The board of the Prudential Foundation has approved about $3.6 million in grants.

The foundation, a nonprofit organization backed by a unit of Prudential Financial Inc., Newark, N.J. (NYSE:PRU), is giving the grants to efforts to improve public education and build strong and prosperous communities.

The biggest grant, for $875,000, will go to the Prudential Youth Development Initiative in Newark. The initiative invests in efforts to create out-of-school programs for middle school and high school students.

Earlier this year, the foundation awarded $2.7 million in grants to other organizations, including arts programs, health programs and education programs.

In other personnel changes:

- Sun Life Financial U.S., Wellesley, Mass., a unit of Sun Life Financial Inc., Toronto (NYSE:SLF), has awarded $165,000 in scholarships and grants to 3 nonprofit organizations in Boston through the Sun Life Rising Star Awards program. The program recognizes high school students who have overcome adversity and the nonprofit organizations that have supported those students.