The Monsanto Fund is committed to supporting solutions that address education and community needs where our employees live and work. With more than 4,000 employees working at Monsanto’s headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, there are many programs supported by the Monsanto Fund focused on educating our youth and giving them a better chance to succeed in life.
A great example of this focus is City Academy. City Academy was founded on the mission to create a high-performing independent elementary school for committed families whose educational opportunities were limited by economic or geographical factors. City Academy stimulates intellectual growth while encouraging students to behave with integrity, to be good citizens, and to develop a love of learning.
“With help from the Monsanto Fund, our students have developed a love for science,” Don Danforth III, President and Co-Founder of City Academy, said. “They have the opportunity to engage with the subject in an inquiry-based way, which really creates an energetic learning environment. It is exciting to watch our students develop into people who have questions and seek answers in a thoughtful way.”
College Bound is a similar program providing promising high school students from low-income backgrounds with the academic enrichment, social supports and life skills needed to apply, to matriculate and to achieve high-quality postsecondary degrees that prepare students for careers yielding family-sustaining incomes.
“Generous funding from Monsanto paved the way for an intensive summer academic program for College Bound students on the campus of St. Louis University,” Lisa Orden Zarin, Founder and CEO, College Bound, said. “This year, students raised their math competencies in Algebra II and Geometry by 40%. A Critical Thinking course integrating science-based curriculum doubled students’ competencies. Math pods and tutoring extend through the school year and combine with 21st century workforce skills so that students can succeed in STEM degrees and become assets to our workforce.”
Promoting higher education for young men from low-income families and residing in high risk areas is what Loyola Academy is all about. Loyola Academy affords these young men the opportunity to achieve their full potential both academically and socially.
“Monsanto Fund’s support for Loyola Academy started five years ago with a $150,000 commitment to the science laboratory,” Faith Barnes, Development Director, Loyola Academy, said. ”And Monsanto Fund has sustained that commitment over the past three years by providing funding to support a certified science teacher and enrichment activities for the students. The addition of the certified science teacher has inspired and nurtured students’ interest in science, increased students’ standardized test scores by more than 13% and increased student overall academic performance in the area of science.” Science is a big part of the Power of Plants contest.
With a generous grant of $50,000 from the Monsanto Fund for 2010-2011, the Missouri Botanical Garden successfully conducted this contest open to groups of two to five students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. Groups were challenged to pick a plant that does great things and tell its tale through a physical or digital creation. Given the important need to increase public awareness of and appreciation for plants, entries were judged on how creatively, effectively and broadly they were shared with wider audiences, in addition to their botanical accuracy and quality.
“Plants form the basis of life as we know it, and provide a host of benefits for the planet and its inhabitants: oxygen, food, medicine, fuel, beauty and more,” Sheila Voss, Vice President, Education for the Garden, said. “Contest participants were asked to select one such plant that does great things for people, and tell its story.”
This article is excerpted from Monsanto’s 2010-2011 Fund Report. To see the full report, please visit MonsantoFund.org.