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Casey Grants Serve 1,100 Disadvantaged Baltimore City Youth

Sixteen local nonprofit organizations have been awarded grants under the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2011 Baltimore Direct Service Grant (BDSG) program. The selected direct service organizations will provide summer activities for close to 1,100 disadvantaged Baltimore City youth. The organizations also will be awarded a total of $200,000 to support their respective programs.

The Casey Foundation’s BDSG program began in 1995. The program has contributed over $10 million in support of a wide range of innovative ideas and practices conducted by groups that represent many areas of the city. This year, applicant organizations that reached out to particularly vulnerable children -- such as those in foster care, with special needs, or who are academically at risk -- were given priority consideration by the selection committee. The 2011 funded programs will support academic and cultural enrichment, life skills, and workforce development, as well as leadership development in community affairs.

The 2011 grant recipients include:

  • The Episcopal Housing Corporation, that will provide youth from the Remington neighborhood of the City with an eight-week education and vocation training program that focuses on making better life decisions. The priority population for the youth who will participate are youth struggling with an absent father, gang involvement, or family issues related to incarceration;
  • The Incentive Mentoring Program, that will provide summer internships for City high school students who are at high risk for failing out of school due to academic and/or psychosocial challenges; and,
  • Rose Street Community Center, that will operate the Rose Street ARTernative Youth Camp to enable 15 homeless youth (ages 6 to 10) to participate in arts and academic programming and receive free meals in partnership with Art with a Heart, Moveable Feast, and the Rose Street Community Center.

“Now in our second decade, the BDSG program has allowed us to provide millions of dollars to local organizations that work closely with children and families in our neighborhoods,” said Patrice Cromwell, director, Baltimore Civic Site at the Casey Foundation. “We are inspired by the work that past grantees and these new grantees do every day to make a positive impact on Baltimore. We also hope that these grants can in some small way help to fill the City’s youth summer program needs during this time of budget cutbacks.”

The Casey Foundation’s 2011 Baltimore Direct Services Grants Program recipients are:

Baltimore Algebra Project

$15,000

Project: support its summer program that works in partnership with Morgan State University’s Camp ELEVATE to provide a sports/math camp for youth ages 9-17, operated entirely by older youth students ages 14-24. The program will serve 160 Baltimore City youth between the ages of 9-24 over five weeks by creating positive peer support for math achievement.

Baltimore SquashWise

$10,000

Project: provide weekly academic, squash and fitness programming over the summer for 30 middle school and high school students (11-15 years olds) from the Baltimore Civitas School, a citywide “transformation school.” SquashWise is a youth development program for academically at-risk youth providing long-term academic and social support, using squash as the incentive for academic success. The summer component includes weekly enrichment sessions (science lessons, geography projects, a book club) plus a weeklong summer day camp and a trip to Williams College for a tournament with peer institutions around the country.

Citizens Law Related Education Program (CLREP)

$15,000

Project: provide paid, seven-week summer internships at law firms and law-related agencies for 20 at-risk Baltimore City high school juniors and seniors who have an interest in law, the legal profession and/or professional work experience. The purpose of the program is to expose youth to law-related professions and develop their appreciation for academic studies and the importance of post-high school education. Students attend from all over the city but most particularly from the neighborhoods of Cherry Hill, Montebello, and East Baltimore.

Episcopal Housing Corporation

$15,000

Project: provide 15 youth (ages 14-18) from the Remington neighborhood of Baltimore City with an eight-week educational and vocational training program to enable them to make better life decisions by means of classroom instruction, personal reflection, job training, and experience in a series of neighborhood improvement projects. The priority population will be youth struggling with an absent father, gang involvement, or family issues related to incarceration, a recent death, or substance abuse issues.

Baltimore City Youth Resiliency Institute/Cherry Hill

$10,200

Project: provide a free on-site, six-week camp called A Dream in Cherry Hill for 40 low-income youth (ages 5-13) who live in public housing. The youth will be introduced to choral music instruction, civic engagement activities, academic reinforcement, cultural enrichment and mentoring. The program will be incubated by Fusion Partnerships with support from Cherry Hill Homes Tenant’s Association Future Leaders In Training Program and Cherry Hill Homes Management.

Fusion Partnerships/New Lens

$15,000

Project: New Lens, a youth-driven social justice organization (with Fusion Partnerships as its fiscal sponsor and the Child First Academy as a partner), will employ 25 at-risk youth (ages 14-21) recruited from both Baltimore City public schools and Baltimore City’s foster care system in order to develop skills in art, media, and leadership for six weeks over the summer.

