PROVIDENCE – United Way of Rhode Island has awarded $150,000 to 12 organizations that support children and families in the city’s Olneyville neighborhood.

The grants were awarded from United Way’s Olneyville Community Fund and the total distribution was an increase of more than 60% over last year’s total.

“We are part of the community fabric of Olneyville and proud to be in a position to help make a positive difference in the lives of our neighbors,” said Angela Bannerman Ankoma, United Way executive vice president and director of community investment. “There is amazing work being done by organizations across this neighborhood that will now reach more children and more families – it’s very exciting.”

United Way of Rhode Island established the Olneyville Community Fund in 2008 when it relocated its headquarters to the neighborhood – considered one of Providence’s poorest – from the East Side. Since then, United Way has distributed more than $1 million from the fund to improve services for residents, increase the capacity of community-based organizations and improve public spaces.

The 12 organizations to receive grants and their funded initiatives are:

  • ONE Neighborhood Builders ($23,000): Funding for Central PVD Resident Leadership Academy to provide local residents with the knowledge and skills to become effective neighborhood advocates; support for the work of the Olneyville Collaborative.
  • Manton Avenue Project ($20,000): Funding for out-of-school learning programs that partner students with professional artists and bring youths’ voices to the public stage.
  • Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council ($20,000): Funding for programs that reach hundreds of children in school and during out-of-school time: Fish in the Classroom, River Adventurers, and Red Shed Bike programs.
  • Providence Community Library ($17,570): Supporting The Olneyville Preschool Hub, a bilingual program for young children and their parents to discover the library as a place for learning; grant for Spanish language and Latin American cultural education classes for local nonprofit staff.
  • The Wilbury Theater Group ($15,000): To develop a connected community in Olneyville through access to performances and adult education programming in public speaking and theater education.
  • Meeting Street ($10,000): Support for a six-week, classroom-based kindergarten-readiness program for 36 Olneyville children.
  • Olneyville Neighborhood Association ($10,000): To offer free native language literacy and English-speaking classes to local residents.
  • Clinica Esperanza-Hope Clinic ($10,000): Increasing access to critical health care services for low-income, uninsured Olneyville residents.
  • Center for Resilience ($7,600): A partnership with William D’Abate Elementary School to study the impact of social-emotional development and learning.
  • Back to School Celebration of Rhode Island ($5,000): To provide school supplies and backpacks to neighborhood children.
  • Kings Cathedral ($5,000): Support for Share to Care, a program providing food, clothing and financial learning resources to individuals living in poverty.
  • YouthBuild Preparatory Academy ($5,000): Support for the organization’s strategic planning process to better position YouthBuild to prepare young people for success in life.
  • Swearer Center at Brown University ($1,830): To fund an afternoon chess program for students at William D’Abate Elementary, taught by volunteers from the Brown chess team.