CHESAPEAKE, Va., April 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Imagine a world where all children, regardless of socioeconomic status, had the same opportunities to succeed. A world where access to learning was free and readily available; resources such as books, computers, paper, pens and teachers were available in their community; and summers were spent learning and preparing for the upcoming school year rather than letting the past year of educational instruction fall by the wayside.
It is an unfortunate reality: not all children have access to a safe environment to learn when they are not in school.
Nonprofits across Virginia have developed programs to address this issue. But, many don't get the funding required to implement their programs. That's where Cox Charities steps in. It's the philanthropic arm of Cox Communications Virginia that annually awards grants to deserving nonprofits that want to provide services to today's youth to help them be successful in school and get them on the right track to a bright future.
Programs like The Up Center in Hampton Roads; its Team Up mentoring program strives to improve the lives of children living in single-parent families by matching them with a mentor that provides a stable, positive influence. Or, Family Service of Roanoke Valley's Positive Action and TOP programs that promote healthy decision-making so youth are equipped to succeed in school, graduate, and lead healthier lives. Consider the Equal Footing Foundation that has the Teach 1,000 Kids How to Code program to expand the opportunities for underserved Fairfax County youth to fill the STEM-related occupations that will define the occupational landscape of their postgraduate lives by developing problem-solving and computer skills.
These are just three of the 15 programs that Cox Charities supported this year through its 2015-2016 grant cycle. The charity provides funding to nonprofit groups supporting youth education, technology, mentoring and literacy within Cox Virginia communities. These grants, totaling $125,000, are part of the nearly $6 million Cox Virginia contributes annually through cash and in-kind support to the communities where it does business.
These are the extraordinary organizations selected to receive Cox Charities grants this year:
Hampton Roads – 7 nonprofits, $50,000 awarded
- Horizons Hampton Roads – $10,000 grant focuses on school readiness by providing a summer program that helps eliminate the gap between low-income children and their more affluent peers. Licensed teachers guide students through appropriate reading and math materials that match the student's skill levels to challenge and strengthen. Additionally, the program offers STEM programming opportunities. The existing summer program will expand to include 15 Portsmouth 6th graders, to bring the total served to 405 students.
- The Up Center - $10,000 grant supports the Team Up mentoring program that strives to improve the lives of children primarily living in single-parent families by matching them with an adult mentor who can provide a stable and positive influence. The grant will provide mentoring matches for 184 children to include 60 new and 124 existing matches.
- Children's Hospital of The King's Daughters - $5,000 grant for the Reach Out and Read program which is an early-literacy program offered at all CHKD pediatricians' offices that provides age-appropriate books to children ages six months to five years during their well-child checkups. Fifty percent of the children seen by the pediatricians each year are underserved and through this program it can better prepare them for kindergarten and improve the overall wellbeing of the child.
- Club Sandwich at Wesley Memorial Church - $5,000 grant adds 15 laptops to its existing computer lab, allowing 200 students daily computer use in an after-school and summer program for children in the Wards Corner area of Norfolk. Their goal is to teach a group of 7th and 8th graders algebra reinforcement and allow others to use the lab for homework, research, etc. During the 10 week summer session, 40 students in the USADA Food Service program will have daily access to the computer lab, the 30 enrichment students in grades 2-5 will focus on literacy and math skills and 15-20 6th grade STEM students will use laptops and take field trips.
- Virginia Living Museum - $10,000 grant for the Seeing the Light: Exploring the Solar System program for at-risk students from Homer L. Hines Middle School in Newport News. The program provides science education to underprivileged children who are admitted free to the museum for a day of hands-on, active science education that will prepare students for excellence in STEM classes and inspire STEM-related careers.
- Healthy Families Partnership - $5,000 grant in partnership with the Hampton Mayor's Book Club 2015-2016 to promote early literacy. This program is focused on having children grow up in an environment where books are available and literacy is valued. Four thousand children in 200 preschool, kindergarten and first grade classrooms between September and May, along with 60 volunteers, read a book-of-the-month to the children. Pre-K students all receive a copy of the book to keep, culminating in a home library of 10 books, including a book for summer enrichment. Additionally, the program provides a monthly newsletter with reading tips and recommendations on local free/low-cost community events that tie-in with the book. All are focused on promoting a love of reading.
- REACH - $5,000 grant for the REACH Read-Aloud program that provides new books and e-reading opportunities to increase reading comprehension for children who are living in homeless and domestic violence shelters and at-risk communities throughout Hampton Roads. Additionally, the program supports parents with literacy workshops to promote reading.
