• April 30, 2015

Donor Spotlight: The Rales Foundation and Wallace Foundation

The Rales Foundation and Wallace Foundation Pledge $1.2 Million to secure $13.2 Million in Funding for Middle School Afterschool and Summer Education

Grants will be used to meet a match requirement for Higher Achievement’s $12 million Investing in Innovation (i3) grant from the Department of Education

Washington DC – At Higher Achievement’s recent annual Love Out Loud poetry performance, two foundations committed $1.2 million to support Higher Achievement’s middle school afterschool and summer programs in Baltimore, DC, Pittsburgh and Richmond.

The $1.2m support ($1m from the Norman and Ruth Rales Foundation and $200k from the Wallace Foundation) will be used by Higher Achievement to satisfy a US Department of Education match requirement to secure a $12m Investing in Innovation (i3) grant.  This i3 Validation grant, which leverages the Foundations’ support 10 times over, will fuel Higher Achievement’s expansion in the four cities listed above as well as take the organization to a whole new level by doubling the number of students served over the next five years.

Given the nature of the event, the announcement came in an unusual form: each foundation wrote a poem to pledge their support of Higher Achievement’s students.  The audience also included other i3 grant winners from all over the country.

“My parents, Norman and Ruth Rales grew up in humble circumstances, but achieved great success and happiness,” said Joshua Rales, President and Trustee of the Rales Foundation.  “They wanted to share their good fortune by working to ensure that all children have access to a quality education as a means of enabling lifelong opportunities.  The Rales Foundation is honored to provide a gift in their memory to Higher Achievement to help young students reach their full potential and chart a course to personal success.”

Claudia DeMegret, Program Officer for the Wallace Foundation, spoke of the importance of Higher Achievement’s results-driven program.

“During its four decades of serving disadvantaged children, Higher Achievement has consistently used data to test and refine its programs, while providing important services and being active partners in the cities where they operate,” said DeMegret.

Higher Achievement is a national organization that provides students the best opportunities to succeed in school and life.  From fifth through eighth grade, Higher Achievement scholars spend 650 hours a year learning an advanced curriculum that is aligned with state standards.

In addition to extensive academic support, Higher Achievement scholars are coached and mentored in areas of creative expression, and communication, and personal leadership.

This sort of creative expression shines brightly at the yearly Love Out Loud poetry performance.  Each year, Higher Achievement middle schoolers study poetry, write their own love poems, and share these poems in front of 450 community members at the Lansburgh Theatre. Love Out Loud gives students a speaking platform to build confidence and discover their voice.

For more information, please visit www.higherachievement.org

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