Employee United Way Contributions Matched Dollar-for-Dollar to Enhance Student Success
Madison, Wis.—Employees of Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates surprised students, teachers and staff at their adopted schools, Gompers Elementary and Black Hawk Middle School, with two checks totaling $57,744 on Thursday, December 14. The donations are a dollar-for-dollar company match to the funds Madison employees contributed to their annual United Way and Community Shares campaign.
The schools plan to use the funds in ways that support their ongoing efforts to promote literacy and cultural awareness, and to more effectively engage parents in their children’s education. Gompers Principal Jackie Smith said the school will be able to purchase culturally responsive books for guided reading at all literacy levels, critical components of a strategy to develop lifelong readers.
Principal Jamie Sims says Black Hawk also plans to use its $28,872 donation for culturally responsive books. Additionally, the school will purchase multilingual translation equipment for non-English-speaking parents attending school events, a crucial ingredient in promoting parent engagement at a school where a large percentage of families speak a language other than English at home.
Great Lakes is dedicated to improving lives through education. Amy Kerwin, Vice President – Community Investments, explained, “Our corporate philanthropy operates on multiple levels. Our national grantmaking is focused on seeing more underserved students earn postsecondary credentials or degrees. At the local level, through our Great Lakes Gives employee giving program, we help students at a school located near each of our offices get a strong start, improving their chances of accessing higher education. The company match is one of the ways we provide those schools with resources that can help change their students’ lives for the better.”
Kerwin noted that the connections Great Lakes forges with staff and students at its adopted schools go beyond dollars and cents. These relationships have been built over several years through volunteer work; snack, book and school supply collection drives; and other activities.
This is the fourth year Gompers and Black Hawk have received the Great Lakes match. Previously, funds have supported technology-friendly classroom furniture at Black Hawk, a renovated library at Gompers, and a new playground on the joint campus of both schools.
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About Great Lakes: Dedicated to making college education a reality since 1967.
Knowing that education has the power to change lives for the better, Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation & Affiliates was established as a nonprofit group focused on a single objective: helping students nationwide prepare for and succeed in postsecondary education and student loan repayment. As a leading student loan guarantor and servicer, we have been selected by the U.S. Department of Education to provide assistance and repayment planning to more than 8 million borrowers—as well as assistance to colleges and lenders nationwide. Our group’s earnings support one of the largest and most respected education philanthropy programs in the country. Since 2006, we have committed nearly $250 million in grant funding to promote higher education access and completion for students of color, low-income students, and first-generation students. For additional information, visit home.mygreatlakes.org.