Philanthropy group 100WomenStrong is partnering with the SunTrust Foundation to drum up support for six of the county’s elementary schools with a high number of low-income families.
At 100WomenStrong’s 10th anniversary celebration Thursday, leaders in the philanthropy group announced that SunTrust Foundation has granted $100,000 to Loudoun Education Foundation to distribute to Forest Grove, Sugarland, Guilford, Sterling, Sully and Rolling Ridge elementary schools, all designated as Title I schools, meaning they enroll enough students from low-income families to qualify for additional federal funding.
As part of the announcement, 100WomenStrong has issued a challenge grant of $100,000 to also support the initiative and encourage others to match the $200,000 raised so far.
“The Loudoun Education Foundation is incredibly grateful for the generosity of the SunTrust Foundation,” stated Executive Director Dawn Meyer. “This funding will help our most vulnerable students achieve academic success in the classroom while providing needed resources for their families at school.”
The donations will expand 100WomenStrong’s Community School Initiative that started as a pilot program at Sterling Elementary. It supports academic achievement and focuses on positive youth development, including personal and social skills and leadership development. 100WomenStrong’s challenge to other businesses and organizations to match the SunTrust Foundation’s grant would create a fund of at least $400,000 to ensure the educational initiative continues to benefit children, families and the community.
“The SunTrust Foundation is committed to academic achievement, interpersonal and leadership skill development for youth,” stated Stan Little, president of the SunTrust Foundation. “Programs like CSI provide critical tools for future socioeconomic advancement and financial confidence.”
Karen G. Schaufeld, founder and president of 100WomenStrong, said the pilot CSI program was modeled after a successful program in Pennsylvania, which she and others at 100WomenStrong knew they could replicate in Loudoun with the right funding and support.
“Last year alone, the CSI coordinator Sandra Amaya helped create and support 26 programs that served hundreds of students and families of Sterling Elementary and organized more than 100 volunteers to support everything from tutoring to sports camps,” Schaufeld said.
The grant dollars will support activities designed to increase parent engagement; activities such as coffee with parents, a program called Loudoun Nurturing Parents, pizza nights, family science nights and family movie nights. All of these programs help parents feel welcomed and confident to come into the school and be comfortable enough to ask questions of teachers and administrators and participate more fully in their child’s education.
To learn more about and support the effort, donate at communityfoundationlf.org/product/100womenstronglti.