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The Nationwide Foundation provides grants totaling $1.465 million in support of students, diversity programs

The Ohio State University received grants totaling $1.465 million from The Nationwide Foundation to provide College of Education and Human Ecology support to Columbus City Schools, and to University diversity programs.

The program details and funding amounts are:
• Knowledge Bank & Evaluation Strategies: A total of $875,000 from The Nationwide Foundation for the new Knowledge Bank will help the College of Education and Human Ecology develop a database of proven tools and techniques to help identify and implement best classroom and student practices for use by Columbus City Schools' teachers and administrators. Knowledge Bank will be a primary support tool for educators to evaluate and improve educational strategies in support of the revised, data-driven All School Improvement Process currently being implemented by the district.

• Project Mentor Evaluation: $460,000 of The Nationwide Foundation gift supports Ohio State's College of Education and Human Ecology as an effectiveness evaluator of the program. Project Mentor matches adult mentors with students for one hour of support per week with the goal of helping to increase the 2012 Columbus City Schools' graduate rate to 90 percent. The program is a partnership between Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio and the Columbus City Schools.

• Diversity Programs: The Nationwide Foundation grant also provides $100,000 to support key University diversity programs: the Critical Difference for Women Scholarship Fund, the Office of Minority Affairs President and Provost's Diversity Lecture and Cultural Arts Series, and the Multicultural Center's Nationwide Diversity Leadership Transcript Program.

The collaborative work among Nationwide, Columbus City Schools and Ohio State will enhance the effectiveness of educational systems in Central Ohio and build on the strong collaboration among the three organizations.

"This generous gift from the Nationwide Foundation strengthens Ohio State's partnerships with the Columbus City Schools and furthers our commitment to children and families in Central Ohio," said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. "The gift also enables the University to extend educational opportunities more broadly to all qualified students. For that, I am deeply grateful."

The gift from The Nationwide Foundation is a remarkable contribution to the children and educators of the Columbus City Schools system and will provide strong opportunities for growth and educational performance in Columbus.

"Nationwide and The Ohio State University have been tremendously supportive of Columbus City Schools," said district superintendent Gene T. Harris, Ph.D. "From providing adult mentors for our students, to lending expertise and resources to our staff, this partnership demonstrates how schools, business, and communities can work together to have an impact today and into the future."

The Nationwide Foundation has a long history of support for the programs and people of The Ohio State University. With more than $20 million in gifts to Ohio State, The Nationwide Foundation has tremendously enhanced the quality of life for the university, Central Ohio and the nation.

"We're pleased to partner with The Ohio State University for these important initiatives," said Chad Jester, president of the Nationwide Foundation. "The success of Columbus City School students is vital to the future of our community. Researchers at Ohio State will provide important tools for our partners, Columbus City Schools and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, as they endeavor to enhance graduation rates in our schools. We're also pleased to support programs that support diversity at The Ohio State University, which is another important component in the education of young people in this community."

The Nationwide Foundation is an independent corporation funded by contributions from Nationwide companies. Founded in 1959, the Nationwide Foundation has committed more than $190 million since 2000 to help nonprofit organizations in communities where Nationwide associates and their families live and work.