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Newport County Fund awards $187,000 to 28 nonprofits
By Lauren Paola / May 14, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...
The Rhode Island Foundation’s Newport County Fund (NCF) has awarded $187,113 in grants to 28 nonprofit organizations throughout Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth, and Tiverton.

The first and only Foundation-established fund with a geographic focus, the Fund’s mission is to improve the lives of Newport County residents. Since it was established in 2002, NCF has awarded more than $2.5 million to programs and projects that sustain and strengthen the six Newport County communities. The annual small grants program provides support of up to $10,000 in six key funding areas: arts and culture, community and economic development, education, environment, health, and human services.

“From enriching arts and educational opportunities for young people to expanding critical health services and environmental programs, we are proud to support these organizations that have a positive impact across Newport County,” said Neil D. Steinberg, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation. “The Foundation appreciates the generous donors who make this work possible and is grateful for the volunteer advisory committee that keeps the Newport County Fund closely connected to the communities it serves.”

Chaired by Leland R. Merrill, Jr., the NCF volunteer advisory committee includes Cheryl L. Abney, Elizabeth Finn, Kristen Humphrey, Mary C. Johnstone, John Murphy, Esq., Trish Sylvester, William E. West, and James Wright.

The recipients of the 2013 NCF grants are: 

Boys & Girls Club of Newport County, $10,000
The Boys & Girls Club of Newport County will use this grant for College Bound and SAT preparation programs to engage members in exploring post-secondary educational options, provide test-specific training, and assist them throughout the application process. 

Community Music Works, $10,000
The Newport String Project is a new initiative that will offer a professional string music season and violin and viola lessons to fifteen to twenty-five students in grades 1-3 in the economically challenged areas of Newport.

East Bay Community Action Program, $10,000
Funding helps support East Bay Family Health in its effort to employ a patient-centered model of care at its newly constructed, state-of-the-art facility in Newport.

Friends of Ballard Park, $5,000
This funding will help expand education programming that inspires Newport County citizens to learn in an outdoor environment, contributing to academic progress and healthy living. The programming reaches more than 700 youth of Newport County.

Friends of Little Compton Wellness Center, Inc, $9,966
The Little Compton Wellness Center Behavioral Health Initiative seeks to address the behavioral health needs of Little Compton residents by offering affordable and accessible mental health counseling within the community.

Island Moving Company, $10,000
This grant supports a new model for arts integration, using creative movement to incorporate art into the curriculum in Newport County public schools.

Jamestown Arts Center, $5,000
This grant supports the Heifetz Institute Classical Collaboration, a pilot program to bring some of the world’s best and brightest young string musicians to the Jamestown Arts Center for workshops, concerts, and outreach events.

Jamestown Community Piano, $3,179
These funds will support the seventh season of the Jamestown Community Piano Association Concert Series, which is free and open to the public.

Jamestown Historical Society, $2,025
Several public exhibits are planned featuring Jamestown's historic documents, including displays at Jamestown Town Hall and the Jamestown Philomenian Library.

Looking Upwards, Inc., $7,308
This grant will help provide hearing screening services for more than 200 infants and toddlers in Newport County to increase early detection, treatment, and care.

Metropolitan Regional Career and Technical Center, $8,000
This grant supports organizational development for FabNewport, whose mission is “to teach people how to make almost anything.”

The Nature Conservancy, $10,000
The Nature Conservancy in Rhode Island is developing a plan for large scale shell recycling in Newport County. These recycled shells will become the building materials for constructed oyster reefs throughout Rhode Island waters.

Newport Art Museum, $2,035
Through this grant, Newport Art Museum and Thompson Middle School will launch a collaborative pilot program enabling museum tours and activities for all seventh graders.

Newport Community School, $10,000
This grant supports implementation of the organization's full service community school model to include program components related to grade transition at critical stages within a student's academic career.

Newport Partnership for Families, $5,400
To address the “summer learning slump,” this initiative ensures all Newport children have access to books, literacy-boosting skills, and enrichment activities during the summer vacation.

Norman Bird Sanctuary, $10,000
This grant will enable the Sanctuary to expand programming for students to provide high quality environmental service learning, stewardship-based programs, and offer these programs at low or no cost options for low income residents of Newport County.

Prudence Island School Foundation, $2,500
This grant helps support secondary education and summer programming to teens in Rhode Island's last active one-room school house, located on Prudence Island.

Rhode Island Black Storytellers $1,500
These funds help support the 16th annual Funda Fest: A Celebration of Black Storytelling in January 2014, a free family storytelling concert at the Martin Luther King Community Center.

Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership, $10,000
The Rhode Island Mentoring Partnership will introduce an innovative, collaborative model for mentoring on Aquidneck Island, which will match 65 at-risk youth in the Newport and Middletown with a caring adult role model.

RhodySquash, Inc., $3,000
The organization will fund program expansion, including the recruitment of additional students, transportation costs, supplies, and squash tournament preparation and participation for underprivileged youth.

Riverwood Mental Health Services, $10,000
This grant supports Housing First Newport, an extension of Riverwood’s successful Housing First RI Initiative with goals of ending chronic homelessness in Newport and the entire state. The funding will support rental subsidies and stopgap funds to immediately house those unable to access the shelter system.

Saint Peter's Lutheran Church, $3,000
St. Peter's Lutheran Church provides fresh-made, well-balanced meals to the homeless and less fortunate in the Newport area. This grant supports the organization’s ability to meet an increased demand for services.

Sakonnet Preservation Association, $5,000
The organization will use this grant to help digitize thousands of pages of original documentation for properties and easements it has conserved since 1972.

Social Venture Partners Rhode Island, $10,000
This grant will help costs to further develop and execute a set of programs that support social enterprise and micro enterprise development in Newport County. The goals are new venture creation, new training and employment opportunities (particularly for populations with barriers to employment), increased community engagement, and more sustainable nonprofits.

St. Clare – Newport, $3,000
These funds will support staff education, training, and development at the newly expanded facility to address the evolving long-term care needs of Newport County.

Star Kids Scholarship Program, $1,200
The grant helps support summer camp program costs for up to eight Star Kids -- high-risk, low-income children who have a parent with a history of incarceration and/or substance abuse.

Turning Around Ministries, Inc., $10,000
This grant supports support services provided by Turning Around Ministries to disadvantaged resident in need, primarily those released from prison, ex-offenders, and homeless people. Services include housing, clothing, personal development, transportation, education, medical treatment, recovery support, and employment.

Washington Square Services Corporation, $10,000
The McKinney Cooperative Shelter will use these funds to support a part-time case manager to work as a liaison between the chronically homeless and the shelter.

Affiliated Foundation funds that helped provide support for these grants include the Anne and Peter Damon Fund for Newport County, the Jamestown Community Fund, the Jamestown Fund for the Performing Arts, the Dominick J. Lepore Memorial Fund II, the NSG Education Fund in Memory of Ellen S. Murphy, the James L. Spears Charitable Fund, the Harold B. Werner Fund, and the Wilbur Fund.

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