MINNEAPOLIS, April 29, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cargill contributed more than $10 million last year to support education and the quality of life in the Twin Cities. Of that total amount, 60 percent went to bolstering academic achievement for nearly 27,000 students. Cargill partnered with more than four school districts, totaling more than 83 schools and 40 community organizations to improve academic success for these students. The remaining funding went to support premier arts, cultural and civic institutions that play a major role in the vitality and quality of the Twin Cities community.
"We are committed to supporting educational efforts in the Twin Cities to improve access to education for socioeconomically disadvantaged children," said Mark Murphy, assistant vice president, Cargill corporate affairs. "We look to a variety of partners to work with us in developing and implementing leading edge programs that are most effective in narrowing the achievement gap."
Cargill funds a variety of programs that address educational needs. For example:
- Engineering is Elementary is an engineering and technical program created by the Museum of Science in Boston, Mass., and is offered in three local school districts. In this $2.6 million grant, Cargill works with school districts and the Science Museum of Minnesota to motivate young children as early as second grade to enjoy and find relevance in science, technology, engineering and math education. Through the program, students learned about a variety of subjects related to engineering, including what types of engineering careers exist, how technology affects the world, and how engineering problems may be solved in multiple ways.
- LEAD for Charter Schools, a program created through a Cargill partnership with Macalester College's Center for School Change and LarsonAllen, works to significantly improve the academic and organizational leadership of Minneapolis area public charter schools. Through a $2 million grant, the organizations will help 11 Minneapolis charter schools improve academic achievement, organizational performance, and financial performance. Participating schools are provided access to direct cash grants, consulting services, peer learning and networking opportunities. Business leaders from Cargill work one-on-one with school leaders on continued improvement on leadership abilities.
- Project Lead the Way (PLTW) is a non-profit that developed curriculum for students in grades six through 12 that focus on making STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education relevant, fun and inspiring. In 2010, Cargill entered the third year of its commitment to PLTW, an organization dedicated to improving the future of these educational fields through the implementation of dedicated curriculum in middle schools and high schools in the United States. Cargill will donate $600,000 each year for five years to help implement PLTW programs in Minneapolis public schools and engage and motivate students to pursue higher education in these disciplines.
- Minnesota Reading Corps, a ServeMinnesota program focused on literacy, is finishing the second of a three-year partnership. During this period, Cargill tripled the funding to ensure the work of ServeMinnesota reaches the most vulnerable students. The $150,000 grant supports a research-based literacy intervention program focused on pre-kindergarten through third grade students. Each week, members from AmeriCorps provide individualized literacy instruction to select students.
About The Cargill Foundation
The Cargill Foundation invests in organizations and programs that demonstrate leadership and effectiveness in helping socio-economically disadvantaged children (PreK-12) improve academic performance and in eliminating barriers to their educational success. The specific outcomes for these grants are school readiness (for pre-kindergarten children), improved academic performance (for K-12 children) and narrowing the achievement gap in Minneapolis schools. The Foundation also helps enhance the vibrancy and quality of life in the Twin Cities by supporting a select group of preeminent arts, cultural and civic institutions.
Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business. For more information, visit www.cargill.com.