Northern Virginia - 5 nonprofits, $45,000 awarded
- Stafford Junction - $10,000 grant for the Brain Builders program that provides a safe and structured afterschool environment that stresses responsible behavior, respect for others, and positive attitudes for 123 at-risk youth in Section 8 housing in Fredericksburg. The program focuses on academics, character building and nutrition programs.
- Equal Footing Foundation - $5,000 grant for the Teach 1000 Kids How to Code program to expand the opportunities for underserved Fairfax County youth to fill the STEM-related occupations that will define the occupational landscape of their postgraduate lives by developing problem-solving and computer skills.
- FACETS Cares - $10,000 grant for the Education and Community Development Program serving 850 families in four low-income housing properties in Fairfax. This program provides afterschool and summer programming based on promoting academic performance, social well-being, and boosting self-esteem in order to combat the gaps created by their socioeconomic environment.
- Literacy Council of Northern Virginia- $10,000 grant for the Family Learning Program which provides English literacy instruction for 150 children ages 2-12 and their low-income, immigrant parents in a supportive classroom environment, emphasizing the goal of parents' increasing involvement in their children's educational activities.
- Main Street Child Development Center - $10,000 grant for the Success by Six Early Childhood Education Program that prepares 125 children, ages 2-5 for success in kindergarten each year. Eighty percent of the students qualify as low-income. The program offers a nurturing environment for up to 11 hours/5 days per week and strives for effective family engagement and quality early childhood programming.
Roanoke – 3 nonprofits, $30,000 awarded
- Apple Ridge Farm - $10,000 grant for the continuation of a startup project, Teaching Kids to Program (TKP) which will feature daily instruction in computer programming during June and July 2016 to approximately 350 low-income students, ages 5-17, most of whom reside in public housing in the City of Roanoke.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southwest Virginia - $10,000 grant for a STEM Lab project to inspire 43 children 6-12 years old from underserved communities to achieve in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math who have little access to STEM enrichment programs. Along with their mentors, students will explore enrichment activities in a lab setting at Oliver Hill Mentoring Program.
- Family Service of Roanoke Valley- $10,000 grant for Positive Action and TOP programs that promote healthy decision-making so youth are equipped to succeed in school, graduate and lead healthier lives. This grant will support an expansion to housing development community centers in the Roanoke Valley to reach youth who face multiple obstacles to achieve a healthy and productive adulthood. Programs focus on career exploration, self-image, impulse control and healthy relationships.
"It is truly our honor to provide financial support to organizations in Cox communities that are working with young people to improve their lives and help them succeed," said J.D. Myers II, senior vice president and region manager for Cox Virginia. "We're supporting youth education because it's the right thing to do and because our future depends on it. All children should have the same educational opportunities regardless of socioeconomic status; the Cox Charities grant program is in place to help eliminate the gaps that currently exist."
Philanthropy through Cox Charities:
Cox Charities awards grants on an annual basis and is open to qualifying organizations. Qualifying organizations must provide education programs that further the academic achievement and development of young people through science and technology, mentoring, literacy and other areas promoting youth education.
Criteria used in selecting the winning submissions, included (but was not limited to): how well the applicant demonstrated a pressing need; how well the applicant demonstrated use of technology, innovation and/or creative techniques in service delivery; and how well the applicant demonstrated the sustainability of the program as well as the ability for their program to be replicated.
Cox Communications is grateful to the Advisory Committee of distinguished representatives who selected the winning organizations. The Advisory Committee is comprised of community leaders, business leaders and Cox employees. For a full list of advisory committee members and for more information on the Cox Charities grant awards program, please visit www.coxcharities.org.
Media Contact: Emma Inman, APR, 757-222-8432 or firstname.lastname@example.org
About Cox Communications
Cox Communications is a broadband communications and entertainment company, providing advanced digital video, Internet, telephone and home security and automation services over its own nationwide IP network. The third-largest U.S. cable company, Cox serves approximately 6 million residences and businesses. Cox Business is a facilities-based provider of voice, video and data solutions for commercial customers, and Cox Media is a full-service provider of national and local cable spot and digital media advertising. Cox is known for its pioneering efforts in cable telephone and commercial services, industry-leading customer care and its outstanding workplaces. For eight years, Cox has been recognized as the top operator for women by Women in Cable Telecommunications; Cox has ranked among DiversityInc's Top 50 Companies for Diversity 10 times, including the last nine years. More information about Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com and www.coxmedia.com.
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SOURCE Cox Communications