2023 Community Grants Awards Announced
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FOR THE CSRA
Augusta, GA, December 3, 2022—
The Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for the Central Savannah River Area (CSRA) is pleased to announce that more than $906,000 in grant funding will be disbursed to nonprofits throughout the CSRA. Since 1997, community partners, most notably the Masters Tournament, have contributed to the Community Grants Fund, supporting the Foundation in investing more than $12 million back into the community.
Every year, grant applications are open to local organizations providing services and programs in the priority areas of education and youth enrichment, health and environment, arts, culture, history and assistance for people in need. Our faithful volunteers joined forces to form 22 review panels who reviewed 108 nonprofits addressing the needs of those living in Aiken, Edgefield, Richmond, Columbia, Burke and McDuffie counties. Collectively, this year’s Community Grants recipients will receive more than $615,000.
In addition, $290,000 will be disbursed to partner agencies of the Literacy Initiative in 2023 to deepen the growing impact of this program in the community. The Literacy Initiative began as a pilot program in January 2019 to develop and improve literacy skills from birth to adulthood. Now in its fourth year, the initiative is made up of 10 partnering agencies that continue to implement strategies to identify barriers and address unmet needs for multigenerational impact. After successful, measurable results in the Harrisburg Community, the Community Foundation and its partners extended literacy programming and wrap-around services into the Laney Walker neighborhood.
The 2023 Community Grant recipients are as follows:
143 Ministries International, Inc.- $15,000
143 Ministries offers men’s and women’s addiction recovery/aftercare, employment opportunities and food distribution to the elderly, children and disabled veterans. In September 2021, 143 Ministries purchased Katherine’s Way, a sober living home for women. Many residents are recovering from physical abuse, substance abuse and trauma, and they often fear for their safety. Funds will be used to purchase fencing and security gates, which aim to provide a sense of safety during their recovery.
Aiken Junior Golf Foundation – $15,000
Aiken Junior Golf Foundation, also known as First Tee of Aiken, enables kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges. By seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum, First Tee of Aiken creates active learning experiences that build inner strength, self-confidence and resilience that kids can apply to everything they do. These funds will be used for scholarships, educational programming and other costs associated with equipment, supplies and golf course facility access for youth that might not have otherwise had the ability to participate.
Aiken Music Festival – $15,000
Aiken Music Festival, also known as Joye in Aiken, collaborates with artists from The Juilliard School to provide free outreach to underserved schools and disadvantaged students. Funds will be used to support the 2023 Festival and Outreach Program by engaging approximately 27 Juilliard-trained artists who will conduct free outreach lessons and will provide transportation to the free Kidz Bop and Young People’s Concerts for students. Funds will also provide scholarships to the Jazz Camp for students who would otherwise be unable to attend for financial reasons.
American Red Cross – CSRA – $15,000
Through the Service to the Armed Forces (SAF) and Hero Care Network programs, the American Red Cross provides care and comfort to the members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. Service members have 24-hour access to the Red Cross during times of family emergencies, access to mental health and safety courses, health-care job training, volunteer opportunities and material assistance. Funding will provide critical assistance and resources to service members, veterans and their families in the CSRA.
Apparo Academy – $15,000
Apparo Academy provides Speech, Language, Feeding, Swallowing, Occupational, Sensory and Physical Therapy to children with varying disabilities during the school day as a part of a therapeutic education. Many families do not have insurance, or their insurance does not cover therapy, therefore it is the goal of Apparo Academy to change the trajectory of these children’s lives by providing them with optimal therapy, in an effort to enhance their quality of life and improve their functional performance. Funds will offset costs associated with providing therapy services to children with speech, occupational and physical therapy impairments.
Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, Inc. – $15,000
The Augusta Canal National Heritage Area, Inc. supports the work of the Augusta Canal Authority in providing for the preservation, education, conservation, recreation and economic development
activities protecting over 2,000 acres and 25 miles of land and water trails. The Canal’s 2.8-mile Singletrack trail was damaged by a dredging project at Lake Olmstead. This grant will offset costs associated with restoring the trail and reconnecting the loop, improving the overall experience for all users.
