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Foundation Makes $16.3 Million in Grants First Half of 2013
By Lauren Paola / September 20, 2013 /   Loading Disqus...

The Rhode Island Foundation awarded $16,357,152 in grants to fund dozens of projects throughout the state in the first half of 2013. The largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofits in the state, the Foundation works in partnership with donors and organizations to meet the needs of the people of Rhode Island.

“By supporting innovation and encouraging collaboration and advocacy, our grants strengthen the nonprofit sector and address the state’s crucial needs,” said Neil Steinberg, Foundation president and CEO. “Through the vision and generosity of our donors, who put their faith in us, we can work together to tackle Rhode Island’s most urgent, statewide issues.”

Recipients came from around the state. Of the $16.3 million, $6,185,610 was awarded in discretionary grants made by the Foundation’s staff and directors, including:

  • Support for the second round of Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships, made possible through the generosity of Letitia and John Carter
  • The Equity Action Fund granted $47,013 to support LGBTQ organizations
  • The Newport County Fund granted $187,363 to organizations serving the six communities of Newport County
  • $187,900 to provide emergency human service assistance to those Rhode Islanders most in need
  • $75,000 to launch the “Clean Competition” initiative targeting high school athletes and their coaches and parents

Under the Foundation’s competitive strategy grant program, $2,710,606 was awarded to 44 Rhode Island nonprofits. Through these grants, the Foundation invests in organizations and programs that strive for long-term solutions to significant community issues.

The strategy grants fall into six sectors: arts and culture, community development, education, environment, health and human services. Additionally, the Foundation supports signature initiatives in two areas it believes are critical to the state’s economic wellbeing: public education and primary health care.

“From creating an educated workforce to increasing the capacity of the state’s nonprofits, these grants take on the issues that we believe are critical to Rhode Island’s future,” said Daniel Kertzner, vice president for grant programs.

Key strategy grants from the first half of 2013 are:

  • $100,000 for City Year’s “In School and On Track” initiative, which aims to reduce the number of high school dropouts by increasing the number of staff serving in Providence’s DelSesto, Esek Hopkins, Roger Williams and Gilbert Stuart middle schools and Pleasant View Elementary by 33 percent
  • $200,000 for Riverwood Mental Health Services’ “Housing First Rhode Island” initiative. Targeted for agencies in Newport and northern, southern and western Rhode Island, the funds support placing the chronically homeless into permanent, supportive housing combined with primary health care
  • $75,000 for the University of Rhode Island’s Coastal Resources Center’s “Rhode Island Shoreline Change Special Area Management Plan,” which will help coastal communities work collaboratively with the state to address the threat of erosion and flooding caused by storms events and sea level rise

The remaining strategy grants are:

Central Falls School Department, $41,666
We Are a Village
This collaboration of the Central Falls School District, Children’s Friend, Bradley Hospital Early Childhood Clinical Research Center and the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University will improve school readiness and academic achievement of high-need children and their families from pre-school to third grade.

Amos House, $75,000
Expansion of Integrated Services
Enables Amos House to increase its focus on necessary follow-up and tracking of job training graduates. These activities will improve job retention and job replacement while lowering relapse and recidivism rates.

Audubon Society of Rhode Island, $50,000
Increasing Capacity to Implement our New Strategic Plan
Supports the addition of a senior director of philanthropy position to build the major donor program.

Breakthrough Providence, $45,000
Students Teaching Students Institute
The "Students Teaching Students" Institute is a new initiative that seeks to build the capacity of other organizations and institutions serving middle school youth to employ the students teaching students model.

Center for Leadership and Educational Equity, $75,000
Building Educational Leadership Capacity for Systemic Change
Provides leaders with professional learning opportunities and support in order to create equitable outcomes in Rhode Island schools.

Children's Friend and Service, $60,000
General Operating Support
Enhances the organization’s capacity to continue providing services to young children and families, particularly in the areas of early childhood education, maternal and child health and nutrition.

ecoRI News, $25,000
Journalism + Educational Outreach = Social-Impact Investing
Supports the implementation of a pilot composting project that includes testing of a residential collection and distribution system in partnership with the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, Southside Community Land Trust and the city of Providence.

Everett, $50,000
Everett Barnstormers: Apprenticeships in the Business of Art
Supports a pilot year of a three-year professional development program for young, underserved artists who are not prepared to enter college and who may need additional support to remain in the arts after they transition from high school.

