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news: Press Releases: 2016 January: John W. McCormack Middle School



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Lisa Murray                                                                                            


Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Grant Helps Keep 8th Grade Students in School and On Track to Graduate

Boston, MA, January 11, 2016 – The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp., a nonprofit, tax-exempt entity established by attorneys from the law firm of Brown Rudnick LLP, awarded a Community Grant to the John W. McCormack Middle School in Dorchester, MA to support the school’s efforts to reduce drop-out rates among 8th grade students. Grant dollars will help fund a variety of incentives, from movie tickets to college visits, which reward strong performance and motivate students to improve their attendance, behavior and grades. 

Neema Avashia, 8th grade civics teacher and grant applicant, “We believe that using incentives to support the development of strong habits is an important first step in reducing the dropout crisis, and ensuring that our students know the key factors that they need to address in their own school performance in order to be successful. As part of the school’s Early Warning Indicators (EWI) incentives initiative, we piloted an incentive programs during the 2014-2015 school year. This program successfully increased student attendance and grades, and we anticipate that we can have the same impact this year.”

Al Wallis, Executive Director of the Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corp, commented, “Research shows that early warning indicators of dropout for students are recognizable as early as 6th grade. Attendance, behavior, and grades play a significant role in determining whether students will graduate from high school on time. We are pleased to support Ms. Ashahia's grant request and the John W. McCormack Middle School’s program to keep students in school and on track to graduate.”

Created to support front-line educators who often do not have a voice in funding decisions, the Community Grants subsidize small, concrete projects, which will improve inner-city education within Boston, Hartford, London, Orange County, Providence, New York, or Washington DC within the coming year. The Foundation will generally consider grant applications monthly and award grants in an amount totaling not more than $2000 in any one month. The grant applications and an explanation of the program can be found at

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