Centreville Bank Awards $180,000 in Grants

GCRI member Centreville Bank Charitable Foundation has awarded $181,900 in grants to eight Rhode Island organizations with missions ranging from social services to education to environmental protection.

Recipients included Child & Family Services in Middletown for the Bridges to Success Independent LIving Program; Friends Way for bereavement support and operational support; Comprehensive Community Action Program in Cranston to replace and enhance digital technology at three youth/skill centers; Sojourner House for rapid rehousing of victims of sexual abuse, assault and trafficking; San Miguel School for scholarships; ONE Neighborhood Builders for homeownership promotion and financial education; and Save the Bay for out of school programming.

Resources for Educational Equity

Thanks to those of you who were able to attend this morning’s session on Education Disparities.  It was a compelling conversation about equity in both education and philanthropy. 

If you would like to listen to the audio of the session, please contact Nancy at Nancy.wolanski@uwri.org. Panelists were Marcela Betancur, Latino Policy Institute; Elizabeth Burke Bryant, RI Kids Count; Karla Vigil, EduLeaders of Color; Nick Donahue, Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

  • If you would like a copy of the Latino Policy Institute report on education disparities, as well as some policies recommended by the Schott Foundation and the National Education Policy Center for ensuring that all children have the opportunity to learn, regardless of their background or which school they attend, or Nellie Mae Education Foundation’s new principles centering their work around racial equity, please contact Nancy at Nancy.wolanski@uwri.org.
  • The Schott Foundation in Boston, which has done a lot of work around racial equity in education, is offering a webinar this Thursday, April 11 at 2:00pm if you’d like to learn more about Culturally Responsive CurriculaLearn more
  • Some of the handouts Nick shared are:

Paid in Full by Dorian O. Burton and Brian C.B. Barnes

The Road to Achieving Equity by Kris Putnam-Walkerly and Elizabeth Russell

Paying Attention to White Culture and Privilege by Gita Gulati-Partee

Where White Privilege Came From by Allan G. Johnson

  • Look for more information soon about our May GCRI session on Collective Impact.  We will be working with the Federal Reserve and Working Cities Challenge on an engaging session about developing deeper partnerships and co-creating with community partners.

Hasbro Employees Support Rhode Island Philharmonic Student Scholarships

The Providence Business News profiled a unique partnership between GCRI member Hasbro employees and music students at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School.  Members of Hasbro’s Music Matters Employee Network teamed with the Philharmonic’s students for a benefit concert and raised $2,000 for scholarships for the program.

See full article

 

 

Puerto Ricans a Year After Hurricane Maria

A year after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, residents of the island are still struggling with the storm’s impact on their housing, finances, and mental and physical health, a survey by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and the Washington Post finds. Based on face-to-face interviews, the report, Views and Experiences of Puerto Ricans One Year After Hurricane Maria (37 pages, PDF), found that 83 percent of survey respondents had a home that was destroyed or significantly damaged, lost power for four or more months, had to drink water from a natural source, experienced a job loss, developed a health condition or had an existing one worsen, and/or received mental health services as a result of the storm.

Report

Rhode Island Foundation Awards $280,000 to Improve the Health of Rhode Islanders

Through its RIGHA Foundation Fund, the Rhode Island Foundation recently awarded more than $280,000 in health-related grants to seven local organizations to improve healthcare access and address health issues in the state.

Awardees included Blackstone Valley Community Health Care (BVCHC) to add health coaches to its primary care teams; the City of Central Falls to help develop partnerships between the city’s EMS service and nearby urgent care centers; Clinica Esperanza for chronic disease screening and treatment programs;  the Rhode Island Free Clinic to provide expanded behavioral health services; Rhode Island Hospital to expand its Connect for Health program (community resources to address social determinants of health); and The Providence Center to support counseling programs in seven Providence elementary and middle schools. 

