Cummings Major Awards Nonprofit Merrimack Valley Elevation |  News

Cummings Major Awards Nonprofit Merrimack Valley Elevation | News

STEM learning for kids got a big boost in Lawrence.

So did a emergency food pantry program and a growing initiative in Haverhill where adults with intellectual difficulties learn to buy ingredients and prepare their homemade and commercializable favorites.

Eight Lawrence nonprofits, along with four from Andover, three from North Andover and one from Haverhill, received Cummings Foundation grants ranging from $60,000 over three years to $750,000 over 10 years to help educate, improve , shelter and feed people in need.

The Foundation on Tuesday announced its beneficiaries by 2024, giving 30 million dollars to 150 organizations in 49 towns and cities of Massachusetts.

It is an affiliate of Woburn-based commercial real estate company Cummings Properties and assists organizations in or near the communities where it owns and leases commercial real estate.

Net rental proceeds from its 11 million square feet of freehold property fund the foundation’s philanthropy.

Cummings owns 40 Shattuck Road in Andover, 120,000 square feet of office and research and development space at the corner of River Road.

Esperanza Academy, a privately funded tuition-free high school in Lawrence, received a $500,000 grant from the Cummings Foundation over 10 years to hire a second full-time math teacher and enrich the education of its mostly black and white students. brown The academy has extended day classes 11 months a year.

Math skills, including those used in algebra, are critical for students to build a foundation for further STEM learning and entry into rewarding, well-paying careers.

Esperanza’s half-million-dollar grant comes at a crucial time. Construction will begin this fall on a $30 million school at 454 N. Canal St. The four-story, 30,000-square-foot glass and brick school will open in 2026, expand its grades to K-8 and eventually grow from its current enrollment of around 60 to up to 180 students.

Meanwhile, also in Lawrence, the Boys & Girls Club, which received a 10-year, $333,000 grant, will renovate its science room and hire a staff member to lead STEM activities, said Markus Fischer, the club’s executive director. .

STEM learning will round out the education at the club, which already has a strong literacy program. The club served just under 2,000 registered children last year, he said.

In Haverhill, Jennifer Matthews, director of L’Arche Boston North, an organization that helps adults with disabilities develop culinary skills, said the $500,000 grant she received will change their lives.

The group already makes a popular hummus sold in the Hoverhill farmers market.

Other 10-year grantees in our area are Project Home Again in Andover, $350,000, to provide furniture and other household items to low-income families, and Bread & Roses Community Kitchen, $750,000, to feed hungry people through their emergency pantry program.

The recipients of the decennial grants are well known to the Foundation, which has awarded them grants before, said Foundation Executive Director Joyce Vyriotes.

Recipients of the three-year grant in Andover were A Better Chance of Andover, $120,000; Gifts from Aaron, $225,000; and Massachusetts Law School in Andover, $150,000.

The three-year grant winners in North Andover were community raids, $105,000; Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation, $ 75,000; and Merrimack Valley black and brown voices, $ 60,000.

Recipients of the three-year grant in Lawrence were ACT Lawrence, $75,000; Lodging bread and roses, $100,000; Greater Lawrence Community Boating, $150,000; Integrated Group Medical Visit Center, $135,000; and Sueños Basketball, $100,000.

Cummings’ major grant program primarily supports Massachusetts nonprofit organizations based in Middlesex, Essex and Suffolk counties, as well as Norfolk, Brookline, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Quincy and Wellesley counties.

Nancy Kanell, founder and president of Andover-based Project Home Again, said Cummings’ grants provide peace of mind to nonprofits.

Project Home Again knows that before the year even begins, it will have $35,000 to help families move into a home with furniture, bedding and other essential items.

“The Cummings grant is like a seal of approval,” he said.