Northwestern Mutual gives $1.2 million in education grants

Will support literacy, technology initiatives in Milwaukee

It took about three years to complete the $450 million construction project for the 32-story Northwestern Mutual Tower & Commons. Credit: Jon Elliott of MKE Drones LLC

The Northwestern Mutual Foundation is giving $1.2 million in grants to support educational programs in Milwaukee.

The grants will support programs that display “measurable impact in the Milwaukee education system,” with a focus on literacy programs that emphasize third-grade reading proficiency and mentoring programs, according to a news release.

“Every young person deserves access to a quality education to help them succeed today and tomorrow,” said John Schlifske, chairman and CEO of Northwestern Mutual, and co-chair of Milwaukee Succeeds. “We support educational programs that provide Milwaukee children with the tools and resources to recognize and achieve their true potential.”

Among the grant recipients is Milwaukee Succeeds’ Reading Foundations program, which is aimed at advancing third-grade reading proficiency, a predictor of students’ likelihood to graduate from high school, according to studies. The program — which is active in Milwaukee Public Schools, choice and charter schools — coaches kindergarten through second-grade teachers on developing reading skills in students.

Other grant recipients include: Arts @ Large, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, City Year Milwaukee, COA Youth and Family Centers, First Stage Milwaukee, Milwaukee College Preparatory School, Milwaukee Public Library, Next Door Foundation, Notre Dame Primary, Rocketship, Schools That Can Milwaukee, SHARP Literacy, St. Marcus Lutheran School, Teach for America-Milwaukee, United Way, YMCA of Metro MIlwaukee, Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee and Unity in Motion.

The foundation is also awarding five local high schools with $20,000 grants to support programming that provides ninth-graders with the opportunity to work in technology. The schools include Ronald Wilson Reagan College Preparatory High School, Pathways High, Milwaukee Academy of Science, St. Joan Antida High School and Messmer High School.

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Lauren Anderson
Lauren Anderson covers health care, nonprofits, education and insurance for BizTimes. Lauren previously reported on education for the Waukesha Freeman. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied journalism, history and African studies. In her free time, Lauren enjoys spending time with family and friends and seeing live music wherever she can.