CT Philanthropy Digest - Feb 2014

Friday, February 21, 2014
WorkPath Fund Tackles Barriers to Employment
Foundation Provides a Portrait of a Region to Build a Stronger Community
Aetna Supports Digital Health Innovations for Underserved Communities
Cox Helping Parents to Keep Teens Safe on the Internet
Public-Private Partnership Funds New Digital Learning Center
College Students Help Pre-Schoolers Learn Through Foundation Partnership
Data Driven Org Receives Grant for Student Data Management
Tremaine Foundation Supports LD Work with Field Guide
Family Foundation Funds Academy for Teachers
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WorkPath Fund Tackles Barriers to Employment
         A new initiative called The WorkPath Fund is designed to offer Connecticut parents with dependent children a solution: a small grant to cover basic job-related costs to help overcome these and other similar barriers to employment.

         The WorkPath Fund will provide a one-time grant of $250 to $1,000 paid directly to the vendor to cover job-related costs. The grants are designed to help families in need who are not eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).

         A collaboration led by the CT Commission on Children, Liberty Bank Foundation, Workforce Alliance and the five Connecticut workforce investment boards helped raised the initial $105,500 for the WorkPath Fund.

         "We know that when families have been out of work, they have often used up their savings and don't have the money needed to cover costs associated with starting a new job," says Jennifer Heath, United Way's executive vice president. "This investment will help people get back to work so that they can support their families and contribute to the economy."

         Funders so far include: Liberty Bank Foundation, American Savings Foundation, Bank of America Charitable Foundation, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, Middlesex United Way, James H. Napier Foundation, People's United Community Foundation, Travelers Foundation, United Way of Greater New Haven, and Valley Community Foundation.

         Grant applications will be available through CTWorks Career Centers.

         For more information: Joshua Mamis, United Way of Greater New Haven, 203-691-4229, jmamis@uwgnh.org.

Foundation Provides a Portrait of a Region to Build a Stronger Community

Calibrating the Community presents greater New Haven's social indicator data (produced by DataHaven) in a special framework to provide a portrait of the region.

         Produced by The Community Foundation of Greater New Haven, the publication, provides a framework of eight interconnected issue areas that are critical to the prosperity and health of the region's people, economy, and civic life, and is indended to engage policy makers, businesses, institutions, in conversations about how to build a stronger community for all of Greater New Haven.

          Over arching findings center on a changing population:

  • Growth and increasing density - Greater New Haven is growing more quickly than metropolitan Boston, New York and Providence.
  • Middle Class opportunity - Compared to most metropolitan areas, Greater New Haven has a higher population of middle class families.
  • Youthful city in an aging region - of all Connecticut cities and towns, the City of New Haven is the single notable exception to the trend of a decline in the population of younger adults
  • Increasing diversity and immigration - Greater New Haven residents are as diverse as the nation as a whole: 1 in 3 (161,000 people) now identify as a race or ethnicity other than White, up from 1 in 5 (91,000 people) in 1990.

         For more information: Tricia Caldwell, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 203-777-7090, tcaldwell@cfgnh.org.

Aetna Supports Digital Health Innovations for Underserved Communities

         The Aetna Foundation has committed $1.2 million to support the use of digital health technology, including mobile health or mHealth, among vulnerable and minority populations.

         The grants are part of a larger $4 million, three-year digital health commitment from the Aetna Foundation for the implementation and evaluation of technology innovations to help address public health concerns.

         The grants announced today will go to a diverse group of 23 organizations across 13 states, including health care organizations, regional hospitals and grassroots interventions all focused on easy-to-use ways to leverage existing technology to impact health.

         "We believe that digital health technology can serve as a powerful equalizer for improving health education and access to care among minority and low-income communities by reaching people where they are spending time - at school, at church, in their neighborhoods and on-the-go with real-time solutions that easily fit into their daily lives," said Garth Graham, M.D., M.P.H., president of the Aetna Foundation.

           To learn more about the Aetna Foundation's Digital Health Initiative and tangible ways your organization can benefit from their digital health innovations commitment, visit http://bit.ly/1fY2VQ7 or join the digital health conversation on Twitter with #digitalhealth.

         For more information: Elizabeth Sell, Aetna Foundation, 215-380-1691, selle@aetna.com.

Cox Helping Parents to Keep Teens Safe on the Internet

The Tween Internet Safety Survey results recently released by Cox Communications and the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children show that despite online bullying (also known as cyberbullying) being a serious concern for teens and their parents, many teens are not telling their parents about their experiences.

