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LEF Awarded $150,000 from Jack Kent Cooke Foundation for LCPS STEM Program

The Loudoun Education Foundation (LEF) is the recipient of a $150,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to support the STEM program, Level Up, for academically-talented middle school students who are economically vulnerable in Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS).

Level Up continues the enrichment provided by the PROPEL program, (formerly known as EDGE Academy), in LCPS elementary schools. The PROPEL programs has received $485,000 in seed funding and continued support from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Students in PROPEL and Level Up programs engage in intensive, long-term investigations focused on STEM content to develop them as critical thinkers and communicators and prepare them to enroll in advanced coursework in high school. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation’s funding will support program expansion within the current program at Sterling Middle School and Seneca Ridge Middle school into two additional middle schools: River Bend Middle School and Smarts Mill Middle School.

The LEF is among five organizations receiving a total of $565,500 in new grant funding from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, designed to close excellence gaps and support college access for high-achieving students with financial need in the Northern Virginia region. The grants will enable over 1,400 students to access programs focused on providing high-quality academic experiences and college success initiatives.

Patricia Herr, PROPEL and Level Up Coordinator with LCPS, stated, “The Level Up Program is grateful for the support of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. Because of their support, we can meet with our students and work with them every other day, rather than just two days a week after school. This allows us to give them both support and enrichment opportunities as they plan for their futures”.

“We’re proud to support the meaningful work of these organizations which are dedicated to closing excellence gaps,” said Seppy Basili, executive director of the Cooke Foundation. “These grants build on our nearly two decades of working alongside organizations focused on helping talented students without financial resources pursue postsecondary education.”

“The Loudoun Education Foundation is very appreciative of this funding for the Level Up program in Loudoun County Public Schools and is excited to continue working with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation on closing the excellence gap,” said LEF Executive Director, Dawn Meyer.


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For more than 30 years, the Loudoun Education Foundation has demonstrated how community support can make meaningful educational impacts in the classroom and beyond. As an independent nonprofit, we engage our community to invest in critical and innovative programs that foster academic success and the well-being of students and educators. We fund programs that stimulate students’ curiosity, create exceptional learning opportunities, and provide needed resources to educators, students and families.

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