Working To Enhance The Quality Of Life
In Baltimore And In Maryland.

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Grants

Grants

The Foundation responds to unsolicited requests for funding and initiates programs that address community-wide needs and effect long-term systemic change.


Areas of Interest
Recent Grants
How Do I Apply For A Grant?

Publications

Publications

The Abell Foundation believes that a community faced with complicated and seemingly intractable challenges is well served by research-based information.


Reports
Newsletters

Direct Investments

Direct Investments

The Foundation’s portfolio makes direct investments in highly innovative companies that promote important social objectives, create jobs and are headquartered in Baltimore City.


Direct Investments
Current Investments

2014 Grant Deadlines

(Dates in parenthesis are board meetings.)

January 1 (February 11), March 1 (April 15), May 1 (June 17),
August 1
(September 16), September 1 (October 21), November 1 (December 16)

Funding the Will to Find Solutions

Community Development

In 2000, Baltimore was identified as having the highest number of FHA foreclosures per capita of any city in the United States, eclipsing other cities that were experiencing high volumes of foreclosures such as Los Angeles, New York and Miami. According to a study by the National Training and...

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Workforce Development

REP was developed in 2001, in close collaboration with the Department of Corrections (DOC) and other public and private agencies, to provide ex-offenders with the tools necessary to build a better life after prison. The Abell Foundation awarded funds toward the start-up and development of the...

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Health & Human Services

Poor oral health significantly impacts quality of life and may result in unnecessary pain and suffering; loss of self-esteem; decreased productivity through lost days at work and school; difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing; and even death. Maryland ranks eighth in the United States and...

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Health & Human Services

Throughout much of the 20th century, housing policy in the United States concentrated low-income families in public housing projects, which were typically built in racially segregated, inner-city neighborhoods. The policy resulted in the construction of massive public high-rise housing...

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Health & Human Services

On January 3, 2001, the Surgeon General released the National Action Agenda for Children's Mental Health, warning of a crisis in the identification and treatment of children's mental health problems. Nearly 21 percent of U.S. children aged nine to 17 have diagnosable mental health disorders, and...

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Health & Human Services

Despite improvements in recent years in its rate of births to teen mothers, Baltimore City continues to outpace most other major U.S. cities. In the year 2000, according to a recent report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Baltimore had a teen birthrate of 86 births per 1,000 females ages 15 to...

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Health & Human Services

In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of children in the United States whose parents are incarcerated. According to a February 2008 study by the Urban Institute, the number of children with a parent in prison increased by 50 percent between 1991 and 1999. A December 2007...

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Community Development

In fiscal year 2007, there were 7,864 evictions representing nearly 7 percent of all renters in Baltimore City. Evictions are devastating for tenants and are a triggering event contributing to homelessness. Evictions also had a negative effect on neighborhoods, as the city allowed the landlords...

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Community Development

Capital funding was provided for construction of a new LEED-certified building for the University of Maryland Philip Merril College of Journalism and to establish The Abell Professorship in Baltimore Journalism, held by Sandra Banisky, former deputy managing editor of The Baltimore Sun...

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Conservation & Environment

The Sierra Club has launched a Beyond Coal Maryland campaign, which is aimed at phasing out Maryland's oldest and most polluting coal plants, accelerating the deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency, and stopping any new coal project in Maryland. Their work in Baltimore has focused...

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Conservation & Environment

The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy seeks to work to restore and preserve Maryland’s midshore rivers on the Eastern Shore, particularly the Choptank, Miles and Wye Rivers, and Eastern Bay. The Midshore Riverkeeper Conservancy published its first River Report Card in 2011, which indicated that...

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Conservation & Environment

The mission of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network (CCAN), the first grassroots organization dedicated exclusively to fighting global warming in Maryland, is to put the state on a path to climate stability. Through its Maryland Healthy Communities Campaign, CCAN has aimed to bring about...

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Conservation & Environment

Formed as a statewide coalition of environmental groups, businesses, developers, agricultural and historic preservation organizations, 1000 Friends of Maryland works to preserve natural resources while encouraging sensible growth. 1000 Friends has become an effective voice against haphazard...

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Arts & Culture

Since 1999, the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University has provided mentoring to music teachers in Baltimore City public elementary and middle schools through its Music Teacher Mentoring Program.  In 2012, the program served 71 music teachers across Baltimore.  Teachers participating...

