Major Grant from Jack Kent Cooke Foundation to Help Duke TIP Serve Even More Gifted Elementary Students from Low-Income Backgrounds

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

For Immediate Release

Katy Munger
(919) 668-9153

DURHAM, NC—A major grant by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will allow the Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) to register high-ability, low-income students in TIP’s renowned academic programming for gifted scholars at no cost to their families. The grant supports a special TIP program called Project Launch, which engages low-income scholars in a variety of academic opportunities. These activities include TIP’s CRISIS summer program, mentored online courses, above-grade level testing to better evaluate each student’s academic strengths, a book club, and special email notifications to parents that help them advocate for and support their children.

Project Launch, which is now entering its second year, is contributing to an empirical understanding of how academic support services can most strongly influence a high-potential, low-income student’s academic success. The program evaluates the relative and cumulative impacts of various academic interventions and tracks whether combinations of services can provide greater benefits to students compared to individual interventions alone.

As participants in TIP’s CRISIS summer program for fifth and sixth graders, 2015 Project Launch scholars will assume the role of a professional on a research team. They will work with other team members to examine the effects of a hypothetical off-shore drilling disaster from the perspective of engineers, lawyers, researchers, marine biologists, journalists, economists, and business leaders. CRISIS participants will also participate in leadership and development activities that help them discover more about their abilities and future career aspirations.

“We are thrilled to receive a continuation of grant funding for Project Launch,” Duke TIP Executive Director Martha Putallaz said. “The grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will allow us to identify and serve gifted children who would not otherwise have had this unique learning opportunity.”

“Duke is proud of our 10-year partnership with the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation,” said Duke University President Richard H. Brodhead. “We’re grateful for this generous gift, which will make it possible for Duke and the Foundation to work together on behalf of low-income gifted scholars for many more years to come.”

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. By offering the largest scholarships in the country, in-depth academic counseling and other direct services, the foundation seeks to help high-performing, low-income students develop their talents and excel educationally. The foundation also provides grants for noteworthy and innovative initiatives that support high-performing, low-income students. The grant to Duke TIP is part of JKCF’s Summer Enrichment Grant initiative. Founded in 2000, the foundation has awarded over $130 million in scholarships to nearly 1,900 students and over $80 million in grants.

“We are squandering the talents of millions of students who would pursue successful and influential careers if only they had educational opportunities that prepared them early on,” said Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Executive Director Harold O. Levy. “The Cooke Foundation is tackling this monumental waste by supporting organizations and programs that will put low-income middle and high school students on a successful path to college and beyond.”

For more information about the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, please visit For more information about Duke TIP, please visit


About Duke TIP: The Duke University Talent Identification Program (Duke TIP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving academically talented youth. As a global leader in gifted education, Duke TIP works with students, families, and educators to identify, recognize, challenge, engage, and support gifted youth in reaching their highest potential. More than 2.5 million students have benefited from TIP programs and resources since 1980. Duke TIP’s talent identification, academic, and research programs now serve as worldwide models for the education of gifted students.