The RIGHA Foundation Fund was created after Harvard Pilgrim Health Care acquired the former Rhode Island Group Health Association. In 2010, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the RIGHA Foundation transferred its $1.6 million endowment to the Rhode Island Foundation. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care continues to make annual contributions to the fund, which promotes the development of an effective primary health care system in the state.

Learn More

RI Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg’s ProJo op-ed on the importance of the state taking a steady course for both health care and education

Blue Cross Teams Up with Gloria Gemma Foundation to Provide Breast Cancer Education

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) is teaming with the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation to bring breast health and breast cancer education to schools, businesses, and community centers through the Foundation’s Pink Spirit Program.

BCBSRI awarded Gloria Gemma a $10,000 charitable gift to help fund the Pink Spirit Program, which will enable the Foundation to visit more sites throughout the state.

“Bringing education as important and as focused as what is found in the Pink Spirit Program is essential to raising awareness of the importance of good breast health and early detection of breast cancer. We applaud the work done each and every day by the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation and we are honored to provide our support for their vital work,” said Carolyn Belisle, BCBSRI managing director of community relations.

The program is designed to educate students (middle through post-secondary) and employees at local businesses about the risk factors, symptoms, and screening methods for good breast health and early detection of breast cancer.

 

Rhode Island Taking Steps to Address Early Literacy Challenges

As of 2017, less than half of Rhode Island third graders were proficient in reading, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Race for Results
report, released last October showed even more literacy challenges for Latino/a students in the state.  According to the Race for Results’ “Opportunity Index,” which includes reading proficiency, Rhode Island’s Latino/a children are doing the worst in the nation.

In the face of these statistics, two GCRI funders, the van Beuren Charitable Foundation and United Way of Rhode Island, have stepped forward to support and lead the work toward grade level reading proficiency.

The national Campaign for Grade-Level Reading recognized Newport, RI as one of 29 “Pacesetter” communities in the country, highlighting the city’s  progress on key indicators of early school success.

Newport’s work on early literacy is highlighted by cross-sector collaboration, including the city, school districts, nonprofit agencies, private organizations and state agencies, including an extensive partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health.  The work has been supported by GCRI member van Beuren Charitable Foundation, among other funding streams.

The Newport program provides resources beginning at birth, with letters to new parents with suggestions on how to build early language development by reading, talking, singing and playing; bags containing books and resource guides with information on programs to support early development and literacy; and links to parent support and educational programs, and home visiting programs.

Rhode Island Reads, a statewide collaboration led by United Way of Rhode Island and Rhode Island KIDS COUNT, teamed up with the Rhode Island Association for the Education of Young Children to build awareness of the need for high-quality early learning opportunities for young children by organizing reading events in early learning programs across the state. Thirty-six guest readers participated —  26 state legislators and 10 community leaders, including the Director of the Department of Human Services, the Director of the Department of Labor and Training, and members of United Way of Rhode Island’s Women United Leadership Group.  Photos

Rhode Island Reads has also released its 2018 Advocacy Agenda, focusing on legislation and funding in the areas of school readiness, summer learning, chronic absence and learning to read.

 

Collette, Rhode Island Foundation Help Launch Books Are Wings Literacy Program in Central Falls

Collette, Rhode Island Foundation Support Launch of Books Are Wings’ Literacy Efforts in Central Falls

Thanks to funding from two GCRI members, Collette and Rhode Island Foundation, Books Are Wings will partner with the City of Central Falls to provide literacy training for the City’s Parks & Recreation summer camp counselors, three book parties throughout the summer, establish six Little Free Libraries in strategic locations throughout Central Falls and distribute over 5,000 free children’s books to Central Falls students throughout the year.

The Little Free Libraries are available to both children and their families anytime, and invite participants to keep books for their personal use. Grant funds will also support the purchase of bilingual books to be included in the book selection.

Books Are Wings will visit Central Falls elementary schools multiple times throughout the school year to distribute free books. By the end of the school year every child will receive up to 6 free books to keep.

