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Northwestern Mutual Announces 26 Grants to Promote Literacy and Higher Education
Almost $1.4 million in funding will strengthen local nonprofits and educational institutions

MILWAUKEE, April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Numerous studies show that a child's reading skill is a key determinant of future success both inside and outside the classroom.  Northwestern Mutual, through its Foundation, is announcing 26 grants totaling nearly $1.4 million to 23 Wisconsin nonprofits that promote childhood literacy and increase access to higher education.


Eighteen Northwestern Mutual grants strengthen kindergarten-to-12th grade reading programs that build academic aptitude and help increase high school graduation rates. The remaining eight grants support higher education programs, including scholarship awards for first generation college students. 

"Few things shape the stability of a child's life and a community's future like education, and it all begins with being able to read," said John Kordsmeier, president, Northwestern Mutual Foundation. "By investing in effective literacy programs, more children will be able to reach their full potential and we'll build a stronger community."

Spotlight on Teach For America - Milwaukee

One recipient of a Northwestern Mutual grant is Teach For America – Milwaukee. The organization works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunities for children facing the challenges of poverty. Teach For America recruits and develops recent college graduates and professionals to teach for two years in low-income communities throughout the United States. Northwestern Mutual's support has helped place 100 teachers jobs in high-needs schools in Milwaukee. These teachers have impacted the lives of approximately 6,000 students in grades K-12 and nearly 90 percent of students taught by second-year Teach For America teachers average more than one grade level of growth in their reading levels.

"The vast majority of the 16 million children living in poverty across the nation are not getting an excellent education," said Maurice Thomas, executive director, Teach for America – Milwaukee. "This generous gift will support the training and ongoing leadership development of teachers and alumni dedicated to working alongside community efforts to ensure that even more students in Milwaukee have the educational opportunities they deserve. We are very thankful for Northwestern Mutual's commitment to educational equity and excellence."

Organizations receiving a Northwestern Mutual literacy or education grant include:

Literacy Grants



Business and Economics Academy of Milwaukee

CompassLearning Odyssey literacy program

City Year Milwaukee

Whole School, Whole Child corp member program support

Dominican High School

Literacy support services

Institute for the Transformation of Learning

Milwaukee Summer Reading Project

Marquette University High School

Evening Enrichment program support

Messmer High School

Literacy support services

Milwaukee College Preparatory School

Support for expansion programming

Milwaukee Public Library Foundation

Summer Reading Program and the Library Reading Challenge in partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks

Next Door Foundation

Family literacy program

Notre Dame Middle School

Literacy programming

Partners Advancing Values in Education

General program support for greater impact in Milwaukee schools

Pearls for Teen Girls

Academic program support

SHARP Literacy

SHARP Literacy Program support at Greenfield Bilingual Elementary

St. Joan Antida High School

Literacy initiative support

Teach For America

Support for 20 corp member teachers in Milwaukee schools

The Parenting Network

HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) in partnership with COA

Urban Day School

Success for All Reading Program

Higher Education Grants



Alverno College

Northwestern Mutual Capstone scholarships

Carroll College

Northwestern Mutual Foundation scholarships

Marquette University

Northwestern Mutual Foundation scholarships, Eckstein Hall support

Milwaukee School Of Engineering

Northwestern Mutual Foundation scholarships

Scholarship America

Franklin Community Scholarship awards and  Northwestern Mutual Scholars Program awards

UWM Foundation

Northwestern Mutual Foundation scholarships

About the Northwestern Mutual Foundation

The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation – the largest corporate giver in the state of Wisconsin – is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation's giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2012, the Foundation will contribute $16.7 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 150 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.  Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurance, long-term care insurance, disability insurance, annuities, investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.



SOURCE Northwestern Mutual

Shawn Rolland, 1-800-323-7033,, for Northwestern Mutual