MassMutual Foundation Grants $1M to Springfield Schools
SPRINGFIELD — The MassMutual Foundation Inc. — a dedicated corporate foundation established by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual) — today announced it is providing Springfield Public Schools $1 million to expand the City Connects program into eight additional elementary schools throughout the city.
This grant further demonstrates the MassMutual Foundation’s ongoing commitment to Springfield and aligns with its focus on supporting programs that broaden economic opportunity for students and their families by transforming the system of learning. It is also consistent with the company’s recent decision to expand and reinvest in Massachusetts, including continuing to be a leading community partner in the Springfield area.
“Education is a key lever in achieving financial security later in life and the MassMutual Foundation is committed to ensuring that students have access to the support system and resources needed to learn and thrive in school,” said Dennis Duquette, head of MassMutual community responsibility and president of the MassMutual Foundation. “The City Connects program has already garnered great results in our schools; this investment will expand the program’s reach, bringing positive change for even more students and their families.”
City Connects, a national program executed by the Lynch School of Education at Boston College, launched in five Springfield Public Schools in September 2011 and has tripled its reach and impact, serving 15 schools in 2017. The MassMutual Foundation grant will enable City Connects to reach a total of 23 schools. The program provides support for students based on their individual needs by addressing out-of-school challenges that affect student success, and leverages existing community resources and support services to optimize students’ readiness to learn.
During the 2016-17 school year, City Connects served more than 5,000 Springfield students, and nearly 100 community partners provided support and services to meet these students’ unique strengths, needs and interests. Research has shown that the City Connects program significantly improves students’ academic performance; some positive long-term effects include lower dropout rates, higher test scores, and less chronic absenteeism.
In addition to strengthening education in Springfield, the MassMutual Foundation invests in projects, programs and organizations focused on strengthening the city of Springfield through revitalization, development, and social capital. In recent years, signature investments in the region include $15 million of support over 10 years to UMass Amherst to drive education and economic opportunity in Western Massachusetts, $1 million to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Capital Campaign to revitalize the museum, $1 million of support over three years to Valley Venture Mentors, and seasonally supporting the Springfield Museums.