The Woburn Community Educational Foundation (WCEF) is proud to announce that it has been chosen as one of 140 local nonprofits to receive a grant through Cummings Foundation’s $25 Million Grant Program. WCEF was selected from a pool of 590 applicants during a competitive review process. This substantial investment by Cummings Foundation will provide $200,000 over 10 years to support the Lexia Reading Program in the Woburn Public Schools.
“We are honored and excited to be chosen to receive a 10-year grant from the Cummings Foundation”, expressed WCEF Executive Director Maureen Willis, “This generous investment raises our capacity to partner with our educators, and has the potential to advance the educational achievement of an entire generation of students in the Woburn Public Schools.”
This grant from the Cummings Foundation will fund the Lexia Core 5 Reading Program in the Woburn Public Schools as a district-wide initiative, with the goal to advance the reading proficiency of under-performing students in Woburn elementary schools. A 5-year pilot of the Program showed that Lexia is a valuable and effective tool in helping Woburn students develop foundational skills and a love of reading that supports future success in school and in life. As our schools assess the impact on learning COVID-19 has had on our students, the support of the Cummings Foundation will advance the ability of our educators to meet the needs of our most-at risk students at this most historic time.
The Cummings $25 Million Grant Program supports Massachusetts nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties.
Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate, Cummings Properties. This Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 10 million square feet of debt-free space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.
“We aim to help meet the needs of people in all segments of our local community,” said Cummings Foundation executive director Joel Swets. “It is the incredible organizations we fund, however, that do the actual daily work to empower our neighbors, educate our children, fight for equity, and so much more.”
With the help of about 80 volunteers, the Foundation first identified 140 organizations to receive grants of at least $100,000 each. Among the winners were first-time recipients as well as nonprofits that had previously received Cummings Foundation grants. Forty of this latter group of repeat recipients were then selected to have their grants elevated to 10-year awards ranging from $200,000 to $500,000 each.
“We have adopted a democratic approach to philanthropy, which empowers an impressive roster of dedicated volunteers to decide more than half of all our grant winners each year,” said Swets. “We benefit from their diverse backgrounds and perspectives; they benefit from a meaningful and fulfilling experience; and the nonprofits often benefit from increased exposure and new advocates.”
This year’s grant recipients represent a wide variety of causes, including social justice, homelessness prevention, affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. The nonprofits are spread across 43 different cities and towns.
The complete list of 140 grant winners, plus more than 800 previous recipients, is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.
Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $300 million to greater Boston nonprofits.