For Kids Only Afterschool Awarded $100,000 Grant

June 25, 2014
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For Kids Only Afterschool has been selected as one of 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation’s $100K for 100 program. The non-profit organization was chosen from more than 430 applicants during a very competitive review process.

The Grant will support FKO’s Count Me In! Initiative, throughout FKO’s 17 program sites across the north shore of Boston.  The funding allows FKO to hire Inclusion Specialists, certified teachers who are highly trained in Special Education, and purchase accommodating materials and equipment to help children fully participate in all aspects of FKO’s after school programming.

FKO’s Count Me In! inclusion initiative started in 2011 as a means to provide expert resources to students, families and educators so children of all abilities, can actively participate in afterschool and summer programming.  The fundamental goal, provide students a safe, nurturing atmosphere in a culture where every child feels he or she belongs.

Representing For Kids Only Afterschool, Deborah Kneeland Keegan, Executive Director and Briana Kneeland, Director of Development, joined more than 250 other guests at a June 2 reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion of funding into greater Boston’s nonprofit sector. For the second year, this exclusive event drew representatives from all 100 grantee organizations, as well as many public officials.

“This is an amazing opportunity for FKO and all of our children, educators and staff,” said Mrs. Kneeland Keegan. “All children, regardless of ability, deserve a place where they can fully participate and enjoy afterschool programming. The award from the Cummings Foundation is truly an honor and we look forward to continuing our work in all of our communities.”

The $100K for 100 program supports nonprofits that are not only based in but also primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. This year, the program awarded 38 grants in Middlesex County, 25 in Essex County, and 37 in Suffolk County.

Through this “place-based” initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages more than 10 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation’s executive director, said, “Cummings Foundation is very committed to the local communities where the staff and clients of the Cummings organization live and work. We are delighted to support very worthy nonprofits like For Kids Only Afterschool that are working tirelessly for the benefit of the people they serve.”

This year’s very diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including underserved populations, education, healthcare, hunger relief, and homelessness prevention. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years.

The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

About For Kids Only Afterschool

Since its inception in Winthrop in 1984, FKO has grown tremendously, now serving over 1,400 children each year in the communities of East Boston, Everett, Peabody, Revere, Salem and Winthrop.

FKO believes that enthusiasm and success in out-of-school time environments can transfer into academic achievements and new skills that lead to life-long success. The schedule at FKO includes a variety of opportunities that are child directed and success-oriented and offer choices that enhance both learning and social opportunities. With a one to thirteen ratio, the environment is arranged to accommodate children individually, in small and large group activities.

Each day offers a chance to explore, interact with friends, and acquire new skills. Snack, homework centers, academic enrichment activities, and active play are incorporated into the daily programming. Enrichment classes are designed to excite children about learning and actively engage them.

In all activities, FKO educators teach and model the skills necessary to develop new and positive relationships, resolve conflicts peacefully, and empower children to use their strengths and discover new talents. Our staff-child relationships are built upon warm and caring interactions that value each child as a unique individual and focus on helping them to reach their full potential.

About Cummings Foundation

Woburn-based Cummings Foundation, Inc. was established in 1986 by Joyce and Bill Cummings of Winchester, Mass. With assets exceeding $1 billion, it recently joined Barr Foundation and The Boston Foundation as one of the three largest foundations in New England. The Foundation directly operates its own charitable subsidiaries, including two New Horizons retirement communities in Marlborough and Woburn. Its largest single commitment to date was $50 million to Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in North Grafton, Mass. Additional information is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

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