Over 40 nonprofit organizations serving Newport County residents will share more than $350,000 in grants through the Rhode Island Foundation’s Newport County Fund. The funding will support work ranging from housing and summer youth programs to food pantries and behavioral health.
Conexion Latino in Newport, FabNewport, the Jamestown Community Food Pantry, Newport Mental Health in Middletown and the Washington Square Cooperative Services are among the 48 organizations that will share the funding.
Aquidneck Community Table received $6,600 to support its Root Riders program, which provides summer jobs to island high school students tending school and community gardens in Newport’s North End.
Best Buddies of Massachusetts & Rhode Island received $2,500 to support its Newport County School Friendship initiative, which will support the inclusion of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities through one-to-one friendship programs and inclusive group activities and events from elementary school through college.
Bike Newport received $5,000 to buy bicycle helmets for students who participate in its in-school Bicycle Education Program in partnership with Newport Public Schools. The organization estimates the grant will enable it to give helmets to around 300 children.
The Boys & Girls Club of Newport County in Newport received $9,978 to install a portable pool chair lift that can be used by guests of all ages who cannot use the stairs due to mobility issues to safely enter and exit the pool.
Child and Family in Middletown received $10,000 to supplement its supportive housing program. The initiative is expected to provide safe, secure housing to as many as 12 homeless Newport families with children. The organization provides participants with wraparound case management and access to a continuum of care that provides the resources necessary for them to eventually secure permanent housing and improve the overall health and wellbeing of their families.
Clean Ocean Access in Middletown received $4,000 to support its Blue Access for All initiative, which connects children with the bay, coastline and local ecosystems. The program is expected to serve approximately 120 children.
The Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation in Jamestown received $10,000 to support its STEAM Ocean Initiative, which serves students in Jamestown schools. The program inspires young ocean and environmental stewards by engaging and educating over 500 elementary and middle school students each year. It was designed to address the gap between traditional and applied learning as it currently exists in science education.
Conexion Latina Newport received $10,000 to support its housing outreach program targeting residents who identify as Latinx. The organization estimates it gets 5-10 requests for help with housing a week. The grant will be used to enable the organization’s director of operations to spend more time on working on housing outreach.
Day One, the only agency in Rhode Island specifically organized to deal with issues of sexual assault as a community concern, received $10,000 to provide evaluation, advocacy and treatment services to child and adult victims of sexual violence and abuse in Newport County. Last year, the organization supported over 350 children and adults through its Children’s Advocacy Center in Middletown and its adult advocacy and clinical programs.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport received $10,000 to subsidize its pre-school program. Half the students are English Language Learners and 96 percent come from low-income households.
The East Bay Community Action Program in Newport received $5,000 to support its Baby Steps program, which provides family education sessions and family enrichment activities that engage family members as partners in the education of children through the age of four.
ecoRI News received $6,500 to increase environmental reporting in Jamestown, Little Compton and Tiverton. It reports having an audience of 40,000 and a website that received nearly half a million visits in 2021.
Emmanuel Church in Newport received $7,080 to revive its monthly community meal program for needy residents. The grant will fund stipends for former food service workers as well as cover the cost of food.
FabNewport received $7,500 to provide transportation for approximately 90 middle school students who will participate in its NEX summer immersion program. The six-week program gives youngsters the opportunity to experience art, sailing, golf, farming, music, surfing and hiking among other activities.
Gnome Surf in Little Compton received $7,500 to add instructors at its Little Compton and Second Beach in Middletown sites, expand camps and develop an off-season surf fit program. The Little Compton-based nonprofit offers surf therapy, art therapy, eco therapy and yoga therapy to children and families of all abilities, including youth on the autism spectrum, youth with Down’s syndrome and youth who identify as LGBTQ. In 2021 the organization used a $5,000 grant from the Newport County Fund in order to establish a secondary site at Second Beach in Middletown with weekly lessons offered by one instructor as well as two, two-week summer camps in partnership with FabNewport to introduce youth to surf therapy.
The Herren Project in Portsmouth received $7,500 to partner with the Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County on a pilot program designed to meet the critical need for prevention, mental health and intervention strategies for children and adolescents and their families.
