For the second time this year, the Moody Foundation has awarded millions in grant funding to local groups in hopes of improving the quality of education in the city.

The foundation Monday announced it had awarded nearly $13 million to seven local nonprofits that focus on improving student skills in literacy, science, technology and math.

The grants were awarded to Ambassadors Preparatory Academy, the Galveston Children’s Museum, Holy Family Catholic School, the Nia Cultural Center, Upward Hope Academy, Causeway Galveston and Galveston Career Connect.

The grant announcement comes three months after the foundation awarded $8.6 million to four other education groups as part of its “Generation Moody” initiative.

The initiative is meant to improve student performance in Galveston, and to make Galveston a better place to live, said Ross Moody, a trustee of the Moody Foundation and the CEO of the National Western Life Insurance Co.

“The ultimate goal is to improve the quality of life on the island,” Moody said.

Among other things, the grants will help pay for professional development training for teachers and to help pay expenses of high school students taking dual-credit courses at Galveston College.

The foundation’s hope is that the grants will improvement student performance, and that, in turn, will encourage more people to want to live on the island, Moody said.

“We want to make sure that Galveston city kids have equal or better opportunities than other places,” he said.

There is a long-term commitment to the program, Moody said. He said he expected more large grants to be awarded in the coming months and years.

“We’re not stopping at $20 million,” he said.

The Moody Foundation was established in 1942. It is funded mostly through stock dividends from the American National Insurance Co., which was founded by William L. Moody Jr. in 1905.

Moody estimated his family had contributed about $1 billion to local causes since it arrived on Galveston Island in the 1860s.

John Wayne Ferguson: 409-683-5226; john.ferguson@galvnews.com or on Twitter @johnwferguson.

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