News

Slavic Village Development Initiatives Focus On Literacy
With a vision of ensuring every young person in southeast Cleveland’s Broadway and Slavic Village neighborhood is able to experience high quality learning and improve academic achievement, Slavic Village Development hones in on programs that improve reading levels and graduation rates. Slavic Village Development works with and for residents, businesses, and institutions in the neighborhood to promote civic engagement, community empowerment, and neighborhood investment. Along with community partners Third Federal Foundation and Cleveland Foundation, the organization is working to address one of the neighborhood’s most critical issues: literacy levels and graduation rates. By coupling funding for the MyCom (My Commitment, My Community) youth-focused initiative and the P-16 Initiative, which addresses issues at key education levels, Slavic Village Development was able to establish key program positions for a director and literacy coordinator. Notable programs include the Reach Out and Read / Ready to Learn initiative, where volunteers are trained to engage parents about their child’s education and identify educational needs during appointment waiting times; working with partner schools to ensure a continuum of programs exist to support learning in the classroom, after school and during breaks; promoting literacy through the nation’s first Little Free Library Neighborhood; and through the Literacy Cooperative, creating a campaign for new parents and the community to understand the value of talking with their babies. In short, the vision is to focus resources so as to improve the schools in the neighborhood and to create a model for the rest of Cleveland and other urban communities. The Callahan Foundation is proud to support the Slavic Village Development with a grant of $20,000 towards this vision.
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Great Lakes Science Center Supports Youth Scholars Through STEM Programs
Fall 2016 grant recipient Great Lakes Science Center activates students’ interest in STEM through hands-on, youth-based programs.  Through programs like the Great Science Academy, Cleveland Creates, and over 60 themed summer camps, the Great Lakes Science Center has been igniting interest in STEM and STEM-related subjects among students and visitors of all ages. In their 2017 Fiscal Year report, the Science Center highlighted the success of such programs that were supported by a fall 2016 Callahan Foundation grant. Those programs include the following: Cleveland Creates 7th Grade Over 2,500 seventh grade students developed critical thinking and problem-solving skills through an introduction to manufacturing and engineering challenges, learning about circuity, electricity and engineering design. Workshops were held for teachers and instructors on how to incorporate the engineering design process and problem-based learning into their classrooms and curricula. Great Science Academy The Great Science Academy (GSA) provides project-based STEM learning and scientific experimentation programming to student scholars in 6th through 11th grades. Over 106 scholars were able to participate in hands-on learning sessions twice monthly, amassing more than 21,000 hours of high-quality, project-based STEM experiences that will prepare them for college and future careers. Summer Camps Over 60 themed summer camps serving 2,045 campers were offered in FY17 at or in conjunction with the Science Center, with over 100 participating free thanks to needs-based scholarships. Additionally, other programs were provided that garnered success and generated excitement like the maker’s lab Cleveland Creates Zone and Spark Space, free and accessible public programming and activities, self-produced temporary exhibitions and screenings at the DOME Theater. The Callahan Foundation is a proud supporter of the Great Lakes Science Center and their STEM-related programs for youth, students and visitors of all ages.
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2018 Callahan Distinguished Lecture Speaker Announced
Each year, the F. Joseph Callahan Distinguished Lecture features a speaker to engage the Greater Cleveland community in active discourse about important topics of our time. From prominent academic leaders to national experts, the annual series honors a candidate who emphasizes the values of excellence, integrity and respect. The Callahan Foundation is proud to announce the selected 2018 speaker, Jill Lepore. Lepore is a professor of American History at Harvard University, a staff writer for The New Yorker, and the author of several prize-winning books, including The Secret History of Wonder Woman (2014). She is currently writing a history of the United States. Lepore will present a lecture on the topic of “Life As An Argument” on Wednesday, March 7, 2018, as part of the Think Forum series at Case Western Reserve University.   Past speakers have included acclaimed professor, cultural critic, author and filmmaker Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., noted Harvard University psychologist and cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond, Kay Redfield Jamison, an international authority on mood disorders, and New York Times best-selling authors Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband. Reserve free tickets for the lecture online, or call the Maltz Performing Arts Center box office at 216.368.6062.
