Ballmer Awards $10 Million to Close Achievement Gap in Minneapolis

Ballmer Awards $10 Million to Close Achievement Gap in Minneapolis

The Northside Achievement Zone in Minneapolis has announced a five-year, $10 million grant from the Ballmer Group to accelerate its transition from a federally funded initiative to a sustainable public-private partnership.

Part of the quiet phase of a $35 million fundraising campaign to replace funds lost as the result of an expiring federal Promise Neighborhood grant, the funds will enable NAZ to continue and scale its efforts to close the academic achievement gap in North Minneapolis. NAZ will use a portion of the grant to launch a $1 million early-learning scholarship fund for low-income families and, over the next three to five years, will use money raised by the campaign to fund an education pipeline, family coaches, parenting education, and whole family support in the areas of housing, health, and careers.

"Minnesota has a long history of building innovative solutions to critical challenges through private-public partnerships," said NAZ president and CEO Sondra Samuels. "Ballmer Group's grant, the leadership role of our corporate and philanthropic community, and the contributions of individual Minnesotans should give all Minnesotans great confidence that NAZ's work is being held to rigorous standards, that our resources are being used efficiently, and that every dollar invested will be leveraged many times over."