          "The most helpful way to address online safety and bullying is through open communication with children about these issues," said John Ryan, NCMEC president and CEO. "That's why we were encouraged that more parents are having these conversations. By keeping an open dialogue, parents can increase the likelihood that their children will come to them when something makes them uncomfortable online."

           According to the survey, 84 percent of parents of teens surveyed nationally have talked to their children about online safety at some point, and 77 percent have talked about Internet safety within the past year. This is a significant improvement when compared to Cox and NCMEC's 2005 survey which found less than 25 percent of parents were talking to their teens about Internet safety.

          Find full survey results and tips on how to keep your kids safer online: www.cox.com/takecharge.

Public-Private Partnership Funds New Digital Learning Center

Hartford Public Library has been awarded grants totaling $375,000 from Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and its Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund to support the creation of YOUmedia Hartford, an innovative digital learning center for teens. The recent award, coupled with existing support from the City of Hartford and other corporate and foundation donors (Comcast, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Berkshire Bank, New Alliance Foundation, and The Fund for Greater Hartford), allows development plans to move forward on the state-of-the-art lab to be located at the Downtown Library.

          YOUmedia Hartford will serve Hartford's teens by providing a high-tech learning lab that connects student interests to future academic and career success, while decreasing the digital divide and providing leadership opportunities that engage teens with their community.
          "Hartford's teens face the great challenge of developing relevant skills in our ever-evolving technological society," said Hartford Public Library CEO Matt Poland. "YOUMedia Hartford is an example of the power of public-private partnerships to provide creative solutions to community needs."
          "Ensuring that all young people have the skills they need to be successful in college or in the workplace has been a priority at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving," said Linda J. Kelly, President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. "Hartford Public Library is truly reimagining its role in the lives of city youth, and is developing a state model for the library of the future."
          YOUmedia Hartford will offer regular afterschool, Saturday, and summer hours, and a Fall 2014 opening is anticipated. All high school age teens are welcome, and may utilize YOUmedia technology for free with a valid Hartford Public Library card.
          For more information on YOUmedia, please visit www.youmedia.org.
          For more information: Rachel Gary, Hartford Public Library, 860-695-6352, rgary@hplct.org.

College Students Help Pre-Schoolers Learn Through Foundation Partnership

Through a collaboration of four foundations, low-income preschool children at HRA of New Britain's Head Start programs are getting a better chance to enter kindergarten ready to succeed.

         That's because they are now taking part in the Jumpstart early literacy program, funded by $42,500 in grants from Liberty Bank Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, the Farmington Bank Community Foundation, and The Fund for Greater Hartford.

         Jumpstart helps preschool children develop the vital early language, literacy, and social-emotional skills they will need to succeed, not only in kindergarten, but in life.

          "Without early intervention, young children living in poverty will start kindergarten as much as 60% behind their more affluent peers," explained Kerri Osborne, executive director of Jumpstart Tri-State.  "If they haven't caught up to the point where they are reading at grade level by grade 3, they are four times less likely to graduate from high school by age 19."

          Jumpstart has recruited and trained 36 students from Central Connecticut State University to deliver its results-based, evidence-driven early literacy curriculum. Corps members, as the college students are called, undergo 40 hours of training in early childhood education to teach the Jumpstart session twice weekly at a Head Start preschool. During the 2013-14 school year, students will deliver the Jumpstart curriculum to 90 children in two New Britain preschools.

          Through a proven curriculum, these children develop the language and literacy skills they need to be ready for school, setting them on a path for lifelong success.

          For more information: Jim Williamson, Community Foundation of Greater New Britain, 860-229-6018.

Data Driven Org Receives Grant for Student Data Management
          Our Piece of the Pie® (OPP®), a Hartford-based nonprofit that helps urban youth, ages 14-24, become economically independent adults, received $150,000 from the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. The grant will strengthen OPP's ability to collect and analyze complex data to measure its effectiveness and ensure that participants are getting the most from its services.
          "As a data-driven organization, we know that our success relies on our ability to pinpoint what works and where we need to improve," said Bob Rath, OPP President/CEO. "We are so grateful to the Nellie Mae Education Foundation for their ongoing investment in our capacity to measure our impact as we work with young people."
          The grant will fund a data architect to help OPP manage the data it tracks from multiple sources, including schools, and integrate the information in a way that can be easily accessed and used. It will also pay for new technology needed to support the development of this cutting edge data integration system. The system will provide real-time information, indicating areas of success and improvement at the student, class and school levels.
          "We are proud to support Our Piece of the Pie in their excellent work," said Nicholas C. Donohue, President and CEO of Nellie Mae Education Foundation. "We share OPP's belief in a student-centered approach to learning and value their commitment to developing a model for data management that can be shared with others in the education field."
          For more information: Cassandra Sullivan, Our Piece of the Pie®, 860-761-7371, cassandra.sullivan@opp.org.

