Big donation from KeyBank Foundation to benefit CMSD Stem School

CLEVELAND - The Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Cleveland State University are partnering to create a STEM school for juniors and seniors on the CSU campus, thanks to a $1.25 million grant. The grant came from the KeyBank Foundation on Tuesday.

The money will be used to renovate CSU's Rhodes Tower for students from the Cleveland schools MC2STEM high school. Improvements will include updated classrooms, laboratories and a fabrication lab where computers and production equipment are linked through technology to allow students to create objects based on their own designs. 

Part of the money will also be used to provide scholarship support for students intending to take early college courses and enroll at CSU.

The goal is to immerse the high school students in a college environment so they are better prepared when it comes time to enroll in a 4-year university.

MC 2STEM, which emphasizes technology, engineering and math, recently graduated its first class and 100 percent of those graduates enrolled at a university.

Currently, 9th grade students at MC 2 attend classes at the Great Lakes Science Center, while sophmores are taught at GE Lighting's Nela Park campus in East Cleveland.

In a news release, KeyBank Chairman and CEO Beth Mooney said, "We are proud to invest in a partnership that we believe holds great value for Northeast Ohio as it prepares students for success in education and for advanced careers in a modern workforce."

Cleveland Metropolitan School District CEO Eric Gordon said, "The long-standing partnerships maintained with KeyBank and CSU have been instrumental in our ability to expand our high-performing school choices in Cleveland. Support from our business and higher education communities provides additional momentum for the implementation of the Cleveland Plan that complements levy support from citizens to propel us toward our transformation goals."

The gift is the latest in a series from KeyBank Foundation in support of STEM education at CMSD. In 2011, the Foundation awarded $700,000 to the Cleveland schools to fund STEM programming and support services at six elementary and middle schools in the District.

Altogether, the KeyBank Foundation has awarded CMSD more than $2.5 million to support STEM education initiatives.

KeyBank also announced they will be donating 1,900 computers to CMSD for use in classrooms and computer labs across the District.

The grant agreement is expected to be approved by the boards of CMSD and CSU at their next meetings.

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