing below grade levels in reading.  STARS is a year-round educational component that encourages academic success by utilizing the same developmental reading assessments used by public schools to match youth with appropriate reading material.  Trained staff utilizes the online curriculum to ensure that each child builds the fundamental literacy skills necessary to progress to the next grade level. 

Catholic Charities of St. Paul and Minneapolis – Northside Child Development Center School Age Services Program 

The School Age Services Program of the Northside Child Development Center provides high quality academic support, school reinforcement, homework help, project-based activities, arts, cultural experiences, leadership development, and service projects for school-age youth in the North Minneapolis community.  With positive relationships with local schools, school-age children and families are connected with participating teachers to offer greater access and understanding for academic achievements.  NCDC is committed to assisting at-risk children to avoid academic failure and to succeed in school and life.  *This program was also funded in 2013 – Quarterly Grant). * 

*Hospitality House Youth Development - Urban Learning Center *

Hospitality House Youth Development is a faith-based outreach focused on the spiritual, intellectual and physical development of urban youth and their families.  The Urban Learning Center serves over 300 K-12th grade youth and 1000 family members in North Minneapolis.  Students from 23 different schools participate as a partner with Minneapolis Public Schools to provide educational assistance.  Each student has an Individualized Education Plan designed to improve his or her academic performance.  HHYD's focus is on academic enrichment, cultural, spiritual, and recreational activities that guide learning and engage children and youth in healthy & beneficial activities.  *This program was also funded in 2013. * 

3rd Quarter Grant Recipient

Minds Matter – Minds Matter Twin Cities

Minds Matter transforms the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success.  This three year program starts with 10th grade students that meet once a week during the school year to study writing, math, critical thinking and test preparation, as individual mentors follow their academic progress.  During the summer, students attend academic summer camps that help prepare them for life after high school.  One hundred percent of Minds Matter graduates have gone on attend prominent college programs. *This program was also funded in 2013 – Quarterly Grant. *

KALAMAZOO, MICHIGAN

BE GREAT After School Program Grant Recipients

*Big Brothers Big Sisters, A Community of Caring - High School Bigs *

Big Brothers Big Sisters provides children facing adversity with strong, enduring, professionally supported one-on-one relationships that change their lives for the better, forever.  With the full support of superintendents and principals in the Parchment, Kalamazoo and Schoolcraft Public School Districts, 60 high school students will be interviewed, trained and matched with 60 elementary school students based on common interests, needs and expectations.  The pair meets once a week during the school year to provide students with the skills and experiences necessary to improve their academic and social-emotional competence in order to reach their full potential.  This program was also funded in 2012, and in 2013.

Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra - Kalamazoo Kids In Tune -

The mission of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is to engage the community in compelling musical experiences.  KKIT is an "orchestra immersion" program that infuses after-school programming with accessible, intensive, and ongoing ensemble-based music learning.  Activities include a daily nutritious meal, small group music lessons, orchestra rehearsals, choir, musicianship training, and dance classes.  Daily homework help is also provided along with one-on-one tutoring when needed.  The kids also give routine "informances" to share their work with the school and community.  This program was also funded in 2012 and in 2013.

3rd Quarter Grant Recipient

Stryke Force 4-H - Stryke Force 4-H Robotics Team 

Stryke Force 4-H Robotics Team is a team of High School students from 14 different schools, preparing themselves for higher education and careers in science and technology through the experience of building a robot for competition.  The mission of the Robotics Team competition is to be a unique varsity sport for the mind and is designed to help high-school-aged young people discover how the lives of engineers and scientists are interesting and rewarding. *This program was also funded in 2013 – Quarterly Grant. *

*About The Greg Jennings Foundation: *

The Greg Jennings Foundation is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code founded to positively impact youth through investments within our local communities.  The Greg Jennings Foundation partners with organizations in educating youth by providing the necessary resources in order for them to reach their academic potential.  

For more information please visit:* *

*Greg Jennings Foundation Social Media *

Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Greg-Jennings-Foundation/115208698531507

Twitter:   @GregJenningsFound

*Greg Jennings Social Media *

Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/TheOfficialGJ

Twitter:   @GregJennings

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