Incentive Mentoring Program

$10,000

Project: provide summer internships for 48 Baltimore City high school students who are part of the Incentive Mentoring Program (IMP) and at high risk for failing out of school due to academic and/or psychosocial challenges. In addition to ongoing mentoring support through IMP, students will have access to summer programming through the Diversity and Academic Advancement Summer Institute (DAASI) created in partnership with Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Baltimore City YouthWorks. The summer programming will include enrichment activities and workshops, community services activities, and employment opportunities to expose them to post-secondary education and careers.

Junior Achievement (JA)

$10,000

Project: provide three age-appropriate programs to at-risk Baltimore City youth over the summer to equip them with financial knowledge and the skills necessary to make informed financial choices in our complex and changing economy. First, in partnership with Coppin State University’s six-week day camp, to provide 20 academically at-risk 3rd-5th grade students two hours each day of hands-on financial and computer literacy. For 20 of Coppin’s high school students, JA will provide JA Finance Park program focused on money management and career exploration. In addition, JA will support 40 academically at-risk Baltimore City youth (ages 10-14) for a weekly camp called JA BizTown in which they simulate running their own business in a life-size replica of a real town housed in Owings Mills, Maryland

Knox HOPE Community Development Corp.

$18,200

Project: support the Knox Summer Fun Enrichment program for 50 children from Dr. Bernard Harris Sr. Elementary School in the Greenmount East Neighborhood. The summer program will provide low-income children between the ages of 6-12 with academic, social and recreational enrichment activities such as math, reading, music, games, arts and crafts, computers, entrepreneurship, and cultural awareness.

Pimlico Youth

$10,900

Project: provide a summer camp for 50 Southern Park Heights Baltimore City youth (ages 5-14) that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) to teach reading and writing, computer instruction, art, and recreational activities. The purpose is to provide healthy activities for youth living in very disinvested, high crime neighborhoods. The activities provide academic and physical skill building while keeping youth safe and active.

REACH of Baltimore, Inc.

$10,000

Project: provide students of REACH! Transformation School with the one-month REACH Summer Literacy Program to raise the reading level of 250 of its 6th to 11th grade students who are reading three or more years below grade level. REACH of Baltimore is a subsidiary of Civic Works and is located on the Lake Clifton Complex in East Baltimore, although students attend from all over Baltimore City.

Rose Street Community Center

$14,500

Project: operate the Rose Street ARTernative Youth Camp for six weeks to enable 15 homeless youth (ages 6-10) to participate daily in arts and academic programming and receive free meals. The program is in partnership with Art with a Heart, Moveable Feast, and the Rose Street Community Center. Through this program, the Rose Street Community Center aims to keep homeless youth engaged in educational and enrichment programming while students are off for the summer to help them build a range of new skills and to increase their self-esteem and self-confidence.

St. Ignatius Loyola Academy

$10,000

Project: support both a two-week residential summer camp that instills habits for a healthy lifestyle and a four-week summer bridge program that focuses on reading, writing, math, and research skills for 71 6th-8th grade students from low-income families in Baltimore City. The focus of the program is to eliminate traditional summer learning loss and positively contribute to the academic achievement and physical wellness of their students.

Wide Angle Youth Media

$15,000

Project: provide staff and program support to train and mentor six Youth Producers between the ages of 14-20. These young producers will in turn serve 30 low-income middle school students as well as 10 older youth in a two-week intensive media workshop. The workshop will help students create 10 media projects supporting educational goals and community concerns that will be presented to 50 audience members in three community settings.

Youth As Resources

$10,000

Project: eight high-school age youth with personal experiences working within public systems and two young-adult supervisors will run peer workshops this summer focused on leadership, community problem solving, community organizing, and project planning and budgeting. The workshops will be held with 200 youth overall -- students from the Stadium School in the Coldspring-Homestead-Montebello community; students from Garrison Middle School and Westport Middle School sponsored by Child First; and youth from the Sharp Leadenhall Youth Committee and Belair Edison Youth Council.

Youth Dreamers

$11,200

Project: support Say It Loud and Say It Proud! Youth Dreamers seven-week annual summer arts program taught by four high school students and graduate students from the Maryland College of Art for 20 rising 7th -10th graders from the 21218 area. The focus of the program is to provide leadership activities for neighborhood youth through the arts over the summer in concert with Youth Dreamers youth-run safe haven center known as the Dream House.

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