Augusta Dream Center – $12,000
The Augusta Dream Center is a resource center that provides free assistance to those struggling in poverty in the CSRA. By meeting some of life’s basic needs, building relationships and providing a sense of community, they are helping people reach their fullest potential. Many clients lack access to computers, printers and the internet. This grant will be used to purchase technology for the education resource center to extend access to and education of computers to under-resourced individuals in our community.
Augusta Heritage Academy, Inc. – $15,000
Heritage Academy is a leader in urban education delivering a rigorous education while shaping children’s spirit and character. The Bridge Program has been developed to provide more opportunities for students to attend Heritage and allow access for learners who need extra help in closing the gap in a post-Covid world. The program is available to targeted students who require intensive academic intervention services but also includes counseling services and other in-house support. The funds will support a summer program, which will serve as a launching pad to bring new students in for additional learning before the school year.
Augusta Locally Grown – $15,000
Augusta Locally Grown (ALG) is dedicated to growing the local foods community throughout the CSRA. In partnership with the Georgia Cancer Center, ALG brings nutrition education and access to fresh food through produce stands and community gardens to five low-income public housing communities in Richmond County. These funds will cover costs for dieticians to teach cooking classes and educate residents on the importance of nutrition on their overall health, keep produce stands stocked and start and maintain community gardens.
Augusta Mini Theatre, Inc. – $15,000
Augusta Mini Theatre ensures that artistic instruction is accessible for all local youth (grades 1-12) regardless of their artistic ability, ability to pay, academic standing or where they reside. Program instruction is infused with life skills training which includes important social-emotional skills, such as determination, dependability, cooperation, communication, accepting critique, risk-taking for growth and the importance of education. Funds will be used to purchase equipment and technology necessary to expand the visual arts program to include digital arts and support additional instructor hours to adapt and teach current visual art curriculum.
Augusta Museum of History – $15,000
Augusta Museum of History’s mission is to collect, preserve and interpret the history of the CSRA for the education of current and future generations. The Museum’s internship program allows interns to gain valuable knowledge and practical skills in the museum field. Funds will allow the museum to facilitate an internship program where candidates, who have a strong interest in collections management or museum studies, will have numerous opportunities to actively participate in tasks related to collections management, curation and exhibition design.
Augusta Symphony, Inc. – $15,000
Through its Community Chords programming, the Augusta Symphony reaches beyond the traditional confines of the concert hall to lower barriers limiting engagement with the arts. Its free children’s Discovery Concert provides 1,300 CSRA K – 12 public, private and homeschool students with an opportunity to experience a live, full symphonic performance, accompanied by a unique guest artist. The grant will be used to offset concert costs including musician expenses, guest artist fees, security/safety expenses and production costs.
Augusta Training Shop – $15,000
Augusta Training Shop (ATS) offers permanent, long-term employment for disabled adults. The employees, referred to as Artisans, are trained in a variety of skills that foster creativity in a range of methods and teach good work habits customized to match their skill set. Funding will provide Artisans with the necessary materials needed to improve their product development, create purchasable goods made in-house and set up a vendor booth at the Atlanta Market, where ATS often secures new customers and large wholesale orders. Attendance at the Atlanta Market ensures the Artisans have orders to fill and products to create.
Augusta University Literacy Center – $15,000
The Augusta University Literacy Center provides children, adolescents and adults from the Augusta Area with free, high-quality literacy-related educational experiences that promote the development of lifelong readers and writers. Incorporating poetry into instructional lessons helps develop literacy skills, creates a positive learning and community environment, as well as a creative means to understand ourselves and others. Funds will be used to implement the program to foster community literacy.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta – $15,000
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta’s GREAT Futures Academy is an evidence-based strategy that supports student learning, intended to complement and reinforce what youth learn during the school day while creating experiences that invite them to fall in love with learning. In addition to homework help, this strategy includes engaging youth in academic enrichment activities, which include reading, writing, math, cognitive thinking skills and thought-provoking discussion sessions with adults. This grant will support learning loss recovery and other critical needs of youth, as well as program-related expenses.
