Prudential Financial, Inc.
Karen Oliver Moore
201 314-0252, mobile
(BLACK PR WIRE) NEWARK, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The board of trustees of The Prudential Foundation recently approved multi-year grants to help improve children’s reading skills in four U.S. cities and to support the development of a skilled workforce in the healthcare and green jobs industries in Newark, N.J., where Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), is headquartered.
Among the grants approved is a $450,000 grant to the Children’s Literacy Initiative (CLI), a nonprofit organization that provides training in the most effective literacy practices for K- through third-grade teachers in urban schools; and a $300,000 grant to the Newark Alliance, which collaborates with government, nonprofit, civic, labor and community organizations to improve the Newark economy and its public education system.
CLI recently received a $22 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) to expand its Model Classroom intervention. Model Classrooms increases the number of highly effective K-3 teachers who have the knowledge and skills to teach students to read on grade level by the end of third grade; creates literacy-rich classrooms; develops resources and metrics that set standards of practice; and teaches principals how to make sure school leaders leverage the model to sustain and expand excellence in literacy instruction.
The i3 grant will make it possible for CLI to train 456 additional K-3 teachers in randomly selected public schools in Newark and Camden, NJ, Philadelphia and Chicago, impacting 45,600 students during a five-year period. The Prudential Foundation grant, which will be allocated over three years beginning in 2011, will help CLI secure a 20 percent match ($4.4 million) in private donations as required by the Education Department. The Foundation provided a $50,000 planning grant to CLI earlier this year and has provided more than $1 million in support to CLI since 1998.
“CLI’s Model Classroom has a proven track record of success,” said Gabriella Morris, vice president and head of Community Resources at Prudential and president of the Prudential Foundation. “Last year, an independent three-year evaluation in Philadelphia found that more kindergarten students in schools with Model Classrooms reached district literacy benchmarks compared to students in other schools.”
The $300,000 three-year grant to the Newark Alliance will provide continued support for the creation of the Greater Newark Workforce Funders Collaborative, a local workforce initiative that will make education and training available to low-wage workers and help employers find, retain and advance skilled workers. The Collaborative will train low-skilled workers for high demand jobs in the healthcare and green jobs industries, foster career advancement opportunities, build durable workforce partnerships, and promote workforce development strategies.
“We’re excited about the significant impact the Collaborative can have on economic development and workforce initiatives in Newark. And we’re confident in the ability of the Newark Alliance to successfully manage it,” said Morris. “The Alliance has already trained 3,000 people as industrial laboratory technicians with salaries ranging between $18 and $25 an hour. Most important, before the downturn of the national economy, this program had an 85 percent placement rate.”
So far this year, the Prudential Foundation has made 116 other grants totaling more than $11.8 million to nonprofit organizations that have missions focused on education, economic development, and arts and civic infrastructure. According to its recently released 2009 Annual Report, last year the Prudential Foundation made more than $22 million in grants to about 130 not-for-profit organizations. The Prudential Foundation board of trustees meets in February, June and October of each year.
The Prudential Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation supported by The Prudential Insurance Company of America, a subsidiary of Prudential Financial, Inc. To promote sustainable communities and improve social outcomes for community residents, The Prudential Foundation focuses its grant making strategy in the areas of education, economic development and arts and civic infrastructure. In addition, the Foundation also supports the community engagement efforts of Prudential employees through Matching Gifts and other special programs that recognize their volunteer efforts. The Prudential Foundation is a unit of Prudential’s Community Resources Department, which also includes the Social Investment Program, which originates and manages socially beneficial investments; and Local Initiatives, which coordinates employee volunteerism and fosters community outreach.
Prudential Financial, Inc. (NYSE: PRU), a financial services leader with approximately $750 billion of assets under management as of September 30, 2010, has operations in the United States, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. In the U.S., Prudential’s iconic Rock symbol has stood for strength, stability, expertise and innovation for more than a century. For more information, please visit http://www.news.prudential.com/