The James Cox Foundation Gift Supports Early Childhood Education Initiative In Metro Atlanta

By Special to the Daily World
Cox Enterprises announced recently that The James M. Cox Foundation is contributing a $1.75 million gift to Teach For America. The gift will be given over the next three years to fund “The Cox Pre-K Program.” Teach For America recruits, trains and supports top college graduates and professionals who commit to teach for two years in under-resourced schools and become lifelong leaders in the pursuit of educational equity. The graduates who join Teach For America are known as corps members, and those participating in The Cox Pre-K Program will be recognized as Cox Fellows.

In the fall of 2011, Teach For America–Metro Atlanta will expand from kindergarten- to 12th-grade classrooms to include early childhood education. Through the support of this partnership, nearly 50 teachers will serve as educators and Cox Fellows in area Pre-K classrooms over the next three years.

“I strongly believe in the importance of pre-K in the development of young children and am thrilled Teach For America is bringing this focus to Georgia,” said Jim Kennedy, chairman of Cox Enterprises. “Teach For America is one of the nation’s largest providers of teachers for low-income communities. Our founder, James M. Cox, began his career as a schoolteacher, so this partnership is a natural fit. The James M. Cox Foundation is proud to partner with an organization that is helping students build skills for a sustainable future.”

This fall, 300 new teachers will be welcomed to the region to make for a total of approximately 400 Teach For America corps members reaching more than 25,000 students in metro Atlanta schools. Approximately 700 of Teach For America’s local alumni continue to lead critical education and social reforms on behalf of students and families in low-income communities.

“For nearly 12 years, Teach For America has served the metro Atlanta region with the goal of ensuring every student receives an excellent education, regardless of where they live and their economic status,” said Teach For America–Metro Atlanta Executive Director Kwame Griffith. “With the support of the James M. Cox Foundation, we look forward to working alongside our district and charter school partners’ early education efforts as we begin to place highly qualified teachers in pre-K classrooms across the region.”

The James M. Cox Foundation is named in honor of Cox Enterprises’ founder and provides funding for capital campaigns and special projects in communities where the company operates. James M. Cox was Ohio’s first three-term governor and the 1920 Democratic nominee for president of the United States. Cox Enterprises is a leading communications, media and automotive services company.

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