Island Moving Company in Newport received $10,000 to support its Dancing Through Boundaries program, a comprehensive educational program that serves 5,000 students across Newport County Schools annually. The goal is to improve academic performance in math, literacy and creativity. The grant supports programs at the Pell Elementary School in Newport and the Wilbur & McMahon School in Little Compton.
The James L. Maher Center in Middletown received $9,866 to expand its “Fresh” initiative, which blends planting and cultivating fresh vegetables with nutrition counseling, meal preparation and culinary skills training. The work includes hiring a part-time chef in order to increase the food service program’s capacity; installing improved lighting; and buying blenders and other small appliances in order to provide meals that meet special dietary requirements.
The Jamestown Arts Center received $10,000 to support its Free Community Arts Experiences program, which will offer a diverse array of arts experiences for residents to enjoy and learn from in socially-distanced formats. Plans call for a year-long series of free arts events, workshops and collaborative art-making. The initiative will feature partnerships with local schools and multiple community organizations for community engagement as well as program implementation.
The Jamestown Community Chorus received $2,600 to expand its “Everybody Chorus,” where anyone of any age and singing ability is welcome to come to sing in unison. The two choruses will perform on the same program. The Jamestown Community Chorus will sing choral music in 4-part harmony and the Everyone Chorus will perform popular music, show tunes and folk tunes.
The Jamestown Community Food Pantry received $10,000 to re-stock its facility on Narragansett Avenue. The pantry, which is the only source of free meat, chicken, fish, milk, eggs, cheese, fresh produce and basic household supplies on the island, serves more than 70 Jamestown households comprising nearly 130 people. In addition to food, the organization offers personal care items, pet food, and, in the colder months hats, gloves and socks for those who may need them.
The Jamestown Community Piano Association received $3,000 to stage live performances as the organization strives to re-build its audience in the wake of COVID shut-downs. The organization will use its grant to sponsor performances by well-known pianists that are likely to attract patrons who have lost the habit of attending live concerts in person.
The Katie Brown Educational Program (KBEP) received $6,500 to provide evidence-based, relationship violence prevention education to Jamestown, Little Compton, Newport, Portsmouth and Tiverton students in grades 4-12. Through the KBEP students learn skills necessary to recognize, avoid, and prevent relationship violence by shifting unhealthy attitudes and changing behaviors.
The Little Compton Community Center received $10,000 to support its Senior Lunch Program. The center prepares meals for pick up, for home delivery and to be served in its dining room. Since COVID-19 restrictions have been relaxed, the organization has returned to serving meals in the center’s dining room. In addition, meals can be served outdoors on the facility’s patio during the summer.
The Little Compton Historical Society received $10,000 to research the history of the Indigenous people of the area as part of its “History of the Sakonnet People” project. The organization plans to share the results of its research with the public with a book, a special exhibition and a series of public programs in 2025, which is the 350th anniversary of the English settlement of Sakonnet, now Little Compton.
Live & Learn in Jamestown received $10,000 to purchase additional and upgraded kitchen equipment and supplies, growing equipment and supplies, and computing equipment. The organization supports entrepreneurship, creative problem-solving and community-based, innovative approaches to community issues. The equipment will include two new steel prep tables, a chest freezer, two new stand mixers, bulk bins to store food supplies, an additional sink, three shelving units for growing, additional LED grow lights and planting supplies.
Lucy’s Hearth in Middletown received $10,000 to support an on-site counselor during the evening and overnight hours at the shelter, which serves approximately 160 adults and children.
Meals on Wheels received $5,000 to support its work providing home-delivered meals to Newport County seniors and other homebound adults. In 2021, organization served more than 30,000 meals, a 30 percent increase since 2019.
MENTOR Rhode Island received $10,000 to support the Aquidneck Island Mentoring (AIM) program, which matches children with multiple risk factors with a volunteer mentor from the community who is recruited, screened, trained, matched and supported by the organization.
Newport Classical received $5,000 to support its free, year-round concert series that brings open-air, classical music concerts to community-centered locations across Aquidneck Island.
The Newport Community School received $10,000 to support its One Stop Hybrid Career and Employment Services program, which offers employment and training program services for people who are unemployed or under-employed. The organization expects to serve about 150 people.
Newport FILM received $5,000 to launch a pilot nonfiction story-telling program, in partnership with FabNewport, the Met School and Creative Communities Collaborative, anchored at the Florence Gray Center in the city’s North End.