Brown Girls Code – $15,000
Brown Girls Code (BGC) trains underrepresented girls (ages 7 to 18) year-round in computer programming, cybersecurity, robotics, digital safety, entrepreneurship, leadership, growth mindset and
other STEAM-related areas. To continue to support learning loss recovery attributed to remote learning during the Covid-19 Pandemic, BGC will run a summer camp that focuses on IT/cyber skills, literacy, math skills and mental health and wellness. The grant will support this program so that the girls will have a safe space to gain additional academic support while building on previous training in the club. Funds will be used for expenses associated with program staffing, program supplies, venue rental and attendee scholarships.
Burn Foundation of America – $15,000
Burn Foundation of America provides assistance to burn patients being treated at the JMS Burn Center to help them successfully heal and transition back to their home community with the support of their families close by. In addition, they assist patients upon their discharge with services related to their return to independent living, medication, anti-scarring garments and transportation for follow-up visits. Funds will be used to provide direct patient services for uninsured and underinsured burn patients and provide support services to their families so the patient may experience a full recovery.
Challenge Preparatory Academy – $15,000
Challenge Preparatory Academy operates to meet the growing needs of parents seeking a school option for their at-risk of failing student, economically disadvantaged students and students zoned to attend a failing school. Through their Parent and Student Success (PASS) Program, they meet the academic needs of students while in school and provide support to parents to help strengthen family unity and economic empowerment. These funds will be used to provide scholarships for students in low-income families.
The Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County – $15,000
The Child Advocacy Center of Aiken County provides intervention, treatment and prevention services that promote healing for children and families who have experienced abuse. They provide forensic interviews, forensic medical examinations, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (TF-CBT), child and family advocacy, a clothing and food pantry and other services when a child is reported by the Department of Social Services or Law Enforcement to have been physically, sexually or emotionally abused. This grant will cover costs for forensic medical exams and therapy so that the child will have access to the services needed to heal.
Child Enrichment, Inc. – $15,000
Child Enrichment’s Child Advocacy Center (CAC) addresses the needs of children who have experienced sexual abuse, physical abuse, child sex trafficking or witnessing a violent crime by providing a healthy approach to mental health development. The CAC provides and coordinates comprehensive intervention, stabilization, advocacy and prevention in the best interest of abused, abandoned, neglected and sex-trafficked children. This grant will be used to assist with costs associated with individual and group counseling services, professional training, community education and awareness, therapy materials and forensic interview materials.
Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County – $15,000
The Community Medical Clinic of Aiken County (CMCAC) Pharmacy Program provides access to an in-house pharmacy that provides free medications, individualized one-on-one pharmacist consultations
and medication education, and medication management assistance. CMCAC patients are provided access to lifesaving, life-sustaining and quality-of-life-improving holistic wellness care and medications that they otherwise could not afford. This grant will offset costs associated with the pharmacy program, as well as allow CMCAC to pay for annual membership to the Dispensary of Hope, which provides the pharmacy program with unlimited access to insulin, antibiotics and other medications.
Family Promise of Augusta – $15,000
Family Promise of Augusta is devoted to empowering homeless and low-income families to achieve sustainable independence through community response by providing services that address the areas
preventing families from being stably housed. Family Promise offers transportation, childcare, financial literacy classes, life skill classes, job readiness and diversion funds to help divert families from entering shelter programs. Funds from the grant will be used for expenses associated with operational, program supplies and transportation costs.
Foundation of Wesley Woods – $15,000
St. John Towers, the Wesley Woods HUD-subsidized senior living community in Augusta, provides a wellness nurse for its older residents. The nurse provides preventative health screenings, support with understanding multiple medications and their side effects, education for residents about their chronic diseases, assistance with arranging doctors’ appointments and strategies to reduce falls. Funds will offset costs associated with contracting the wellness nurse who serves as a healthcare guide and advocate for St. John Towers residents in an increasingly complicated healthcare environment.
