June 3, 2013

Lloyd A. Fry Foundation announces FY13 fourth-quarter grant awards

The Lloyd A. Fry Foundation has announced fourth-quarter grants totaling $1,220,000 in support of arts education, education, and health programs in the City of Chicago.

The Fry Foundation is pleased to announce that The Infant Welfare Society of Chicago (IWS) is the recipient of a $65,000 grant for Coordinated Care in pediatric optometry services. IWS provides onsite vision care services which include eye examinations and prescriptions, and offers free glasses, low-vision aids, and corrective treatment supplies for children from low-income households. It coordinates its vision care with medical, dental, and mental health, and other wraparound services. According to the National Commission on Vision and Health, early vision testing is crucial to healthy child development. However, only 18% of all community health centers across the nation have a full-time optometrist.  This year, with the recent addition of a second full-time optometrist, IWS anticipates serving approximately 3,000 children, a 20% increase from last year.

The People's Music School is the recipient of a two-year, $50,000 grant for the YOURS Project (Youth Orchestras United Rita Simo), an El Sistema orchestra program. Based on the immersive Venezuelan model of instrumental instruction, the free, after-school program provides music education to students within Chicago Public Schools. Participating students receive intensive group instruction, engage in full orchestra rehearsals, perform numerous concerts during the year and participate in a variety of workshops and events. Since its implementation in 2008, the YOURS Project has successfully helped student’s to progress in instrument proficiency and increase their knowledge of music theory. Last year, 95% of students improved their musical proficiency and 85% showed improved musical literacy.

The Fry Foundation also awarded a $30,000 grant to Mikva Challenge for the Action Civics Teacher Institute. Launched in 2012, the Institute provides intensive training and high-quality professional development for high school teachers. Participants within the Institute—Fellows and Instructional Leaders—receive instruction and support through differentiated learning experiences, including workshops and classroom visits, which incorporate coaching and teacher observation. First year participants have reported a strong sense of professional community within their groups, as well as positive impacts on their instruction and student engagement.

The Fry Foundation has four funding areas: Arts Education, Education, Employment and Health. Across all of our funding areas, the Fry Foundation’s focus is on helping organizations: build capacity to enhance the quality of services and better assess the impact of programs; develop successful program innovations that other organizations in the field can learn from or adopt; and share knowledge so that information which can help low-income communities and individuals is widely and readily available.

Education, prosperity, and hope for all is the vision behind the Fry Foundation's grantmaking. The Foundation provides support to nonprofit organizations that have the strength and commitment to improve conditions for low-income, underserved Chicago residents. The Foundation has awarded more than $150 million in grants since 1983.