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Arts & Culture

The goal of the Museum of Ceramic Art is to provide a meaningful ceramic art experience in the classroom and at after-school clubs. Now being offered at 41 Baltimore City public middle schools, the program provides teacher-training workshops, classroom assistance, curriculum modules, and...

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Arts & Culture

The Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (CSC), Baltimore’s third-largest theater company, was founded in 2002 with the mission to create innovative performance and education programs that bring to life the works of William Shakespeare and other classics.  For the past 11 years, the CSC has been...

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Community Development

In 2010, the Waterfront Partnership launched the Healthy Harbor Initiative, an education campaign to draw attention to the poor water quality of Baltimore’s harbor (the Inner Harbor down to the Middle Branch), and to create a blueprint for action with the ambitious goal of making the harbor...

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Community Development

Venture for America was created by Andrew Yang, founder and CEO of several technology start-up firms, on the premise that entrepreneurship, business formation, and job growth would be stronger in more cities if talented college and university students were attracted to work in start-up and early...

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Community Development

Southeast Community Development Corporation (CDC) renovated the former Highlandtown branch of the Enoch Pratt Free Library into a 7,000-square-foot mixed-use building to house its offices on the second and third floors with retail space on the ground floor. This renovation meets the city's Green...

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Community Development

German Park is a 20,000-square-foot park with a playground, a pergola/stage, and a basketball court. In June, 2011—with the support of the Baltimore Ravens, KaBOOM! Healthy Neighborhoods and a major donor—300 volunteers installed a new playground, gardens, benches, and other amenities.  The...

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Community Development

Druid Hill Park at Auchentoroly Terrace is a project designed to improve Parks and People’s ability to execute its mission in an environment where it can manage program expansion and opportunities to support and improve citizen utilization and care of Baltimore parks and green spaces.  The...

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Community Development

Founded in 1868, Mount Auburn Cemetery is the oldest owned and operated African-American cemetery in Baltimore City.  In 1986, the 33-acre cemetery was designated as a historical landmark, and in 2001, it was included in the National Register of Historic Places. Approximately 44,000 people are...

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Community Development

The report "Rent-to-Own: Profiting from the Poor" was funded by The Abell Foundation to examine the complaints filed by consumers against rent-to-own stores. Complaints involved price increases or price gouging, followed by misrepresentation of facts/false advertising or omission of facts.

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Community Development

Lieber Institute is the only institution in the world focused exclusively on understanding the origins of schizophrenia and related psychiatric disorders, and on translating this understanding into improved treatments that change the lives of affected individuals. The Institute competes against...

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Community Development

Overpriced and Underserved” was funded by The Abell Foundation to examine the high cost of goods and services for low income consumers. The report calculates a $3,000 a year “poverty premium” in cost of living for...

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Community Development

The Northeast Market renovation project is comprised of improvements that will help to change the perception of the market, encourage additional investment in the district, and lead to increased patronage of the market by residents and Johns Hopkins employees and visitors.   Renovation of the...

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Community Development

Started by OSI Fellow Arthur Morgan, Gather Baltimore is a volunteer effort to glean unsold produce from area farms and businesses, and to provide it free of charge to local nonprofit food distribution networks, churches and neighborhood centers to increase resident access to fresh, healthy...

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Community Development

To support homeowner investment and encourage new homebuyer purchases in 15 Baltimore neighborhoods, Healthy Neighborhoods created new loan products for home purchase and renovation. Six banks contributed to a $23 million loan pool of below-market rate financing. The Abell Foundation, Annie E....

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Community Development

In 2010, Maryland Hunger Solutions launched a successful pilot project to install wireless EBT machines initially in three and now nine farmers’ markets with support of the Abell Foundation, The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, and the Wholesome Wave Foundation.  The machines allow...

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Community Development

Capital funding was made available to the Everyman Theatre toward the renovation of the currently vacant, historic Town Theatre on the Westside as a permanent home for the theater. Everyman Theatre has grown from a small operation in 1990 with one play a year to an impressive professional...

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Community Development

In December 2011, Emerging Technology Centers (ETC) launched AccelerateBaltimore, a program designed to attract technology companies to Baltimore through a three-month plan of accelerated incubator services and investment funding. Modeled after nationally successful accelerator programs such as...