Historic Augusta, Inc. – $15,000
The mission of Historic Augusta, Inc. is to preserve historically or architecturally significant sites and structures in Augusta and Richmond County, Georgia. Historic Augusta advocates for historic preservation as a significant economic development tool and provides technical assistance to property owners seeking to rehabilitate historic buildings and applying for incentive programs such as state and federal certified rehabilitation tax credits. Funds will be used to offset expenses associated with the organization’s technical assistance support for property owners, educational programming and responsive advocacy for historic sites and structures.
Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation – $5,000
The mission of the Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation is to discover and address the unmet needs of individuals and families facing end-of-life issues through innovative and collaborative programs and services. They support grieving children and their adult family members through all-inclusive weekend, day-long and virtual grief camps, as well as by providing childhood grief education materials through school partnerships. This grant will allow them to make grief programs more accessible to underserved children and families.
Kids Restart, Inc. – $15,000
Kids Restart, Inc. provides a voice for families who have children in foster care or at risk of coming into care in the Augusta Judicial Circuit. Parents learn how to positively interact with their children, learn non-harmful discipline techniques, provide children a safe place to survive and thrive and help them remain drug and alcohol-free. The grant will cover costs associated with providing services designed to strengthen the family bond, allow the parent to complete the goals necessary to have custody returned to them and allow the child or children to return to the home and have permanency.
Lions Vision Services – $10,000
Lions Vision Services (LVS) is ending blindness in poverty and empowering the blind and visually impaired to live safe, meaningful and fulfilling lives by providing low-income residents of South Carolina with eyeglasses, eye surgeries and vision technology. LVS increases access to eyecare by addressing social determinants of health to bring down barriers that South Carolina’s most vulnerable demographics face when seeking the eyecare they need. Funds will be used to expand these vision and eye health services in Aiken and Edgefield Counties, utilizing LVS’s unique network of healthcare providers.
MACH Academy, Inc. – $15,000
MACH Academy’s mission is connected to the late Arthur Ashe’s vision to use tennis and education as tools to promote character and offer opportunities for young people to become successful adults. They believe that encouragement of the youth they serve will help them to be better people, look to help others and help them stay on a positive track towards a better life for themselves. This grant will support MACH Academy, Inc. in its efforts to provide quality programming to the youth of the CSRA through recreational tennis and instructional development, STEAM events, computer coding sessions and other educational enrichment activities.
Miracle Making Ministries – $15,000
Miracle Making Ministries (MMM) provides high-quality care and services to disadvantaged and underserved populations through the Druid Park Community Health Center (DPCHC). Services provided include emergency assistance with rent, utilities, food, housing and auto repair, literacy training, tutoring, counseling and primary medical. This grant will assist residents with low incomes facing housing instability by providing emergency financial assistance toward expenses such as rent, utilities and food.
Morris Museum of Art – $5,535
Morris Museum of Art’s program, Morris Cares, is a specially designed art-making program for juvenile patients in long-term care at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. Morris Museum of Art’s educators provide palliative art-centered projects to young patients who represent a wide range of learning styles, physical limitations and/or chronic health conditions, actively collaborating with the Child Life Specialist of the General Pediatric Inpatient Unit. This grant will assist in program expansion and upgrades for art supplies and adaptive tools to allow children with acute disabilities to fully participate alongside their peers.
New Bethlehem Community Center, Inc. – $15,000
New Bethlehem Community Center (NBCC) meets the growing demands of the aging population, ensuring seniors remain connected, nourished and cognitively stimulated so they can age gracefully in place. Through the Senior Citizens Program, seniors have the opportunity to create friendships while enjoying guest speakers, crafts, stimulating games, and educational opportunities in addition to a hot meal twice a week. These funds will finance the ongoing cost of providing free nutritional meals. Funds will also offset planning and start-up costs for a new fitness room where the seniors will be able to improve/maintain their physical health while participating in fun, instructor-led aerobic activities and utilizing exercise equipment that they are otherwise not able to access.