The Newport Gulls received $5,000 to enable underprivileged children to attend its summer camps with players and coaches in Middletown, Newport and Portsmouth. The Gulls will work with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Newport County, the East Bay Community Action Program, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and local little leagues to identify needy children age 6 to 12 that come from families experiencing financial hardship.
Newport Mental Health in Middletown received $10,000 to transport clients to behavioral health and medical appointments. The organization expects the funding will cover the cost of hundreds of rides for clients.
Newport Partnership for Families received $7,000 to support its Reading Reaps Rewards’ Summer Learning Initiative. The program serves 235 Pell elementary students across four city sites: Newport Family & Child Opportunity Zone’s Summer Learning Academy at Thompson Middle School, the Boys & Girls Club of Newport County, the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center and the Newport County YMCA.
The Newport String Project received $5,000 to support its after-school program for children and a professional chamber music series led by the Newport String Quartet. In partnership with the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center, the organization will provide free violin, viola and cello lessons to at least 40 students from pre-K through high school.
The Newport Tree Conservancy received $4,400 to support planting 100 trees in the Health Equity Zone in Miantonomi Park. According to the organization, the neighborhood contains only 7.5 percent of the city’s open space, but is home to 55 percent of Newport’s children under the age of 14 and 24 percent of students at the local public elementary school live under the poverty line.
The Norman Bird Sanctuary in Middletown received $5,000 to buy a sensory tub station and support the creation of a science drawing station and a literacy corner for its new Curiosity Lab. The space, which will encourage children to explore STEAM, is schedule to open in September.
Sail Newport received $10,000 to support its 4th Grade Science and Sailing Program at Pell Elementary School. The 16-week program, which is provided during the school day, takes place on Narragansett Bay, along the shoreline and in the organization’s shore-side classroom. In the school year that just ended, nearly 150 children participated.
The Salvation Army – Newport Corps received $5,000 to support its Pathway of Hope initiative, which primarily families of color. The program will serve up to seven families at a time with case management for up to two years.
Save The Bay received $10,000 to provide environmental and STEM education programs to approximately 350 students at Newport’s Pell Elementary and Thompson Middle schools. In addition to classroom activities, students will participate in a marine science cruise on Narragansett Bay and plant dune grass to restore shoreline habitat at Easton’s Beach.
Shri Service Corps received $3,370 to support its Adaptive Yoga Project at Looking Upwards in Middletown and the Seniors Yoga Project at the Jamestown Food Pantry. The Adaptive Yoga Project serves adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities while the Seniors Yoga Project serves residents ages 55 and up.
The St. Joseph Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Newport received $8,500 to provide emergency financial assistance to residents facing emergencies, including eviction, utility shut-offs, lack of home heating oil, need of prescription drugs and clothing among other needs.
The Star Kids Scholarship Program received $6,000 to provide one-on-one tutoring, school transportation and after-school and summer camp opportunities for at-risk Newport County children and youth in grades K-12 for the 2022-23 school year.
Turning Around Ministries in Newport received $10,000 to provide case management and job readiness services to under-served and at-risk persons living in the community who face homelessness, poverty, debt, addiction and unemployment.
Visiting Nurse Home and Hospice in Middletown received $5,500 to provide professional development and support at all levels of the organization, which serves residents throughout Newport County.
The Washington Square Services Corp. in Newport received $10,000 to provide intensive case management services to homeless men and women at the McKinney Cooperative Shelter. The shelter serves more than 40 people a day and over 100 individuals through the course of each year, according to the organization.
The Women’s Resource Center received $5,000 to support resident leaders as they begin implementing the Newport Health Equity Zone Collaborative’s North End Equitable Development Strategy, which focuses on housing affordability and open green and civic spaces. The work will include expanding the base of North End residents involved in advocacy as well as making significant progress in coalition-building with individuals, organizations and other constituencies.
The Newport County Fund awards grants of up $10,000 to strengthen or expand established programs, to support policy or advocacy efforts on behalf of community concerns, to fund new projects that focus on significant problems or opportunities, and to leverage strategic collaborations and partnerships. In making the funding decisions, the Foundation worked with an advisory committee comprised of residents from every community in Newport County.
Established in 2002, the Fund has awarded $5.3 million in grants for programs and services for residents of Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth and Tiverton. It is just one of the grant programs that enable the Foundation to serve Newport County communities.