Success Stories - 2010


The IECA Foundation awarded ten grants in 2010. The recipients were Austin Bat Cave in Texas, Camp of Dreams in Illinois, Children’s Help and Assistance for Residential Treatment in Arizona, Community Preparatory School in Rhode Island, Kids Empowered By Your Support in Connecticut, Legacy of Learning in Colorado, Motivating Our Students Through Experience in California, North Light Community Center in Pennsylvania, Summer Search in Pennsylvania, and Wilson Middle School in North Carolina.

Austin Bat Cave (ABC)

The Hand & Wing program of the Austin Bat Cave (ABC) in Austin, Texas received a $5,000 award. ABC is a non-profit writing and tutoring center for children in Austin, Texas. More than a hundred volunteers and staff provide over 750 children and teenagers (ages 6-18) with opportunities to develop their creative and expository writing skills. The program also offers free school-based and after-school tutoring programs connecting a diverse population of young writers with a dynamic community of adult volunteers in Central Texas. ABC also provides free workshops on such topics as college essay writing, screenwriting, hip-hop poetry, and writing about music. “The Hand & Wing program increases grammatical fluency through creative writing; it underscores the importance of writing for any career path,” according to Steve Antonoff, Chairman of the IECA Foundation. Hand & Wing was developed in conjunction with the Austin school district’s Advancement Via Individual Determination program (AVID) in the fall of 2008.

Camp of Dreams

Camp of Dreams provides 230 students from the Chicago area with year-round free education and cultural enrichment opportunities. The IECA Foundation provided two previous grants to Camp of Dreams: $7,500 in 2007 for staff training and $5,000 in 2008 for the Community Days program. This grant supports an annual college tour for their oldest campers. These tours introduce students to the expectations and rigors of university education, demystify the college admission process, and encourage and increase college attendance. Inner city students visit five colleges in Indiana and Ohio during the summer. The Foundation board awarded Camp of Dreams $5,000.

Children’s Help and Assistance for Residential Treatment (CHART)

The Children’s Help and Assistance for Residential Treatment (CHART) in Tucson, Arizona received a Foundation grant of $2,975. CHART provides educational and fiscal support services to adoptive families raising children with mental illnesses. Children who have survived abuse and neglect and who are part of the foster care system often have no educational stability. Their academic performance is undermined by frequent moves, lack of emotional attachment, inadequate nutrition and sleep, and preoccupation with abuse. Funds from the IECA Foundation enable CHART to reach out to adoptive families in crisis and to provide information and diagnostic and therapeutic resources.

Community Preparatory School

The Community Preparatory School in Providence, Rhode Island, received a $5,000 grant in support of their summer programming for at-risk students. Community Preparatory School is an independent middle school, founded in 1983 to provide minority and low-income children the tools necessary for success in college-preparatory high school programs and eventually to become community leaders. One previous Foundation grant helped support TestPrep, a two-week summer program assisting seventh and eighth graders prepare for the tests necessary for admission into competitive college preparatory high schools. The second grant supported SummerPrep, designed to provide academic support and safe recreational activities for 120 low-income students of color. Board Chairman Antonoff was enthusiastic in his praise, saying, “With its high academic expectations and strong recreational component, the program provides a consistent focus on learning and a nurturing environment that fosters student achievement.”

Kids Empowered By Your Support (KEYS)

Kids Empowered by Your Support (KEYS) was founded in 2004 by Rob Silvan, a musician and music educator who volunteered to teach piano to four students at Columbus School in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Since the program met with overwhelming enthusiasm and support from students and school administrators, KEYS hired dedicated teachers to meet the growing demand. The program now serves over 140 K-8th grade students whose families believe that music instruction can provide a way for their children to develop a productive and potentially long lasting skill. KEYS received two previous grants from the Foundation to expand their core music program. The most recent grant, for $5,000, will enable KEYS to hire a coordinator for their mentorship program. They trained a group of honor students from the Westport, Connecticut high school to teach 30-40 K-2nd graders. KEYS was chosen to be this year’s recipient of the Jan A. Scott Memorial Grant. Jan Scott was a founding trustee of the Foundation and revered educator. The award is given annually to the program that most fits the mission of the IECA Foundation.

Legacy of Learning

For the past eleven years, Legacy of Learning has successfully provided educational services to underserved and economically challenged students in Boulder County, Colorado. By teaching reading, writing, spelling, critical thinking and math, and by using a research-validated curriculum, they support at-risk elementary and secondary students. Legacy of Learning currently supports 75 students in the lower 25th percentile of their grade. The Foundation’s initial support was $4,000 in January 2009. Because of their demonstrated success, the Foundation’s grant was $5,000 in 2010.


Motivating Our Students Through Experience (MOSTE)

The Foundation renewed a previous grant of $5,000 to Motivating Our Students Through Experience (MOSTE) in Los Angeles, California. MOSTE is a mentoring, scholarship, and college-access program for underserved Los Angeles students who dream of going to college. The IECA award is for the support of “More MOSTE”, a college-incentive and scholarship program for high school girls. Partnering with Occidental College in Los Angeles, the goal is to remove traditional barriers among underserved girls to prepare and to fund their college education. Believing that personal growth and understanding contribute to developing the whole college woman, More MOSTE stresses personal development and academic achievement. “IECA Foundation is pleased to continue support of the MOSTE program and proud to witness the success stories of the young women who have learned so much about themselves as a result of MOSTE,” remarked Steve Antonoff.

North Light Community Center

This is the second grant awarded North Light Community Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1936, North Light’s mission is to promote the welfare of the community, specifically, social, educational and athletic development. Programs include: year-round after-school and out-of-school youth development, tutoring, leadership training, arts and recreation, teen employment, emergency support, parenting education, and neighborhood access to technology. The Foundation approved their proposal for $5,000 for Kid Zone, designed to continue and expand its literacy initiatives. The center has a relationship with Villanova University. By improving literacy skills, North Light helps children and youth succeed in school and life.

Summer Search Philadelphia

Summer Search has an outstanding record of giving low income students the opportunities and support necessary to achieve their potential, and become role models and everyday leaders. The Philadelphia office opened in 2006 and now serves almost 100 students from the Philadelphia public school system. The Foundation awarded $3,000 for their high school mentoring program. This highly individualized program is designed to help students function, navigate and ultimately maximize the benefits and skill sets gained in their summer and college access programs.

Wilson Middle School

Wilson is a public school in Charlotte, North Carolina, and part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. Wilson Middle School serves approximately 543 students in grades 6 through 8. Foundation monies are used to provide group piano/music production classes to approximately 120 students. These classes will be linked to math and science curriculums and used as means of improving student academic and behavioral outcomes. The math lessons emphasize computational skills and the use of proportions by teaching about meter, timing, and authoring music. Similarly, science lessons on electricity and technology are tied to music production. These lessons help students stay engaged in the school by exposing them to interests and careers in the arts. The Foundation award to Wilson Middle School was for $4,000.


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