Family Service of Rhode Island, $60,000
General Operating Support
Supports the organization’s statewide continuum of social, mental health, and education services for children and youth, as well as its leadership of several long-term, strategic partnerships and networks.

Festival Ballet Providence, $50,000
Development Support
Funds a full-time development director in order to implement a comprehensive development plan to achieve greater financial strength, provide continuity in programming and build an endowment.

FirstWorks, $75,000
General Operating Support
Enables the organization to strengthen its infrastructure and improve its marketing and fund development capacity.

Great Schools Partnership Inc., $80,000
Rhode Island League of Innovative Schools
Enables 12 Rhode Island schools to develop changes to support proficiency-based graduation and multiple and flexible pathways as part of the New England Secondary School Consortium.

Grow Smart Rhode Island, $75,000
Integrated Policy Development for Sustainable Economic Growth
Funds Grow Smart’s ongoing public outreach and education, municipal capacity-building, policy research and advocacy as well as efforts to promote revitalized, walkable urban and town centers; expanded housing options and affordability, expanded transportation choices, a vital agricultural sector and responsible stewardship of natural resources.

Inspiring Minds, $40,000
Intensive Literacy/Numeracy Intervention Initiative
Expands the Intensive Literacy/Numeracy Intervention Initiative, which is a dynamic model for speeding up the process for raising student achievement, particularly in the middle school years.

Kent Hospital Foundation, $80,000
West Bay Community Family Medicine Residency Program
Improves Rhode Island's health care delivery system and access to health care by increasing the number of primary care providers and training them to deliver the highest quality health care in a patient-centered medical home model.

MASS MoCA, $10,000
Assets for Artists
Enables the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to bring the Assets for Artists program to Rhode Island. Assets for Artists is a matched-savings program for low-income, entrepreneurial artists that provides financial and business training along with grant funds to match the savings of participants, up to $2,000, for working capital investments in their arts businesses.

Mental Health Association of Rhode Island, $65,000
South County SOAR Initiative
Funds an SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access and Recovery pilot program in South County that will connect individuals experiencing homelessness and severe and persistent mental illness or other disabling conditions with long-term, permanent access to primary health care, housing and other supportive services through the expedited acquisition of SSI/SSDI and Medicaid.

NeighborWorks Blackstone River Valley, $18,900
Home Repair & Self-Help Housing Initiatives
Helps the towns of Scituate, Foster and Glocester reactivate their state-funded Home Repair Program and helps the town of Burrillville exceed its state-mandated 10 percent affordable housing goal by providing short-term staffing for the 'Self-Help Housing' initiative.

New England Grassroots Environment Fund, $50,000
Supporting Rhode Island's Environmental Grassroots Initiatives
Provides Rhode Island community-based groups with critical support including 15-18 seed grants, coaching and technical assistance and opportunities to participate in civic-skills-building workshops.

Northern Rhode Island Collaborative, $46,000
Pathways to Graduation Summer Program.
Supports activities to assist students from 10 school districts who are at risk of not graduating in June 2014 due to insufficient NECAP math scores. The program utilizes applied math concepts in social entrepreneurship enterprises developed by students, math remediation and credit recovery.

Ocean Tides Inc., $10,000
Education for the 21st Century Program
Trains teachers in the Common Core Standards and Career/Technical Education standards across all disciplines in order to revise and revamp current curriculum to make it more rigorous and provide more opportunities for student learning at a higher level.

Providence Community Health Centers Inc., $75,000
Sustaining a Model of Integrated Primary Care
Enables the Providence Community Health Centers to continue operating its integrated primary care and behavioral health clinic by underwriting the partial salaries of a physician and nurse manager.

Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, $35,000
Public Policy Advocacy & Foreclosure Prevention and Education
Funds the coordination of a comprehensive foreclosure prevention and education campaign to reduce the rate of foreclosures among high-risk Rhode Islanders, to educate public officials about that risk and to organize allies and constituents.

Rhode Island Hospital, $66,000
The Hasbro Children's Hospital Primary Care Initiative
Improves the experience of the families served in the primary care program by encouraging more medical residents to enter primary care careers while also raising the quality of their training.

Rhode Island Instructional Leadership Academy, $75,000
Stepping Up Leadership Performance
Provides targeted professional development to district and school leaders in order to enhance their capacity to lead educational reform together.

Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, $125,000
General Operating Support
Underwrites the production of the annual Factbook as well as policy, advocacy, research and data collection with a special focus on education and health care for children and families.

