The I Am Trenton Community Foundation has given grants to nine community initiatives in 2014. The grantees are funded in core program areas: cultural connections and community development, youth development, education, and training.
The I Am Trenton Community Foundation announced the grantees at a press conference at Classics Used and Rare Books in downtown Trenton. The foundation will fund Trenton Books at Home, supporting a new partnership between Classics, Trenton 365, and the Trenton Downtown Association to launch an “Adopt a Library Box” initiative. Converted newspaper boxes will become free libraries where readers can take or exchange books; residents and businesses will adopt and maintain the boxes, as Classics continues its distribution of free books from their downtown location.
“Science Daily reports that kids with 500 books in their home stay in school three years longer on average than their counterparts. This is true if the student is struggling or already successful. The Trenton Books at Home Program is committed to reaching this goal of 500 books in the home of every Trenton kid and, with the help of the I Am Trenton Community Foundation, we are closer to fulfilling this,” said Eric Maywar, owner of Classics Used and Rare Books.
“The I Am Trenton Community Foundation supports grassroots initiatives, and recognizes the importance of fostering collaborations as we strive to fund education and community development programs,” said Dan Fatton, President of the Board of Trustees of the I Am Trenton Community Foundation. “We remain committed to supporting innovative projects in the City of Trenton for residents and visitors. Our 2014 grants have a broad range: from continued support for arts education and enrichment for both children and elders, to job preparedness training for women, to several new programs for youth.”
The other I Am Trenton Community Foundation 2014 grantees include:
Institute for Wonderful Women Working for Empowerment:
IWWWE provides a directed, practical learning experience in a healthcare setting to under-served, low-income women. The skills learned assist in gaining employment in the healthcare field.
This program uses a holistic leadership model, mentoring public workshops and events that honor and strengthen families and promote economic empowerment to assist in building strong neighborhoods and community institutions. To date, 125 protégés in the greater Trenton community have received scholarships, and this grant will help more women become gainfully employed in healthcare capacities.
SAGE Coalition and Trenton Bicycle Modification Association:
Pressure Points will support the creation of creatively designed bicycle air pumps to be placed throughout the city. Public art and public health are symbiotic. The public air pumps will assist in the functionality of a healthy and accessible form of transportation already utilized by many Trenton residents and tourists. These pumps will be created by local artists and placed near common areas such as parks and major transit locations.
Trenton African-American Cultural Festival:
The Trenton African-American Cultural Festival was established in 2011. The mission of this annual event is to “bring together generations of families to celebrate the rich heritage of the African and African-American cultures.”
The TAACF Children’s Village focus is to empower and educate youth about the history, culture, heritage, and arts of the African Diaspora. Most importantly, it aims to instill a sense of pride in children and their community.
Trenton Mentoring Coalition:
Gift of Giving is a community service project geared towards getting kids involved in giving back to their community. By providing Trenton youth an opportunity to serve their community through identifying problems they see, creating solutions or creating a way to resolve the problem(s) they identify will create a sense of accomplishment and help them build pride in their city.
Trenton Community Justice Center:
Transforming lives since 2009, not by merely providing legal advice, but by providing something far more priceless: hope. Trenton Community Justice Center has fully represented over 350 clients, many of whom live in Trenton, and has helped hundreds of others through referral and legal-aid services in the last five years. The funds will be used to sustain participation in the Trenton area community and support collaborative efforts with the Rescue Mission of Trenton.
Catholic Youth Organization of Trenton:
Continued support for the Music Movement and Literacy for the Very Young (MVY) – the CYO’s Broad Street pre-school enrichment program that is conducted in partnership with Trenton Community Music School and South Ward Senior Center through the City of Trenton’s Office on Aging. This program emphasizes parent involvement outside of class time, as well as mentoring pre-school teachers about how children learn.
The MVY music and movement intergenerational program is also developing connections among community children beyond those attending the same pre-school. What better way to make kindergarten a little less scary than to meet a new classmate who knows the same “Hello Everybody” song as you?
Victory Christian Family Worship:
The Cost of Life Program will train teenage parents to become independent, successful adults. The major objective is to assist this vulnerable population with the transition from living with their parents to living in an apartment or home and being able to raise their own children. Through real world interactive lessons, the participants will learn about financial awareness, literacy, and job readiness.
Dress for Success – Mercer County:
Mobilizing Women: Mercer County Mobile Outreach Program will deliver comprehensive job-readiness programs to 125 Trenton women at agency partner locations in the Trenton area. In addition to skills-based workshops, the mobile outreach program will deliver the Latina Literacy Initiative to Latina clients and build four collaborative partnerships with workforce agency partners that serve the Trenton Latina community.
Co-Chair of the 2014 Grants Committee and I Am Trenton Community Foundation board member, Kelly Ingram, thanked the 8 other volunteers who helped score and deliberate the proposals. “Although we are supporting 9 groups this year, the 20+ applicants were all worthy of funding. As citizens coming together to build a better Trenton, we are excited to add to the current positive energy in the city. We are also encouraged that our fundraising successes will continue to grow so that I Am Trenton Community Foundation can fund even more great initiatives in 2015.”
Shenette Gray, Co-Chair of the 2014 Grants Committee, noted the importance of our grantmaking for youth, “We are particularly proud that at least 6 of the programs we are supporting in 2014 will have a direct impact on children in the City of Trenton.”
The I Am Trenton Community Foundation awards grants to agencies, organizations or individuals in Trenton that serve Trenton residents. Our overall goal is to support organizations that improve our community and add to the quality of life for Trenton residents. We utilize an annual competitive grant-making program to promote inclusion, equity, and diversity in Trenton.