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Community Development

Vacant properties are one of the greatest challenges facing Baltimore’s neighborhoods. As they slowly deteriorate, they depress the value of all surrounding properties, cause disinvestment, and discourage investment in the neighborhood. Many studies have been conducted on the impact of vacant...

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Community Development

Comprehensive Housing Assistance, Inc.'s (CHAI) Senior Home Repair and Modification Program (SHRM) reduces expenses for home repairs and modifications, provides a safe living environment that is more cost-effective than nursing or assisted living facilities, links consumers to additional direct...

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Community Development

After Maryland deregulated its utilities, electricity prices increased 70 percent for BGE residential customers in Baltimore, and natural gas prices rose by more than 5 percent. One of the most obvious ways to counter rising energy costs is to reduce consumption. However, consumers may need...

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Community Development

In 2010, Civic Works began building a farming operation in food production, workforce training, and education of school children called Real Food Farm.  Installation of hoop house production tunnels, preparation of fields, and orchard plantings on six acres in Clifton Park have resulted in the...

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Community Development

Plagued by high numbers of foreclosures, BENI has developed quality homeownership and foreclosure counseling services. BENI is a leader in community-based marketing and outreach through direct and mass mailings, community banners, and block-level outreach. This direct marketing has convinced...

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Community Development

The Baltimore Orchard Project gleans excess fruit from trees and distributes it to organizations that donate food to low-income families.  It also partners with individuals and organizations to plant fruit trees, berry bushes and grapevines....

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Community Development

As long as the mortgage delinquency rate remains persistently high, housing markets continue to decline. Funding cuts affect counseling agencies, homeowners and the housing counselors who serve them, and will continue to need support and assistance. Baltimore Neighborhood Collaborative (BNC)...

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Community Development

The Baltimore Community ToolBank provides tools to community-based nonprofit organizations, churches and other faith-based groups, schools, neighborhood associations, and other primarily volunteer-based efforts for community revitalization.  Projects can include, but are not limited to:...

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Community Development

Baltimore has a rich historic past that is under recognized and under marketed nationally and internationally. Designation as a National Heritage Area (NHA) by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior gave the city's attractions an internationally recognized brand that denotes...

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Community Development

To better address housing and household needs and maximize potential for successful outcomes when residents apply for a single benefit or service, the City created a pilot project to test how housing improvement programs and comprehensive benefit programs can be efficiently coordinated.  Using...

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Community Development

Community Greens, miniature-size parks hidden among the row houses and alleyways of residential neighborhoods, are collectively owned and managed by the neighbors whose homes and backyards, decks, patios, and balconies enclose the green.  In response to community interest, in 2004, the Maryland...

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Workforce Development

Year Up provides low-income high school graduates and GED recipients, ages 18 to 24, with a year of information technology (IT) and Investment Operations training, leading to technical careers, with starting salaries of over $35,000. In 2006, Year Up opened an office in the Washington, DC area (...

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Workforce Development

According to a National Economic Development and Law Center report, the link between owning a car and being gainfully employed is significant. Studies have shown that not only are those who own cars more likely to work, but they are also more likely to work additional hours and earn higher wages...

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Workforce Development

In the spring of 1997, The Abell Foundation awarded Baltimore City Healthy Start a $250,000 grant to replicate in Baltimore the highly successful East Harlem job placement program called STRIVE. The East Harlem program has been in operation since 1985 and now has affiliate programs in ten other...

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Workforce Development

The Biotechnical Institute of Maryland, Inc. (BTI) was founded in 1998 to enable high-school graduates and low-skilled workers to pursue entry-level positions in bioscience. BTI offers two programs: 1) the BTI Lab Associates Program consists of nine weeks of lectures and laboratory exercises,...

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Workforce Development

Since February 2000, with support from The Abell Foundation, the Rose Street Community Center (Rose Street) has offered small weekly stipends (no more than $10 a day) to community residents in exchange for participating in daily community clean-ups, GED classes, or gang mediation meetings. Last...

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Workforce Development

CASA of Maryland opened the Baltimore Workers’ Employment Center at 2224 East Fayette Street on December 19, 2007. The center provides employment placement services for day laborers and low-income workers who assemble early in the morning in the hopes of being picked for low-paying jobs in...

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Workforce Development

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is a powerful work incentive and poverty-alleviation tool, helping low-income working families to increase their earnings by as much as 40 percent. In 2013, the Baltimore CASH Campaign prepared 8,102 tax returns, refunding more than $15 million in federal and...

