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Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation Matches $250,000 Raised by YWCA Minneapolis for Early Learning Scholarships

By YWCA Minneapolis
July 16, 2019
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Minneapolis, MN: Over the past year, YWCA Minneapolis has been working toward the goal of raising $250,000 in donations to meet a dollar-for-dollar challenge grant backed by the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation. YWCA Minneapolis is excited to announce that it has reached this goal.

$500,000 Toward Early Learning Scholarships

A total of $500,000 will be invested in the next generation of Minnesotans through scholarships to children in YWCA Minneapolis Early Childhood Education programs. These scholarships will help make high-quality preschool accessible to families with low incomes in Minneapolis and St. Paul. Each of the next three years we will be able to provide scholarships to about 125 children, ages 3 – 5. This opportunity to prepare for kindergarten will build a foundation of social, emotional and cognitive skills that will help contribute to lifelong success.

“The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation understands that access to a high-quality early childhood program helps families build self-sufficiency while fostering the critical skills and growth that pre-K children need to be successful throughout their lives,” says Mark C. Dienhart, president and CEO, The Richard M. Schulze Foundation.

35,000 Children in Minnesota Without Access

Studies show that for every $1 spent on educating the youngest children of low-income households, the lifetime return is $16. Unfortunately, the state’s budget for its Early Learning Scholarship program is not enough to cover everyone – as many as 35,000 children in low-income households across Minnesota are unable to access high-quality early learning programs because of the high cost. YWCA Minneapolis and the Schulze Foundation partnered together on this initiative to help close this gap.

Closing the Opportunity Gap

“We are incredibly grateful to our donors and to the Schulze Foundation for helping us make high-quality early childhood education more accessible in Minnesota,” says Kari Clark, chief development officer, YWCA Minneapolis. “These scholarships will make a tremendous impact on children’s lives so that they start kindergarten ready to thrive. This is a huge step toward closing the opportunity gap; early success changes children’s futures, in school and into adulthood.”

The Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation (“RMSFF”) was created in 2004 by Best Buy founder, Dick Schulze, with a mission to alleviate human suffering and improve the world for humankind. RMSFF focuses on giving back to the communities of priority to Dick and his family — in the Twin Cities, where he built Best Buy to become the world’s largest consumer electronics retailer and in Florida, where he now maintains a permanent residence. RMSFF supports organizations operating in the areas of human and social services, education, including college and early learning scholarship awards, and health and medicine. Learn More

YWCA Minneapolis is a nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating racism and empowering women and girls. For more than 127 years, we have worked to create opportunities to overcome social injustice, particularly in matters of gender and race. Last year, YWCA Minneapolis served more than 30,000 people in our community through our high-quality programs. Learn More