TD Bank awards $625K grant to LUCY Outreach in Camden

Program, which stands for Lifting Up Camden's Youth Inside & Outside of the Classroom, is tackling learning loss in underserved community

LUCY Outreach, a Camden-based nonprofit outreach program that focuses on providing assistance to low-income Camden city and county students ages 10-19 in their progression to the next grade, including college, recently received a $625,000 grant from TD Bank.

LUCY Outreach, which stands for Lifting Up Camden’s Youth Inside & Outside of the Classroom, is one of six organizations in the country to receive a grant from the 2021 TD Ready Challenge.

The recipients all are developing innovative, scalable solutions to assist disproportionately impacted students in grades K-12 who are experiencing pandemic-related learning loss in math and reading. The organizations, which received just over $3 million in total, are all based in TD Bank’s Maine-to-Florida footprint.

Each year, TD commits nearly $8 million through the TD Ready Challenge to support innovative, scalable solutions from nonprofit and charitable organizations designed to address a specific problem statement.

LUCY Outreach offers ongoing support in homework assistance, college and career counseling, and more to address disproportionate learning loss, particularly in vulnerable and marginalized communities. It aims to empower the next generation of youth in Camden.

Research predicts that students from low-income households, students with limited internet access, indigenous and racialized students, as well as students with disabilities, will experience even more considerable setbacks as a result of the switch to virtual learning. While not all students will be affected equally, these communities in particular will feel a greater impact and face tougher challenges as a result learning loss.

Shelley Sylva, head of U.S corporate citizenship at TD Bank, said the issue is personal to her.

About the TD Ready Challenge

The TD Ready Challenge is TD Bank’s annual North American initiative recognizing organizations helping to address a problem statement connected to one of the four drivers of the bank’s corporate citizenship platform: financial security, vibrant planet, connected communities and better health.

Now in its fourth year, the TD Ready Challenge continues to focus on helping create a more inclusive and sustainable future by invigorating communities and encouraging its customers to feel confident about their own futures.

More than 300 applicants submitted their organizations’ initiatives for consideration.

“As a mother who has experienced the challenges of remote learning firsthand, I am thrilled to support these incredible organizations that are finding meaningful ways to help those students who have fallen behind catch up,” she said. “At TD, we continue to focus our efforts on making sure the communities we serve have an equitable COVID-19 recovery, and I am eager to see how this year’s grantees will change lives and offer opportunities for individuals driving the future of innovation, talent and growth.”

Janice Farrell Jones, senior vice president, sustainability and corporate citizenship, at TD Bank Group, agreed.

“Intermittent school closures and in-class learning disruptions over the last two years have created significant challenges for both students and teachers,” she said. “Through the 2021 TD Ready Challenge, we are proud to provide funding to 15 organizations that will scale innovative programs designed to help tackle predicted learning loss.

“Their efforts will help create opportunities for students so that they can feel more confident about their futures and so that they can succeed in a changing world.”