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YWCA of Cleveland Empowers Our Community’s Most Vulnerable
Through their Nurturing Independence and Aspirations (NIA) program, the YWCA of Cleveland helps transition young adults who have aged out of foster care to be thriving and engaged members of the community. According to the YWCA of Cleveland, each year about 200 youth in Cuyahoga County age out of foster care after their 18th birthday. The obstacles these young people face during their first four years on their own are not promising:   25% will have become homeless 60% will have become unmarried parents <20% are able to support themselves 25% report encounters with the legal system 56% have not graduated from high school 64% have earnings below poverty level 51% are dependent on income assistance through government programs In response to these odds, the YWCA of Cleveland established the Nurturing Independence and Aspirations (NIA) program. NIA provides comprehensive supportive services and case management for young adults who have aged out of foster care and are living at YWCA’s permanent supportive housing residence, Independence Place.  The YWCA states in a 2017 report that this life-changing combination of housing, supportive services and case management “enables our residents to achieve self-sufficiency, and ultimately transition back into our community as independent young adults.” Since Independence Place opened in 2011, 85% of 50 former residents who participated in NIA supportive services made positive exits into the community. That impact in part comes from the close bonds formed between the residents and the trauma-informed case managers NIA provides, called “Life Coaches.” Life Coaches partner with residents to assess areas of weakness in self-sufficiency, create plans for addressing those areas through a three-phase intervention process, and then work with residents to carry out their plans. The positive exits continue to develop as success stories, with almost 40% of former IP residents maintaining connection with YWCA staff, […]
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Fall Grant Submission Cycle Opens: 4 Tips to Improve Your Concept Paper
As the Callahan Foundation’s fall grant cycle opens for concept paper submissions, keep these four basics in mind when crafting your application.  The Callahan Foundation is now accepting concept paper submissions for the 2017 fall grant cycle. Northeast Ohio nonprofit organizations with a focus on higher education, the arts and social services are encouraged to apply. Funding is offered to eligible nonprofits that demonstrate superior leadership and create value for those in need. As you craft your concept paper, remember to review the full requirements, and consider these four tips for a successful application: Clearly state the focus. Your concept paper is the initial gatekeeper and key to the grant application process. Write with clarity: make sure the message and intent is highly focused and the language is straightforward. Elaborate on the community you serve. Who does your organization serve, and how? Describe the population and how they benefit from your nonprofit’s services in detail. Conveying a thorough understanding of how your organization impacts communities enhances your application. Define the link. How does your organization or program fit the criteria required? Discuss how and why your nonprofit aligns with the ethos of the Callahan Foundation. Don’t forget the details. Make sure that you carefully read the application requirements. Adhere to the correct file formatting and content requirements laid out in the grant application guidelines. Remember to include contact information and a business mailing address! Deadline for initial concept paper submission is September 30, 2017, after which a select number of concept papers will be invited via email to submit full proposals. Successful applicants will be notified of funding by December 31, 2017. Submissions for initial concept papers can be uploaded here.
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The Sculpture Center Fosters Ties Between Local and Visiting Artists
Callahan Foundation fall grant recipient The Sculpture Center aims to serve as an incubator for the creation of new work by early career sculptors in the region with their Cleveland Sculptors Network initiative. Established with the mission to ease the disadvantages and challenges sculptors face in producing and showing three dimensional work, The Sculpture Center has served artists in the region for almost thirty years with solo and full gallery exhibitions, publications, and professional mentoring. The organization serves as an incubator for the creation of new work by emerging sculptors, and encourages the preservation of Ohio public outdoor sculpture. “Early career sculptors have a particularly hard time getting recognized because of the complexity and, often, considerable expense of their practices which may range from making sculpture to installation to expanded media,” describes Ann Albano, Executive Director and Chief Curator of the Center. “Sculpture is also a much harder sell to collectors than 2-D art.” In order to increase the reach and connectivity of sculptors of Northeast Ohio and in the greater region with each other and with visiting sculptors, the organization founded the Cleveland Sculptors Network (CSN). The initiative brings local and visiting artists together for public panels on relevant topics, reviews, and discussions with selected sculptors, providing critical feedback and group discourse on presented work to foster ties between the sculptors. The initiative has already brought three talented sculptors to Northeast Ohio, who teamed with local artists for panels that explored and explicated themes like creating time-based art and the career implications of not being tied to one art form. Discussions that followed examined the difficulty of presenting work outside of the region and strategies for success in connecting with galleries and curators in larger urban areas. “Ultimately, Cleveland Sculptors Network is to support sculptors of our region in […]