New Life Worship Center – $10,000
The New Life Worship Center Youth Department provides educational, emotional and tangible support to assist local youth in their emotional development. The center will host a back-to-school event and Christmas toy giveaway to provide resources to families who do not have easy access to resources in the CSRA and to ensure that children have the basic necessities to be successful in their home and school activities. This grant will help purchase school supplies, toys and hygiene items for elementary school children whose parents do not have the finances, transportation and means to provide this support for their children.
Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue – $15,000
Old Fella Burke County Animal Rescue exists to improve the quality of life of abandoned companion animals by giving them medical care, food, water, shelter and love through a foster home network and through efforts to find suitable forever homes. They strive to reduce the number of homeless companion animals in Burke County by providing spay and neuter surgeries and by raising community awareness about responsible pet ownership. The grant will help with costs associated with rabies vaccinations, spaying, and neutering of cats and dogs and for the transportation of animals to no-kill shelter partners in the North where animals are adopted.
Phinizy Center for Water Sciences – $15,000
Phinizy Center for Water Sciences’ mission is to provide leadership for sustainable watersheds and economic vitality through research, education and by connecting people with nature. Phinizy Center’s play space is used daily by the public and local youth attending educational programs, but it needs an upgrade. This grant will allow for new, nature-themed and musical components to be added to the play space, along with improvements to the current components to make them safer and longer lasting. This will encourage longer and more frequent outdoor play for local youth and families in the CSRA.
Pregnant Choices – $15,000
The mission of Pregnant Choices is to preserve and protect every human life from conception to after birth. Their program, G.R.O.W. (Guiding with Resources and Openness for Women), is a non-medical program for at-risk clients designed to cater to each woman and give her individualized support specific to her needs and interests. G.R.O.W. equips each enrollee with a personal mentor who will guide her through the program and provide her with the tools needed to empower her to reach her goals with confidence. The grant will offset program-related expenses, inventory for the baskets of necessities for mentees and transportation for participants to attend meetings.
Project Refresh Inc. – $15,000
Project Refresh provides mobile showers as well as hygiene products and clean clothes to those in need, primarily the homeless population in this area. Through the gift of a shower, Project Refresh aims to provide a fresh start for individuals to improve their sense of dignity and thereby provide a pathway to better hygiene and ultimately out of homelessness. These funds will be used to cover specific operational expenses to run our shower services including a storage unit, office space and truck and trailer maintenance and upkeep.
RISE Augusta – $15,000
RISE Augusta strives to create a culture of success and expectation that every student – no matter the personal circumstance – deserves the opportunity to be engaged, motivated and prepared to have a viable 21st-century career path. In addition to their work in the HUB, they also provide services inside Richmond County schools during the school day. Funds will distribute tutoring support and wrap-around services to vulnerable students in RISE Programs and Whole School enrichment in Richmond County Schools.
St. Vincent de Paul Society Georgia – $15,000
St. Vincent de Paul Society is dedicated to tackling poverty and disadvantage by providing financial, material, educational and spiritual assistance to anyone in need. The Systemic Change Program offers the opportunity to break the cycle of poverty for multiple generations by using resources to keep families in their homes with all essential utilities turned on. These funds will be used to pay for housing (rent or mortgage), utilities (electric, water and gas), and temporary lodging.
