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Funder Spotlight: The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation

Year after year, the expert team of teachers of the deaf, speech-language pathologists and audiologists at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech continues to shape the futures of children who are deaf or hard of hearing by teaching the listening, learning and spoken language skills they need to succeed.

Our programs and services are made possible by generous funders with a staunch commitment to our mission, resulting in exciting learning opportunities and life-changing outcomes. 

The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, whose grants to Clarke Northampton span more than five decades, is among our most longstanding supporters. Based in Springfield, Massachusetts, The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation is a private family foundation established in 1970 by the late James E. Davis and his mother, the late Irene E. Davis. 

Having spent some of her childhood in an orphanage, Irene believed that those with resources have a responsibility to give back to their community. The foundation was established to formalize Irene’s generosity.  

Irene and her husband, George, were leaders in the support and promotion of cultural, educational, human service and religious organizations throughout Hampden County, Massachusetts and surrounding neighborhoods. The foundation has a strong interest in supporting early childhood and literacy programs. 

At Clarke, team members work yearlong with young students to cultivate literacy skills. Literacy skills aren’t just vital to children’s ability to learn, they also help engage their imaginations, connect socially and cultivate confidence. At Clarke Northampton, more than 140 students are served annually through our Listening and Spoken Language Programs. 

Since 1980, The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation has made grants totaling more than $700,000 to Clarke Northampton, including a recent commitment of $15,000 received in April 2023.  

“We are thrilled to have the continued support of The Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation,” said Judy Sexton, interim president and head of programs and schools. “We are so grateful for the foundation’s forty-plus year investment in our work, which makes it possible to offer high-quality Listening and Spoken language services year after year to hundreds of children and families.” 

To learn more about the Irene E. & George A. Davis Foundation, click here. 


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