By Jan Worth-Nelson
A varied group of 17 grants aiming to nurture youth arts, clean up vacant lots, create a grocery store, support community news and bolster resource hubs in the North End of Flint was announced today by the Ruth Mott Foundation.
The grants, totaling $1.4 million and ranging from $267,400 for a Genesee County Land Bank “Clean and Green” program to $12,730 for El Ballet Folklorico Estudiantil for a bilingual after-school dance program, were approved in November by the Foundation’s board of trustees.
Nine of the grants aim specifically to serve North End youth, the Number One priority identified when the Foundation and north Flint residents developed its strategic plan. The Foundation’s other three priorities, summarized in the announcement press release, are public safety, economic opportunity and neighborhoods.
“Several of the youth programs provide creative outlets for young people through music and dance programming designed to spark creativity and build critical learning and life skills. Others provide mentoring, academic support or character development programs,” Foundation officials stated.
Here is detail provided by the Foundation on the 17 newest grants:
• $267,400 to the Genesee County Land Bank Authority for the Clean & Green program, to help clean, maintain, beautify and repurpose vacant properties.
• $250,000 to Fresh Start Community Development Center to acquire a site and develop a new grocery store in north Flint to improve residents’ access to affordable, fresh, healthy food.
• $169,440 to SIPI, Inc., for the North Flint Capacity Building program, in which SIPI assists selected nonprofits with fundraising efforts, board training, communications help, assistance with reporting and other means of support.
• $105,000 to the Neighborhood Engagement Hub for its operations as a neighborhood center in north Flint that serves as a source of information, education, facilitation, project development and advocacy.
• $75,000 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint & Genesee County for the Out of School Time Mentoring Program, which matches north Flint youth with adult mentors designed to improve participants’ social and educational outcomes.
• $75,000 to the Hispanic Technology and Community Center of Greater Flint for its operations as a north Flint neighborhood hub providing access to computer technology, bilingual instruction in Spanish and English, Spanish translation services, youth programming and property maintenance. The on-site Martus/Luna Food Pantry also provides free food to the community each week.
• $75,000 to InvolvedDad for the IMPACT Father Engagement program, which offers parenting education and life skills training for noncustodial fathers and their children living in north Flint.
• $75,000 to United Way of Genesee County for the R.L. Jones Community Outreach Center, which offers an array of supports and direct services to thousands of vulnerable and homebound Flint residents combating the ill effects of the water crisis.
• $60,000 to Child Care Network Washtenaw Regional 4C for the Family Support Program, which provides scholarships for high-quality childcare for young children from north Flint families facing challenging circumstances.
• $58,464 to Legal Services of Eastern Michigan for the North Flint Legal Outreach & Immersion Project, which offers free, civil legal support services to low-income, north Flint residents recently employed or enrolled in parenting education and job training programs.
• $53,190 to the Greater Flint Arts Council for the Shop Floor Theatre Company’s Creative Learning Program, which will provide theatre-based, afterschool programming to 90 north Flint youth at three sites.
• $51,400 to the CPSA [Concerned Pastors for Social Action] Courier for its operation as a north Flint-based weekly newspaper providing free news and information to the community and serves as a resource and connector for neighborhood groups and organizations.
• $27,515 to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint for Bangtown Productions’ Studio on the Go Expansion Project, an afterschool program using hands-on lessons with professional-grade technology to connect and expose north Flint youth to careers in music production, technology and videography.
• $25,000 to the YMCA of Greater Flint for the Heart of Worship Dance Studio’s afterschool youth development program offering free performing arts classes in liturgical dance, mime, expressive dance, hip-hop, ballet and dance fitness for north Flint youth ages 4-18.
• $24,000 to Delta Research and Education Foundation for Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s Academy, EMBODI & GEMS programs, offering afterschool youth development that engages north Flint young people through mentoring and academic supports.
• $20,000 to the Student Advocacy Center of Michigan for the Flint Education Advocacy program, to provide advocacy trainings and support to families of students who have experienced chronic suspensions, expulsions and other behavioral or academic challenges in school.
• $12,730 to El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil for its twice-weekly afterschool Mexican Folklórico Dance & Music Programs in English and Spanish for Richfield Public School Academy students in north Flint.
The Ruth Mott Foundation awards grants three times a year, with the latest announcement the last round of 2018. A total of 25 grants totaling $1.9 million were announced in August, and 19 grants totaling just over $3 million were awarded in March. More information on the grants and the grant cycle is available at ruthmottfoundation.org.
EVM Editor Jan Worth-Nelson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.