AT&T Supports College Access

By the Community Foundation of St. Clair County.

Two local programs will receive grant funding thanks to a partnership between AT&T and the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. Homework, Food & Fun which is offered through the YMCA of the Blue Water Area, and The Talented Tenth which is offered through S.O.N.S. Outreach will both receive grants totaling $24,000.

Both programs are part of KnowHow2Go, a county-wide collaboration working to increase the number of graduates who continue their education beyond high school.

“KnowHow2Go is a collaborative effort to support education success and focuses on creating a college-going culture in our community, in our schools, and with our families,” states Lynn Alexander, vice president of the Community Foundation of St. Clair County. “Since KnowHow2Go was launched in 2008, there has been an 8% increase in college-enrollment county-wide. It’s through support from companies like AT&T that we will continue to see very positive results.”

Senator Phil Pavlov, chairman of the Senate Education Committee, participates in the KnowHow2Go initiative and saw the fit between the group’s mission and the educational goals of AT&T.

“KnowHow2Go is getting it right every day for the students of our community,” said Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “We have worked hard in the legislature to give our local schools, parents and students the tools and choices necessary to achieve greatness. With partners like AT&T, and the Community Foundation of St. Clair County, we will continue to bolster an environment of success for all our young people.”

The Homework, Food & Fun program is designed to promote success not only in the classroom through tutoring and homework assistance, but also builds college awareness, provides a nutritious meal, and engages kids in a wide range of positive values based recreation activities. The program is free to students attending middle school in St. Clair and Sanilac counties, and there is transportation assistance available.

The Talented Tenth program provides tutoring, ACT test preparation, college and career exploration, and campus tours to at-risk middle and high school students.

“Nationally and across Michigan, AT&T has made a priority of supporting students as they work toward high school graduation,” said Jim Murray, president of AT&T Michigan. “As an employer, we see the effects on our economy and state when students aren’t able to earn that all-important high school diploma. Partnering with the St. Clair Community Foundation in its educational efforts is a great opportunity for AT&T, and we are anxious to see the results pay off for Michigan students.”

In addition to the programs that received funding through the Community Foundation from AT&T, KnowHow2Go hosts many events throughout the year. In the past 4 years, these events, such as College Survival Kits, Ask an Expert Series and Free Practice ACT Test Sessions have had over 14,000 participants. St. Clair County also has three full-time college advisors, who work directly with students, in partnership with school counselors, to help students successfully enroll in college.

“This county should be proud of what they have accomplished,” emphasized Alexander. “Other communities throughout the state look to us as leaders when it comes to working together to make a big impact.”

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The Community Foundation is the largest grant-making foundation in Michigan’s Thumb Region. It manages over 150 endowment funds totaling over $30,000,000 in assets. The Foundation also owns the Blue Water River Walk, Studio 1219 and a home for homeless teens.