The Augusta Players – $15,000
The Augusta Players’ summer arts camp, Camp Wonderland, is designed specifically for the unique needs of children ages 7-21 who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Entering its eighth year, the program offers children with autism the opportunity to unleash their creativity, bring their imaginations to life and improve their quality of life by learning to socialize and develop critical communication skills. This grant will support tuition assistance, student camp materials, and staff stipends for The Augusta Players Camp Wonderland for Young People with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
The Center for New Beginnings – $15,000
The Center for New Beginnings (CFNB) offers healing and hope to children through young adults with autism and other developmental delays (behavioral, educational, emotional, intellectual, physical) through physician-prescribed therapy provided by degreed, board-certified therapists. They strive to make therapy accessible and affordable to families so that cost does not prevent children from receiving life-changing therapy. This grant will allow CFNB to continue offering healthcare services to families by offsetting direct therapy costs for those who cannot afford ongoing treatment.
The Hale Foundation, Inc. – $15,000
The Hale Foundation, Inc. works to address the continuing need in the community for a safe, structured and equitable program for the growing numbers of men struggling with substance use disorders and alcoholism. By providing the necessary supports of housing, nutritional requirements, job placement and transportation, the residents can focus entirely on learning to live an active life of recovery. This grant will offset costs associated with the twelve-month recovery program, allowing the program to continue to be offered at a reasonable cost to men who may have exhausted all of their resources in their battle with the disease of addiction.
The Salvation Army Augusta Area Command – $4,000
The Salvation Army Augusta Kroc Center’s summer camp, Camp Kroc, offers a safe learning, wholesome fun environment for children of low-income families during the summer months when schools are closed for the summer and parents are still working. Camp Kroc is an ACA-accredited day camp program for children ages 5-12 in which they can play and grow in a safe and positive environment. These funds will be used to provide scholarships to pay for children of low-income families as well as homeless families staying at The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Families Homeless Shelter.
Turn Back the Block – $15,000
Turn Back the Block creates affordable housing and promotes homeownership in Harrisburg through housing rehabilitation and new construction. On a block-by-block basis, Turn Back the Block works to create homeownership opportunities where abandoned homes and vacant lots once stood. This grant will support the renovation project of 1980 Battle Row by providing the funds to begin the restoration of what is currently uninhabitable into a viable home.
Walter L. Shepeard Community Blood Center – $15,000
Walter L. Shepeard Community Blood Center is a local blood center that serves 29 hospitals within 30 counties in GA and SC. The center strives to bring awareness to Sickle cell disease, a genetic blood disease that disproportionately affects African Americans, focusing on the need for a more diverse blood supply and the benefits that stem from donating blood regularly. This grant will be used to support forums and focus groups designed to educate the community on the importance of donating blood, and blood drives to increase whole blood donation rates.
The Literacy Initiative Partners for the August 2023 – May 2024 School Year are as follows:
Augusta Partnership for Children
Augusta Partnership for Children provides assistance to new parents who need consistent, ongoing support during the first years of their child’s life through its First Steps program and evidence-based home visiting programs such as their Parents as Teachers program. Together, these programs provide an effective early-intervention strategy to improve the health and well-being of children and parents. These programs provide pregnant women and families with children, from birth until kindergarten entry, the resources and skills they need to support their efforts to raise children who are physically, socially and emotionally healthy and ready to learn.
Augusta Richmond County Public Library
Augusta Richmond County Public Library provides books and other reading materials for children to take home to ensure that they have something of their own to read. This removes the barrier of parents having to spend their own money and arrange for transportation to get books for their children. They deliver story time kits for each child to take home, which includes a book, songs, an activity or craft project and some activity suggestions for parents to do with their children. Library staff visit classrooms and present a live version of story time so children will become interested in the book and take it home to read again with their families.
