Regions Shenandoah Valley

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation makes $135,000 grant to JMU program

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The Lansdowne-based Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has awarded $135,000 over two years to the Valley Scholars Program at James Madison University.

The JMU grant is among $855,000 the foundation is awarding  under its Cooke Foundation Rural Talent Initiative. The grants support academic enrichment programs serving low-income rural students in elementary and secondary schools in North Carolina, Indiana, Iowa, Maine and Mississippi in addition to Virginia.

The grants are designed to help expand opportunities for rigorous summer and academic year learning and enrichment for students in rural regions where access to educational opportunities is limited. 

The Valley Scholars program provides students from rural middle and high schools in the Shenandoah Valley with intensive guidance for high school course selection and support for academic growth.
The program will use its grant from the foundation to expand the number of students it serves from 148 next school year to 192 in 2018-19 while offering more services. Students completing the program are offered a JMU scholarships covering tuition and fees.

The program enables students to participate in career exploration, service projects, financial literacy sessions, summer enrichment courses at JMU and a mentorship program.
Other foundation grants were made to: 

• The Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

• The Mississippi Public School Consortium for Educational Access in Forrest, Miss.

• YES Appalachia in Watauga County, N.C.

• The Maine School of Science and Mathematics in Limestone, Maine.

• The Purdue University Gifted Education Resource Institute in West Lafayette, Ind.

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