Education Works invests in after-school programs and career pathways, and builds endowments for scholarships.

September 2014 | Dr. Jackie Copeland-Carson leads the annual Board Retreat.  Trustees accept her recommendations to streamline the grantmaking process and invest in local education-for-employment efforts.

January 2015 | Grants and communications departments are combined to build support for Education Works.

Spring & Summer 2015 | Staff overhauls grant programs, condensing 17 grant programs to seven and reducing the Community Grants’ application by two-thirds.

Fall 2015 | At the annual grantseekers meeting, CFNIL launches Education Works and announces the criteria for after-school programs and career pathways. CFNIL unveils the changes to Community Grants and other programs. Grants worth $574,920 are made to activities that align with Education Works.

December 2015 | CFNIL announces Rubin Education Challenge—a challenge grant program to build scholarship endowments for students attending local colleges or universities. Rockford University, Highland Community College, and later Rock Valley College take up the Challenge.  Once completed, the endowments created by the Rubin Education Challenge will be worth $8 million, with CFNIL contributing a dollar for every dollar raised by the schools.

Spring 2016 | CFNIL accepts applications for Community Grants and awards $373,788 to activities that align with Education Works.

Fall 2016 | CFNIL accepts applications for Community Grants and awards $616,876 to activities that align with Education Works.

Spring 2017 | CFNIL investigates its grantmaking policies and criteria and examines the impact of past grant cycles.

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