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Workforce Development

For the past eight years, The Abell Foundation has supported Learn to Earn, the skills training and employment program of the St. Ambrose Outreach Center, located in the Park Heights neighborhood of Baltimore. In 2012, 183 people successfully completed occupational skills job training. Ninety...

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Workforce Development

The Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare was founded to address unemployment, underemployment, and health care workforce shortage issues in Baltimore City. The Alliance has 1) worked with hospitals to design a bridge program for employees who are not testing high enough to enter in-house...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

Founded in 1979, the Women’s Housing Coalition (WHC) has been at the forefront in the development of housing options and services to low-income and homeless women. It opened the first Transitional Housing Program (THP) for women in Baltimore City in 1982 and has been providing comprehensive...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

Beginning in 2003, the Safe and Sound Campaign established what is now known as the Maryland Opportunity Compact. The Compact uses private sector resources to seed effective strategies that improve lives and reduce the need for last resort public expenditures on efforts such as foster care,...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

After a thoughtful collaborative design process including community input, the Abell Foundation awarded a grant of $2 million in 1997 for two years to implement Recovery in Community in three Southwest Baltimore neighborhoods. The three Southwest Baltimore communities targeted by RIC (Franklin...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

The Helping Up Mission (HUM), founded in 1885, has a long tradition of serving homeless men in Baltimore City. Approximately 85 percent of the men served at the mission are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol with an average addiction period of 17½ years. For many years, the focus of the mission...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

According to research conducted by the Just Kids Partnership, approximately 1,250 boys and girls under the age of 18 in Maryland are charged as adults every year.  In Baltimore City, 95 youth are held on a daily basis in Baltimore City Detention Center (BCDC) awaiting trial as adults, spending...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

Despite heightened public awareness, and political commitment during the 1990s to address Baltimore City's severe drug problem, and unprecedented success in securing state and private resources for the treatment of the city's addicts beginning in the year 2000, detoxification sites remain...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

In 2006, Episcopal Community Services of Maryland (ECSM) received funding from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) Prisoner Reentry Initiative to implement a new prisoner reentry program, the Jericho Reentry Program (Jericho). Under this initiative, ECSM provides case management, job placement,...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

In 1987, Minister David Pollitt and community activists Gloria DeBarry and Jaye Burtnick decided to address the homeless problem of South Baltimore. They began by simply handing out blankets and serving hot food, but as their involvement grew, they opened an office, Baltimore Station, and each...

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Criminal Justice & Addictions

Baltimore averages an estimated 940 prostitution arrests each year (five-year average).  Among those arrests are many defendants who are repeat offenders, rearrested again and again for prostitution and related crimes such as drug possession, trespassing, and fourth degree burglary.  In 2006,...

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Health & Human Services

A July 2011 study by the Guttmacher Institute found that 49 percent of pregnancies in the United States are unintended.  While rates of unintended pregnancy have been declining among women with incomes above 200 percent of the federal poverty level over the past two decades, they have risen by...

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Health & Human Services

In recent years, the center has seen steadily increasing demand for services. Franciscan Center staff report increasing numbers of newly unemployed clients requesting services, a reflection of the recession’s continuing toll. While striving to meet the increased demand, the center receives far...

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Health & Human Services

Asthma is the most common chronic disease in childhood and the leading cause of non-injury hospitalization among children from birth to age 15.  Children in high-poverty, inner-city neighborhoods are at particularly high risk for asthma, and asthma rates are far higher among African-Americans...

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Health & Human Services

Despite significant declines in recent years, Baltimore’s teen birth rate remains one of the highest in the nation. In 2009, 1,494 Baltimore City teenagers gave birth, many of them for a second or third time: nearly 11 percent of births to 15- to 17-year-olds were at least their second births,...

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Education

In August 2010, the Urban Teacher Center (UTC) launched its unique preparation of skilled teachers committed to measurable results in Baltimore City Public Schools. UTC recruits outstanding candidates, equipping them with state of the art training, and linking their certification to student...

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Education

The Abell Foundation has been an advocate for the highly selective national Teach For America (TFA) program since its inception in Baltimore in 1992. TFA is an alternative teacher certification program that attracts a competitive corps of recent college graduates for a two-year teaching...