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The Children’s Museum of Cleveland Aims to Provide World-Class Developmental Experiences for Kids
Callahan Foundation grant recipient The Children’s Museum of Cleveland uses the value of play to shape a new generation of emotionally healthy children who love to learn. The Children’s Museum of Cleveland is a one-of-a-kind resource in Northeast Ohio: it’s the only museum dedicated to early childhood learning. The museum uses the value of play to shape children by fostering learning and development through experiences, exhibits, and educational programming, within and outside the museum. “We are able to reach families in a unique way in that we provide a chance for them to share and learn through play,” describes CMC Executive Director Maria Campanelli. “Families come to the museum looking for fun and adventure; the learning is often a welcome byproduct but one that we seek to encourage at every turn.” Now, the museum is creating a new model for the community’s children through the purchase and renovation of a new home, the former Stager-Beckwith Mansion along Cleveland’s historic Millionaire’s Row. The mansion will be transformed into a world-class children’s museum, with double the exhibit space of the former facility as well as outdoor green space. The CMC has designed exhibits by studying the success of other children’s museums, researching theories of play and child development, examining contemporary play trends, understanding Ohio learning standards, and incorporating feedback from former visitors and community stakeholders. The Callahan Foundation is proud to support the expansion of the CMC with a $25,000 grant over the course of two years to support the renovation of the museum’s new home and exhibit development. “These exhibits include Adventure City, which features a giant climber and gross motor creative play space, Wonder Lab, with water and air play that supports STEM learning, and more,” explains Karen Katz, Director of Exhibits. Allen describes the experiences that result from the museum’s programming efforts as […]
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FIRST Robotics Inspires Science, Tech And Engineering Leaders In Buckeye Regional Competition
Callahan Foundation grant recipient FIRST® Robotics challenges students to be robot inventors in the Buckeye Regional Competition this month. Over 1,500 high school students from throughout Ohio and neighboring states will compete later this month in the FIRST® Robotics Buckeye Regional Competition. The young inventors have been tasked with creating steam-powered robotic airships, and will present their creations March 30-April 1 at Cleveland State University. Working in teams, the students spent six weeks designing, building and programming the robots as part of FIRST’s annual, competitive-based education program. Students coupled creativity with skills like math, science, engineering, business and project management, art, video and industrial sciences in the competition. FIRST inspires innovation in students and fosters well-rounded life capabilities including self-confidence, communication, and leadership. The impact of participation in the competition for students extends beyond the event, from the growth of science, technology and engineering skills, through to careers in STEM. The Buckeye Regional is considered among the best regional competitions nationally for the quality of experience provided to the high school students participating. The Callahan Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of the competition, awarding the FIRST Robotics Buckeye Regional $10,000 to support the cost of the presentation of the annual event. The event is open to the public and will be held at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center. To learn more about the event, visit FIRST Buckeye Regional Competition.
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Legal Aid Society of Cleveland Advocates for Education
Callahan Foundation award recipient Legal Aid Society of Cleveland removes barriers to education for vulnerable and low-income families. When looking at the root causes of poverty, lack of education is both a cause and an effect. A direct correlation exists showing the longer a child spends in school, the less likely they are to be poor – and it’s the reason why legal advocacy ensuring children have access to good education is so important. “Federal law actually requires that all children get a free, public education,” says Melanie Shakarian, Esq., director of development and communications at the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. The civil, nonprofit law firm provides advocacy for vulnerable and low-income families, and their children who may not be receiving the appropriate public education required under federal law. The organization, established in 1905 and with 134 branches across the US, operates one of its largest branches in Cleveland. Awarded $20,000 in Callahan Foundation’s 2016 Spring Funding Cycle, the Legal Aid Society’s “Access to Education” program has helped remove barriers to education for children through direct representation, community education and advocacy. In the past decade, education law has become a focused element of their practice, with two and a half full-time attorneys dedicated to the project. “These are people who handle representing young children in school who are being denied services at their school,” says Shakarian. “It could be a child who has a disability who’s not provided an accommodation, maybe because they have a physical disability or mental health concern and they need an accommodation at their school. We could be representing a child who has been bullied and needs to be removed from their particular classroom or school because of the abuse they’re receiving. We’ll represent that child to make sure they get the services they’re entitled […]
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Callahan Foundation in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation Magazine
Read an article on the Callahan Foundation in the Cleveland Clinic Foundation magazine (pdf download).
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