BALTIMORE — Twenty-one local nonprofits were awarded grants through the Foundation’s 2012 Baltimore Direct Service Grant (BDSG) program. The selected organizations will receive a total of $300,000 to provide summer activities for close to 1,100 disadvantaged Baltimore City youths.
The Casey Foundation’s BDSG program began in 1995 and has contributed more than $10 million to support a wide range of innovative ideas and practices for children and families across the city. The 2012 grants will support academic and cultural enrichment, life skills and workforce development, and leadership development programs for youth. Many of these programs are geared toward vulnerable children, such as those with special needs, in foster care or academically at risk.
“Our grant recipients offer an array of programs designed to enrich the lives of Baltimore City youth throughout the summer and teach them skills they can carry with them into adulthood,” said Sophie Dagenais, director of the Casey Foundation’s Baltimore Civic Site. “We’re pleased to be able to fund programs that advance efforts to improve outcomes for children and families.”
The 2012 BDSG recipients are:
- Art With a Heart ($10,000)
A visual arts program involving 10 community partners and providing youths — many of them homeless, some expectant mothers, all from low-income families — with access to positive and productive programming, caring and nurturing adults, and the chance to embrace new ideas and skills in a safe and structured environment.
- Baltimore Squashwise ($17,894)
Providing long-term academic and social support to city public school students by combining intensive academic tutoring with coaching in the sport of squash. In the short term, the program aims to improve grades, academic effort, fitness and nutrition. The long-term goals are 100% high school graduation, college completion and life planning.
- Baltimore Talent Education Center ($18,370)
A six-week program for 25 beginner students from low-income families in Lower Park Heights. BTEC aims to have students graduate to proficiency in performance and composition, and become culturally aware of their city’s contributions to classical, folk and jazz music.
- Chesapeake Center for Youth Development ($18,773)
A five-week program for 60 Brooklyn and Curtis Bay youths required to attend summer school because of poor academic performance. Eight older neighborhood youths with juvenile justice experience will be trained to mentor this younger generation.
- Coppin State University Development Foundation, Inc. ($20,000)
A program for 40 youths (ages 7-12) who are reading below grade level, with a mix of summer learning opportunities that include reading, swimming and water safety, character education and enrichment activities in art, dance and music.
- Eagles Nest Outreach Center ($9,400)
The Summer Life Skills Boot Camp includes a wealth-building series, health and nutrition, reading and math enrichment and lessons in goal-setting for kids, while also engaging parents in workshops and trainings.
- Education Based Latino Outreach, Inc. ($20,000)
Mi Segunda Casa aims to improve academic performance and promote self-esteem among 45 first- through fifth-grade English language learners in East Baltimore schools, reinforcing concepts and skills learned in the previous academic year and introducing new ones for the one ahead. It integrates character education and general enrichment components that include the arts, science, technology, engineering and math.
- Fells Point Creative Alliance ($10,000)
Art programs for 60 youths from low- or moderate-income families in East and Southeast Baltimore neighborhoods. The programs, which will run for six weeks, will include reading, comprehension and discussion and allow students to create two- and three-dimensional art, dance or music projects related to the reading sessions.
- Full Gospel Fellowship Church ($20,000)
A program geared toward preventing summer learning loss, serving 50 children in grades K-8 and including social development, academic advancement, cultural enrichment and recreational activities.
- Fusion Partnership: A Dream in Cherry Hill ($10,000)
A seven-week cultural leadership and civic engagement project for 20 Cherry Hill students (ages 7-18) that seeks to build literacy and introduce historical research methods and investigative journalism, providing youths with tools for using the literary arts to discover and build community.
- Higher Achievement ($15,000)
A summer academy program that seeks to reach 60 East Baltimore youths, offering four academic classes — math, science, social studies and literature — a daily reading period, engaging field trips, academic competitions and an end-of-summer college trip.
- Middle Grades Partnership ($10,000)
A five-week academic and arts enrichment program to address middle school underperformance and summer learning loss, combining academic instruction in math, reading and writing with the arts, athletics and personal development — along with financial literacy lessons and field trips inside and outside of the city.
- National Museum of Ceramic Art and Glass ($15,000)
A program to help students develop and sharpen skills in ceramic arts, reading and writing — and influence them to stay in school, improve their academic achievement and classroom behavior, and give them a sense of accomplishment through the arts. Student-designed murals have been placed throughout the city.
- Rob’s Barbershop Community Foundation ($15,000)
The Mindful Mentor Planting Seeds aims to help student-athletes from low-income households maintain their grade point averages through daily language arts and math tutoring, while also providing regular physical training.
- Somebody Cares Baltimore ($10,000)
The annual I Can Do It! Camp, put on in partnership with Collington Square and William Marsh elementary schools, serves 160 second- through fifth-graders in East Baltimore and consists of art projects and music lessons from teachers and community art leaders.
- St. Francis Neighborhood Center ($10,000)
- The Power Project will provide 30 disadvantaged Reservoir Hill youths (ages 5-18) with homework help, tutoring, arts enrichment, character development and life skills seminars/workshops, non-violent communication strategies and mentoring.
- Umar Boxing Youth Development ($16,500)
- With the motto “no hooks before books,” this program combines academic development — including computer training, reading assignments and math — and boxing training under one roof, making schoolwork a requirement for participating in the sport.
- Village Learning Place ($10,000)
The LINK Summer program is designed to prevent summer learning loss for at-risk students and promote positive social development — and engages family and other community members in programming.
- Wide Angle Youth Media ($15,000)
This media education program promotes youth social responsibility, providing a creative outlet for high school students to see themselves as agents of change and create media about issues impacting their lives and communities. The program emphasizes leadership and workforce development opportunities for older youth through peer teaching and mentoring.
- Youth as Resources ($16,874)
The youth-led program, which aims to help students academically, physically and socially, will include interactive workshops and other peer support strategies for leadership, self-determination, community organizing, grant writing and project planning and implementation.
- Youth Dreamers ($11,947)
The eighth annual “Dreamers in Training” program — a five-week, student-led nonprofit management and community arts curriculum for up to 20 at-risk middle-school youths. Youth Dreamers aims to provide a safe haven with opportunities for youth to accomplish personal goals, develop leadership potential and participate in improving their communities.