Community Foundation Awards More Than $6.4 Million

The Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties recently awarded the largest grant in its history — $661,203 over a two-year period — to the University of Florida’s College of Education to help fund the launch of a three-year reform by the School District of Palm Beach County and UF to build a “best in class” educational program in the vital STEM subject areas of science, technology, engineering and math.

The ambitious effort is expected to transform teacher practice and student learning in the STEM subjects and will benefit thousands of Palm Beach County teachers and students.

The Community Foundation partnered with the Mary and Robert Pew Public Education Fund and the Quantum Foundation to fund the rollout, providing more than $1 million collectively in grants during the first year. Additional funding will be considered before the second and third year of the reform.

The Community Foundation is committed to working with community stakeholders to tackle issues and design solutions, and this collaboration will help redefine the future of educators and students in Palm Beach County.

The grant was funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fund, an endowed fund of the Community Foundation.

“This partnership provides an exciting opportunity to build upon the incredible work our teachers are already doing every day in their classrooms,” said Jillian C. Vukusich, vice president for programs at the Community Foundation. “The foundation, together with its donors, is pleased to support the professional development of our local teaching workforce to strengthen student outcomes. As the biotech industry continues to grow locally, now is the time to work toward creating one of the finest science and math educational systems in the country.”

The University of Florida was among 354 nonprofit organizations and 89 students that were awarded $6,475,373 in grants and scholarships in the 2012-13 fiscal year. The grants supported a wide range of needs and programs in Palm Beach and Martin counties and were drawn from income generated by unrestricted funds within the Community Foundation’s endowment, as well as others grants that were directed by the foundation’s donors. Since 1972, the Community Foundation, together with its donors, has awarded more than $100 million in grants and scholarships.

As one of Florida’s largest community foundations, the organization works for Palm Beach and Martin counties in multiple ways, playing multiple roles. For donors, the foundation offers an effective way to manage giving by providing expert philanthropic advice rooted in a deep knowledge of the community and an array of philanthropic vehicles and services. For the community, the foundation serves as a grant maker and a civic leader and awards grants to the region’s nonprofits to help meet community needs, fulfills donors’ philanthropic wishes and strengthens the nonprofit sector. Using local knowledge, networks, influence and creativity, the foundation brings people together to improve the community’s quality of life, now and in the future.

Founded in 1972, the foundation has total assets of more than $140 million and has awarded more than $100 million in grants and scholarships. For more info., visit