Rhode Island League of Charter Schools, $20,000
Fifth Annual Rhode Island Public Charter School Conference
Enables the League to offer a conference at which best educational practices are shared by charter, public and independent schools.

Rhode Island Quality Institute, $60,000
Health Care Coordination for Rhode Island Veterans
Lowers the cost and improves the quality of medical care provided to local veterans by providing VA clinicians with access to the CurrentCare Viewer and to the Hospital Alerts service.

Rhode Island Philharmonic, $85,000
General Operating Support
Enables the Philharmonic to serve the region with performances and music education. The organization’s model places equal emphasis on excellence in artistic quality and community outreach through accessible, high quality educational programs.

South County Hospital Healthcare, $65,000
Integrating Behavioral Health Coordination in the Patient Centered Medical Community
Funds a behavioral health nurse care manager to address care for more patients who are at risk of becoming lost to the system due to behavioral health issues and to improve the quality of the outcomes at a lower cost than what presently occurs in the community.

Southside Community Land Trust, $50,000
Lots of Hope
Matches a $50,000 grant from the Local Sustainability Matching Fund. The project will restore urban soils, improve access to locally grown, fresh fruits and vegetables in Providence’s underserved neighborhoods, increase community capacity and leadership in Providence’s most at-risk neighborhoods, improve storm-water management practices and reduce solid waste.

The College Crusade of Rhode Island, $80,000
General Operating Support
Funds academic support, career exploration, social and personal development and college readiness programs for 3,500 middle and high school students in Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls, Woonsocket and Cranston.

The Providence Center, $100,000
Anchor Learning Academy
Funds high school that addresses the unmet educational, social and mental health needs of Rhode Island teens in recovery.

The Providence Plan, $50,000
Ready to Learn AmeriCorps Program
Enables Americorps to train and deploy 35 full-time members to child care centers, pediatric clinics, Head Start programs and libraries to focus on childhood education and health.

The Providence Plan, $100,000
Emerald Cities Providence
Supports a project director to oversee projects, put together financing and develop and track evaluation metrics in order to increase the energy efficiency of urban building stock and create sustainable jobs in the community.

The Providence Plan, $75,000
Building Futures-Registered Apprenticeship Maximization in RI
Supports systems change in the construction industry through strengthening public works contract apprenticeship requirements so as to provide low-income and underserved adults with more opportunities for good-paying jobs with career advancement potential.

Tomaquag Indian Memorial Museum, $30,029
Tomaquag Museum Growth & Change for 21st Century
Supports a strategic planning process as well as the development of a short-term plan that focuses on marketing and outreach to broadly promote the museum’s collection and programming.

Urban Collaborative Accelerated Program (UCAP), $50,000
Ensuring Essential Programs
Funds UCAP’s academic, cultural and recreational Beyond Science programs, an important part of its wrap-around full service program for at-risk students.

UNAP Education Fund, $60,000
Stepping Up Expansion
Supports the addition of career advisor/community liaison and instructor positions and extends the program outside greater Providence to health care providers, community-based organizations and low-wage, low-skill residents in Newport County and northern and southern Rhode Island.

Urban Ponds Procession, $19,400
Urban Pond Procession 2013
Through art-making workshops, this organization engages local neighborhood residents to create pieces for the Urban Pond Procession. In addition, the grant funds work with Alvarez High School and City Arts to coordinate educational workshops and art-making with students.

URI Foundation, $65,000
GEMS-Net Strategic Change Model: Curricular Progression to the NGSS
Expands curriculum development and professional development planning support during teachers’ transition to the new Next Generation Science Standards, which include engineering and technology concepts.

Young Voices, $20,000
Students Leading Change in School Reform
Expands student-initiated change in school climate and instructional practice to systemic levels in the low-performing districts of Providence, Pawtucket and Woonsocket.

YWCA Rhode Island, $50,000
Planning for Sheila “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy
Supports planning and development activities related to launching the Sheila “Skip” Nowell Leadership Academy, a new state charter school that will serve parenting and pregnant teens.
Additional investments from the Foundation’s Education Fund include:

Highlander Charter School, $325,000
The Center for Blended Learning
Supports the Highlander Charter School, in partnership with The Highlander Institute, to plan and launch the Center for Blended Learning, a regional professional development center that strategically connects research, proven practices, critical tools and effective systems to help teachers, schools and districts optimize the integration of technology.

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