The majority of $8.6 million in grants the Moody Foundation is giving to four Galveston education groups is tabbed for summer and after-school care and professional development for educators, foundation officials said Wednesday.
“We wanted to support programs that provide continuous academic success for every student,” Angela Blair, the foundation’s director of education, said.
Foundation officials announced late last week the Galveston Independent School District, the Moody Early Childhood Center, Odyssey Academy and SMART Family Literacy would receive the first grants meant to improve academic achievement on the island.
“The focus and the need is concentrating on programs, with the idea of raising student achievement,” Blair said. “We aren’t focused on facilities at the moment.”
Much of the $8.6 million in grants is going to the Galveston school district, where it will be used to fund five years of summer and after-school care and tutoring, Blair said.
Foundation officials Wednesday declined to comment on exactly how much money was going to each entity.
Galveston school district officials said services funded by the grant would not necessarily be restricted to district students and employees.
“Because of this investment, Galveston ISD will be able to open its doors to educators and students in both the private and public sector,” said Annette Scott, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction for the district.
Part of the grants also will go toward professional development at Moody Early Childhood Center, Blair said.
“And that will be open to all infant and toddler programs on the island,” Blair said.
The Moody Foundation announced a new program called the Generation Moody Educational Initiative in October 2017, calling the awards that are part of the program an “investment in the next generation of Galvestonians.”
Foundation officials named Blair as the education director of the initiative.
The foundation created the program after commissioning a study of needs on the island and learned that education was one of seven areas that most affected growth and the economy, Blair said.
Foundation officials have been meeting with local educators since the group was created to determine how grants would be distributed, Blair said.
Officials hope to track data from the programs the grants are funding to determine their effectiveness and hope to work on a longer-term strategic plan for the island, Blair said.
The recently announced grants are just the first in what will be more, Blair said.
The Moody Foundation is a 75-year-old Galveston-based philanthropic organization founded by William Lewis Moody Jr. in 1942 to manage his substantial fortune. The foundation reported more than $2 billion in assets on its most recently available financial reports.