Augusta University’s research team carefully gathers and analyzes data to inform Community Foundation stakeholders how to adjust services to best meet the needs of Lamar-Milledge Elementary School and W.S. Hornsby Elementary School students. The research team uses software to identify statistical relationships among the quantitative data within and across the comparison groups. Through rigorous and scientific methods, they will monitor students’ progress with and without receiving community services, inform the effectiveness of different community services to students in two Title I schools, suggest the frequency and intensity of community services and improve the referral process using multiple data and indicators.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Augusta supports the GREAT Readers Program at the Hagler K-8 Club. They have implemented an evidenced-based holistic strategy that supports student learning, intended to complement and reinforce what youth learn during the school day, while creating experiences that invite them to fall in love with learning. In addition to homework help, this strategy includes engaging youth in academic enrichment activities, which include reading, writing, cognitive thinking skills and discussion with adults, all proven strategies that support literacy proficiency. This support provides an additional entry point for students to gain access to much-needed literacy skills, exposure to literacy activities and support learning loss and other critical needs of youth
CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority
The CSRA Economic Opportunity Authority works to accelerate social and economic stability and mobility for families by providing holistic care. This requires providing integrated, high-quality, intentional support to parents and children at the same time; addressing the needs of the entire family, creating pathways to stable housing through financial literacy, education, access to skills training and career development, advocacy, communication and leadership skills and case management/supportive services. Helping a family stabilize in a home throughout the school year through financial assistance, financial counseling and access to employment and resources all strengthen the ability of children to improve school attendance and performance and of families to improve economic stability and mobility.
Lamar-Milledge Elementary School
Lamar-Milledge Elementary School provides extra literacy instruction, equipment and materials to students below or well below grade (2+ grades below) in reading. This collaboration has allowed them to provide students with the resources to increase student engagement and motivation with reading, incentives which encourage students to participate in reading programs and increased parental involvement to support students on their journey to reach grade-level proficiency or close the gap between below-level and grade-level performance. The additional resources, books and reading programs create a healthy competition and simple love for reading.
Working with school staff, RISE site coordinators identify students in danger of failing or dropping out, assess their needs and provide integrated support services through community partners. Based on assessments, RISE tutors provide remediation for failing and/or at-risk students. During school hours, students are taken out of the classroom to meet with a tutor 2-3 times a week for 45-minute sessions. Tutors use proven methods to find the source of student difficulties and bring them up to grade-level reading. Tutors also serve as mentors as they build relationships with individual students through the school year. The site coordinator distributes wrap-around support as identified by tutors and teachers to mitigate nonacademic barriers to learning.
Westabou Montessori School
Westabou Montessori School’s toddler program supports students from families in Harrisburg and Laney Walker neighborhoods as well as adjoining neighborhoods in the downtown area. Programs specifically help families access needed resources so there are no barriers to their child receiving a Montessori education (like school supplies, clothing, etc.). The teacher works with toddlers to build their vocabulary, fine motor skills (essential for writing), verbal and auditory language development and comprehension, appreciation for literature and the written word, as well as skills in independence, toileting and self-care, all of which are essential to children as they enter public kindergarten. The school works with families entering the toddler program to support their students at home, including providing them literacy materials, offering training on positive discipline and giving educational workshops on nutrition and child development.
Heritage Early Learning Academy
Heritage Early Learning Academy (HELA) provides an engaging educational and caregiving experience to children of diverse backgrounds that includes innovative interactions, superb safety and a creative curriculum. HELA has a movement and language-rich curriculum where learning delays will be addressed early so that children are ready for kindergarten. Children receive a high-quality preschool experience including comprehensive, research-based programs addressing cognitive, language, literacy, physical and social-emotional developmental domains of each child (infants through K4).
W.S. Hornsby Elementary School
W.S. Hornsby Elementary School provides extra literacy instruction, equipment and materials to students through several literacy projects. A book vending machine works by rewarding students for reaching or surpassing their reading goal, promoting independent reading, and providing rewards for exhibiting positive behavior. Leveled readers promote independent reading and provide students with a repertoire of reading genres, texts, themes, vocabulary and other literary features based on their reading level. The literacy events consist of (1) I-Ready Celebrations, consisting of honoring students (Fall and Spring semesters) who meet or exceed their reading goal; (2) Principal’s Book of the Month, which would allow the students at each grade level and class to engage in literacy discussions with the principal regarding the literary elements of the selected book; and (3) Literacy Night, in which the school will host two events to promote literacy among families and outside of the school