According to the 2017 PARCC, only 15% of third graders in Central Falls are meeting grade-level expectations in reading. This is a 2% gain from the previous two years. “The summer months are critical academic times for children. Children’s access to and ownership of books is crucial to maintain the reading skills they acquired during the school year,” states Jocelynn White, Executive Director of Books Are Wings. “We are thrilled to partner with the City of Central Falls to address this need and get more books in the hands of children.”

“The city is excited to partner with Books Are Wings,” says Rob Sayre-McCord, Director of Parks & Recreation and Community Services. “Together, the city and Books Are Wings firmly believe that this initiative will highlight the life-long importance of reading for youth in our community and will be a step towards offsetting the literacy issues our community encounters.”

GCRI Corporate Members Fidelity, Tufts Health Plan Give Back on Annual Days of Service

Tufts Health Plan Employees Tackle 35 Projects in 4 States

In honor of the Tufts Health Plan (THP) Foundation’s 10th anniversary in 2018, employees of Tufts Health Plan set an ambitious goal of 10,000 volunteer hours for the year.

After a very successful annual service day, THP is more than halfway to its goal.  This year’s record-setting Volunteer Day engaged 773 Tufts Health Plan employees in giving back to communities–in total 2,100 hours through 35 projects in 4 states–all in one day.

Pictured above are employee volunteers cleaning up the playground and outdoor areas at Federal Hill House in Providence; they were getting the grounds ready for summer camp. Other projects included building beds for children; prepping gardens that will supply healthy, local, affordable food; sorting donated food, clothing and toys for families living in poverty; and making paracord survival bracelets for deployed service members.

Fidelity Employees Assist Over 100 Nonprofits on Fidelity Cares Day

1,600 Fidelity employees in New England, joined colleagues around the globe to assist 110 nonprofits for the company’s annual service day.  A total of more than 8,000 employees globally provided services that will benefit over 15,000 students and almost 1,000 teachers.

In Rhode Island, Fidelity worked with United Way of Rhode Island to provide financial success fairs at Connecting for Children and Families and Genesis Center, assistance in building an outdoor classroom with DownCity Design, refurbishing a community center with Partnership for Providence Parks, and meal packaging for Project Outreach.

Tufts Health Plan Foundation Supports Efforts for Make Communities Better for All Ages Through $1.8 million in Grants

Tufts Health Plan Foundation announced nearly $1.8 million in new community investments that reflect its commitment to make cities and towns great places to grow up and grow old. The new grants will support initiatives at 16 community organizations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire working to make communities healthier for people of all ages, with a specific interest in engaging older adults. These investments are in addition to nearly $1 million in previously announced work.

The supported grants in systems improvement and best practices reflect a trend of increased regional and local efforts to create age- and dementia-friendly communities. The initiatives promote cross-sector collaboration, expand engagement of older people, advance improvements to support the health and wellbeing of older people, and foster intergenerational connections.

“Each community will follow its own path to becoming age- and dementia-friendly. Support from Tufts Health Plan Foundation helps ensure resources reach under-represented communities at greatest risk for disparities,” said Nora Moreno Cargie, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation and vice president of corporate citizenship for Tufts Health Plan. “Everyone has a voice; it’s important that we listen.”

The two Rhode Island recipients of grants were:

Local Initiative Support Corporation (Providence, R.I.) The Intergenerational Farmers’ Market Project—to address social isolation for older adults through relationship-building activities that capitalize on the integration of arts, culture and community resources across Rhode Island. Two-year grant for $120,000.  (For more information on this innovative program, read the ProJo feature on it!)

Rhode Island Parent Information Network (Cranston, R.I.) Own Your Health: A System to Support Evidence-Based Health Promotion in R.I. for Older People—to improve Rhode Island’s system for providing evidence-based programs for older adults and their caregivers. One-year grant for $63,085.