The Birmingham Change Fund is taking on the issue of education with a particular focus on the crucial middle-school years. The 20 African-American young philanthropists in this giving circle of the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham are looking for opportunities to award more than $35,000 in grants over the next three years to nonprofit organizations serving middle school students attending Birmingham City Schools.
Their goal is to support effective and scalable extra-curricular initiatives that address gaps in math and/or science education for middle school students while also combining valuable life skill education. Between now and September 30, 2011, Birmingham Change Fund is accepting applications for the first $12,000 grant, according to the request for proposals with details available on line.
“We took two years to do our homework,” says Birmingham Change Fund chairman Ed Fields. “We met with students, teachers, principals, parents and the administration of the Birmingham City Schools, including our very capable and visionary administrator, Superintendent Craig Witherspoon. We even met with Mayor Bell to discuss the state of education in Birmingham.
“It is my hope that the Change Fund’s philanthropic approach represents a new trend through which African-American professionals in the broader Birmingham region may send their philanthropic resources to an area of critical need at the core of our region. After all, if someone out there was bright enough to fix America’s crisis in education on their own, then they would have done it already. It is up to us now.”