Cooper Foundation Awards First Quarter Grants

Lincoln, Neb. — The Cooper Foundation awarded a grant of $12,500 to Central Community College, Hastings, Nebraska, in support of the Nebraska Math Readiness Project (NMRP). This three-year pilot project will provide support for high school students who need to improve their math skills before entering and completing a college-level math course.

Five of Nebraska’s community colleges (Central Community College, Mid-Plains Community College, Northeast Community College, Southeast Community College, and Western Nebraska Community College) are working together to provide a path to post-secondary success. The NMRP establishes a collaboration among the community colleges and fifteen identified high school partners to assist students in achieving their academic goals.

The goal of The Nebraska Math Readiness Project is to develop a statewide, systematic approach that addresses the low percentage of Nebraska high school students who are college-ready in math upon high school graduation. With teacher oversight, students work on a virtual platform that provides personalized tools to improve math skills and build upon existing knowledge. During the initial three years, the NMRP will serve a total of 1,100 students through 80 sections of instruction. Cooper Foundation’s grant will support students in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information, visit,

In addition, the Foundation awarded grants to a diverse group of arts, community improvement, education, and human services organizations. In total, $133,500 was awarded; grant recipients are located in Lincoln unless otherwise noted.


Flatwater Shakespeare Company: $5,000
Support for the summer production of Two Gentlemen of Verona and the 9th annual Flatwater Free Shakespeare summer tour presented in a number of Lincoln parks. 

Lincoln Community Playhouse: $10,000
General operating support.

Lincoln Orchestra Association (Lincoln Symphony): $10,000
General operating support.

Community Improvement

Community Services Fund of Nebraska: $6,000
Toward the annual giving campaign of this fundraising coalition, serving 69 diverse Nebraska nonprofit organizations.

Lincoln Community Foundation: $5,000
Support for the 2019 Vital Signs Report. This report will update community-wide indicators with new data, including behavioral health and indicators arising from the Prosper Lincoln initiative.


Bright Lights: $5,000
Support for student scholarships for Bright Lights classes, which offer unique, motivating, hands-on learning opportunities in the summer for students in grades K-8. 

Central Community College (Hastings, Nebraska): $12,500
Support for the Nebraska Math Readiness Project.

Junior Achievement of Lincoln: $10,000
For general operating support. 

Literacy Council of Grand Island: $7,500
General operating support for this organization which provides multifaceted adult literacy instruction and community connections.

The HUB: $10,000
To support the GED educational program. The HUB Central Access Point for Young Adults provides support and programming for young people transitioning into adulthood to become productive, independent, active members of the community.

Human Services

Food Bank of Lincoln: $7,500
Toward a software upgrade that will improve the Food Bank’s operations, tracking, and reporting.

Men With Dreams: $15,000
For general operating to support youth development programs.

Voices of Hope: $15,000
Support for prevention programs to reduce relationship and sexual violence in Lincoln and Lancaster County.

YWCA of Lincoln: $15,000
To support the Finance Manager staff position.

The Cooper Foundation, established by Joseph H. Cooper in 1934, has granted nearly $24 million to benefit the people of Nebraska. The Foundation makes quarterly grants supporting arts, community improvement, education, environment, humanities and human services primarily in Lincoln and Lancaster County. For more information about grant eligibility and the application process visit the foundation’s web site,

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