Akron's G-A-R Foundation is kicking in $150 thousand dollars to help support the STEM school, and promising another $650 grand is on the way -- if the rest of the City kicks in.
GAR says it'll give up to a total of $800 thousand, but wants to see the community match that number with two dollars for every dollar in the GAR challenge grants.
$1.3 million in contributions would need to be raised locally by December 2014, and officials say that would not include money raised if voters approve a new levy in November.
"GAR Foundation has witnessed the amazing outcomes of APS' STEM Middle School program and sees continued success of this model," said Christine Amer Mayer, GAR Foundation President (seen in photo, left). "We have challenged the entire community to step forward in support of the STEM High School, with special hope for a strong response from Akron's corporate citizens."
Akron Superintendent David James, who delivered his State of Akron Schools address yesterday, noted: "In 2008, GAR generously provided more than one million dollars to launch STEM education in Akron...our STEM middle school students are now ready to advance in their education in science, technology, engineering, math and medicine."
Akron school officials are touting a new study showing the local science, technology, engineering and math school is among the best in the nation when it comes to enthusiastic and engaged students and parents.
Among the findings:
- Higher ratings of engagement among students in demanding work
- Higher ratings of student decision-making in the classroom
- High levels of trust and respect
- Very high ratings by teachers of school innovativeness
- High ratings of school effectiveness
The STEM school is operated as a collaborative effort by Akron Public Schools and the University of Akron.
"When the students in the STEM Middle School and new high school excel, they can take full advantage of the opportunities awaiting them in college and in their careers," said University of Akron Senior Vice President/Provost Mike Sherman. "These students represent the future of our region."