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Take Stock Secures $5 Million I3 Grant; Helios Provides $1 Million Match

Posted on: October 25, 2010

Take Stock in Children is one of 49 innovative programs nationwide that has been awarded funds from the U.S. Department of Education's Investing in Innovation (i3) grant program. Take Stock will receive $5 million through the program. As part of securing i3 funding, awardees were required to provide a 20 percent match from other sources, and Helios Education Foundation provided that $1 million match.

"This national recognition is a tremendous milestone in the history of this organization and is exactly what we need to significantly expand our program as we break the cycle of poverty through higher education," said Richard Berkowitz, Board Chair of Take Stock in Children. "With this grant, we intend to improve college and high school graduation rates even further, while improving overall student achievement."

Take Stock in Children is a non-profit organization with a 15-year history of providing mentors, educational scholarships and hope for Florida's low-income and at-risk youth. The organization has provided educational support and college scholarships for over 16,000 children in partnership with more than 800 public schools throughout 60 counties in Florida. It is the only scholarship mentoring program with the goal of breaking the cycle of poverty through education to attain a high school graduation rate of 92 percent in Florida.

The organization plans to use these funds to launch FLIGHT (Facilitating Long-Term Improvements in Graduation and Higher Education for Tomorrow). FLIGHT is designed to improve academic and behavioral student outcomes, increase post-secondary matriculation and reduce college remediation. The program also aims to identify high-need students and implement timely interventions to increase their academic success.

Students enrolled in Take Stock are identified in middle and high school, and then sign a contract pledging to remain drug and crime free, as well as maintain a minimum grade point average of 2.0 or greater. All students that fulfill these obligations and successfully complete the Take Stock in Children program receive full scholarships to a state college or university upon graduation. The program places heavy emphasis on student accountability and specific measurable outcomes.

Berkowitz added, "Without a doubt, this grant will allow Take Stock in Children to expand greatly and we are confident that it will also help us to attract more supporters who share our belief in the power of education. Fulfilling the vision of President Barack Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, we stand committed to exposing more students to our innovative model of education achievement as we know it will result in better communities and a better America."

The $650 million i3 fund is part of the historic $10 billion investment in school reform in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), and it supports local efforts to start or expand research-based innovative programs that help close the achievement gap and improve outcomes for high-need students. The competition was open to school districts as well as nonprofit organizations and institutions of higher education working in partnership with public schools. Applicants were required to demonstrate their previous success in closing achievement gaps, improving student progress toward proficiency, increasing graduation rates, or recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers and principals.

To learn more about benefiting from Take Stock in Children or becoming a valued mentor or supporter, please call 888-322-4673 or visit www.takestockinchildren.org.

Category: College and Career Readiness

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