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New York Life Foundation Awards $50,000 Grant to ACES Program to Support Out-of-School-Time Programs to Help Middle School Students Transition to 9th Grade

Via a July 23 News Release:

Award is one of 26 Aim High Grants Nationally, Totaling $1.35M

The New York Life Foundation in partnership with the Afterschool Alliance today announced a two-year $50,000 grant to ACES Minneapolis and Saint Paul afterschool program, one of 26 grants to be awarded to youth development organizations across the country, and the only to a Minnesota Organization, to support middle school youth during the out-of-school time (OST) hours. Twenty-six OST programs won new grants, and 16 organizations received continuing grants first announced in 2018. These programs serve underserved youth in 18 states. The grants mark the third year of awards made under the Foundation’s Aim High education initiative, and this year’s grants bring the total awarded under the program to $3.45 million.

Aim High is part of the New York Life Foundation’s ongoing investment in OST programs to help 8th graders reach the 9th grade on time and prepared for high school level work. Afterschool, summer and expanded learning programs nationwide are selected for grants through a competitive application process managed in collaboration with the Afterschool Alliance.

“The support from the New York Life Foundation will have a profound impact on the children in our program. The support will enable us to produce our unique and engaging sports math and social-emotional lessons and programming,” said Christina Saunders, Executive Director of ACES. “We’re beyond grateful and look forward to putting the generous support to good use serving local youth and families.”

“ACES and our other 25 grantees do vital work in their communities. Middle school is a vulnerable time for students, and without these programs children and youth would be without a safe, productive and enriching place to go after school or during the summer,” said Marlyn Torres, senior program officer, New York Life Foundation. “The New York Life Foundation supports OST programs like ACES that help children develop social, emotional and academic skills, which are essential for the transition to high school. We value the Afterschool Alliance’s expertise and vast network of OST providers and youth development experts in helping us administer the Aim High program.” 

The following eight organizations received grants of $50,000 payable over two years: 

·      LEAP (Leadership, Education, and Athletics in Partnership), New Haven, CT

·      Adult Friends for Youth, Honolulu, HI

·      High Jump, Chicago, IL

·      Brookside Community Development Corp., Indianapolis, IN

·      ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students), Minneapolis, MN

·      Montana Conservation Corps, Bozeman, MT

·      Apex for Youth, New York, NY

·      PAIR Houston (Partnership for the Advancement and Immersion of Refugees), Houston, TX

Eight organizations received grants of $100,000 payable over two years, and ten organizations received one-year awards of $15,000 to support their programs.

Research has shown that for disadvantaged students, additional learning time in the form of high-quality afterschool, expanded day and summer programs leads to greater academic achievement, better school attendance and more engaged students. Further, a successful transition from 8th to 9th grade – middle school to high school in most cases – is particularly critical to student success.

“We’re delighted to partner with the New York Life Foundation in this effort,” said Afterschool Alliance Executive Director Jodi Grant. “The Foundation continues to do terrific work in this area, supporting children at a vital time in their development. These grants change lives by supporting OST programs that keep kids safe, inspire learning, and give working parents peace of mind in the afternoon and during the summer.”

In 2017, the first year of the Aim High program, the New York Life Foundation awarded $750,000 to 18 recipients, with grant periods of one or two years. In 2018, the Foundation expanded the program, awarding $1.35 million to 26 additional organizations. This year’s $1.35 million in Aim High grants brings the total amount awarded to $3.45 million, given to 70 organizations, in all. Since 2013, the New York Life Foundation has invested more than $41 million in national middle school OST efforts.

About ACES

ACES works with students in underserved communities in Minneapolis and Saint Paul to develop the skills necessary to achieve academic excellence. Our program develops and uses innovative curriculum that blends sports and math to spark learning. Our vision is that ACES students succeed in college and career and become engaged citizens in safe and equitable communities.

About the Afterschool Alliance

The Afterschool Alliance is a nonprofit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality afterschool programs. 

About the New York Life Foundation

Inspired by New York Life’s tradition of service and humanity, the New York Life Foundation has, since its founding in 1979, provided nearly $280 million in charitable contributions to national and local nonprofit organizations. The Foundation supports programs that benefit young people, particularly in the areas of educational enhancement and childhood bereavement. The Foundation also encourages and facilitates the community involvement of employees and agents of New York Life through its Volunteers for Good program and Grief-Sensitive Schools Initiative.

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