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Education

Based on the work of Dr. Richard Allington and Dr. James Kim with voluntary summer reading programs, The Abell Foundation partnered with Baltimore City Schools to launch SummerREADS beginning in 2011.  This summer reading program serves all 2nd and 3rd grade students in 20 designated schools...

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Education

Highlighted in the Public Justice Center’s efforts was the need for both residential and educational components to serve adolescent males.  St. Frances Academy high school, in concert with The Abell Foundation, renovated two empty townhouses adjoining the school. Today, The Father Joubert House...

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Education

Over three years, the Public Justice Center has collaborated with the National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth, Baltimore City Schools and The Abell Foundation to increase educational outcomes for homeless students and for those awaiting foster care placement in...

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Education

As early as 1996, The Abell Foundation was supporting the creation of new schools with greater autonomy through the Baltimore City Public School System’s “New Schools Initiative.” Maryland’s 2002 Charter School law has enabled the opening of 32 charter schools and 20 other new and independently...

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Education

In partnership with the Annie E. Casey Foundation, The Abell Foundation was instrumental in attracting the national principal development program, New Leaders for New Schools, to Baltimore City. The goal of New Leaders is to attract, prepare and mentor the next generation of urban school leaders...

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Education

The National Academic League (NAL) is a competitive scholastic extracurricular program designed to increase middle school achievement. Over 600 sixth-through eighth grade students in 28 Baltimore City public school teams compete bi-weekly in an October through March season, answering a battery...

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Education

When the KIPP Foundation opened its initial Baltimore school in 2001, The Abell Foundation provided the first planning grant. The Foundation served on the founding board of KIPP Baltimore and has provided strategic grants to KIPP to pilot new approaches, such as intervention programs. Today,...

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Education

Inaugurated by The Abell Foundation in 1995, The Ingenuity Project is an ambitious effort to provide an accelerated and enriched math, science and research curriculum to eligible Baltimore City middle-and high-school students. The goal of the Ingenuity Project is to nurture and develop city...

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Education

The brainchild of Hopkins’ graduate student Sarah Hemminger, Incentive Mentoring Project (IMP) takes the unique approach of serving the lowest-performing 9th-grade students with a “family” of 6-10 voluntary mentors for up to ten years spanning high school and college graduation.  Each IMP mentee...

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Education

DonorsChoose.org is a nonprofit website where public school teachers can submit proposals for supplies and materials to support projects that they feel show promise of increasing student achievement. Individuals interested in providing the support are invited to search the web, identify...

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Education

Based on MDRC work to increase college completion rates at community colleges, The Abell Foundation partnered with Baltimore City Community College and The Community College of Baltimore County to pilot performance-based scholarships to recent graduates of Baltimore City Public Schools.  Up to $...

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Education

Data from the National Student Clearinghouse indicates that less than 10 percent of Baltimore City Public School graduates have completed a two- or four-year college degree within six years of high school graduation. Partnering with the CollegeBound Foundation, The Abell Foundation is sponsoring...

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Education

In 2003, the Baltimore City Public School System (BCPSS) launched a chess project that now engages more than 800 children in 55 elementary, middle, and high schools.  The project has received support and five grants from The Abell Foundation totaling $175,000.  The Baltimore City Public School...

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Education

Together with the Open Society Institute, The Abell Foundation helped to launch BERC in 2008.  BERC is a partnership of the Baltimore City Public Schools, Johns Hopkins University, Morgan State University, and other civic and community partners. BERC’s mission is to conduct and disseminate long...

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Education

Since 1994, the ACLU has been a champion of students’ rights to an adequate education in Baltimore City.  Its Education Reform project has been instrumental in advocating for increased statewide funding for City schools through the Bridge for Excellence legislation and for continued maintenance...

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Health & Human Services

Each year, several thousand Baltimore City children are placed in out-of-home care, including foster and kinship care homes, group homes and residential treatment centers.  While foster care is intended to be a temporary safe haven for children whose parents cannot provide them with adequate...

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Health & Human Services

It is well established that families living in distressed, high-poverty neighborhoods struggle against far greater odds than families who live in economically strong communities.  Conversely, poor families who are able to move to more affluent communities have access to a wide range of benefits—...

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Opening Doors of Opportunity

The Foundation places a strong emphasis on opening the doors of opportunity to the disenfranchised, believing that no community can thrive if those who live on the margins of it are not included.