Tremaine Foundation Unites LD Work with Field Guide

The Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation has created an interactive Learning Disabilities Field Guide in an effort to provide current information, unite the field by creating the potential for collaboration, reduce overlap of efforts, and build a stronger community.

          The guide will evolve with time and the foundation will add to and edit information on a regular basis. Organizations, books, documentaries and initiatives may still be added to the field guide.

          For more information or to add a resource: Suzanne Lang, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, 203-639-5544, lang@tremainefoundation.org.

Family Foundation Funds Academy for Teachers                             

The H.A. Vance Foundation, recently awarded the Capital Region Education Council's (CREC) division of Data Analysis, Research and Technology (DART) a $50,000 grant to fund a professional development academy for teachers, Transforming Teaching, Learning, and Curriculum: Realistic and Immediate Classroom Connections.

          The academy in its initial stages will include teachers from the Hartford Public Schools and CREC Magnet Schools. Training will occur throughout the school year and will consist of collaborative opportunities and push-in models where CREC specialists will co-plan with small groups of teachers and on occasion shadow to provide coaching, modeling, and in-class support and assistance.

          "The overarching goal of the academy is to transform the teaching and learning environment, experiences, and opportunities for students and teachers," explained Sarah Ellsworth, Ph.D., Director of DART. "By supporting teachers in this manner, we can easily identify ways to deepen understanding for all learners through the infusion of technology tools and make immediate curriculum and pedagogical connections."

          The H.A. Vance Foundation is a family foundation that funds systemic education reform efforts in Hartford.

          For more information: Aura Alvarado, CREC, 860-524-4065; aalvarado@crec.org.


Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation

Berkshire Taconic Distributes $8 Million in 2013 to Nonprofits and Individuals with Berkshire County Highlights

Bodenwein Public Benevolent Foundation
$101,836 in 2014 Bodenwein Grants Announced 
Citizen's Bank
Charter Oak Cultural Center named Champion in Action in Youth Programming Category

Community Foundation of Greater New Britain 

$1.3 Million Fund to Benefit The Hospital of Central Connecticut
Berlin's Myrna Pauloz Leaves a Legacy that Surprises Even Her Closet of Friends

Connecticut Health Foundation
New Haven Group Awarded $50,000 Grant to Amplify Voices of Newly-Insured Residents in Health Reform
Elizabeth and Joseph Massoud Family Foundation
Danbury-Based Familes Network Receives $30K Donation
Ion Bank Foundation
Ion Bank Foundation Sets Personal Giving Record
Maximilian E. & Marion O. Hoffman Foundation
New Cancer Center Receives $1.5 million Pledge
People's United Community Foundation
People's United Community Foundation Awards $870,220 to Community Organizations in the Northeast
Charles H. Schwartz Bequest
Wadsworth Athenaum of Art Receives $9.6 Million Bequest from Estate of Charles H. Schwartz
Theodore and Vada Stanley
New Canaan Couple Among 50 Most Generous Donors of 2013
United Illuminating Company
UIL Announces Grants For Food and Fuel
United Way of Connecticut
Unmet Needs in Connecticut



The State of Children and Families
Connecticut Voices for Children will hold a free webinar on Thursday, February 27 from 2 to 3:30pm for a webinar discussion on "The State of Children and Families in the Greater Hartford Area." The webinar is funded by The Fund for Greater Hartford and the Roskin Trust at the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving.
          Orlando Rodriguez and Edie Joseph of Connecticut Voices for Children will review local and state data; identify emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities; and address public policy implications for Greater Hartford children and families, including topics of: age, race, ethnicity and segregation; family income and unemployment; child poverty; educational achievement; and child health and development.
          Connecticut Voices will further identify the strategic investments and effective public policies at the state and local level that can promote greater opportunity for every child and economic growth across our communities. 
          To register visit the Connecticut Voices for Children website.

Grants Available to Nonprofits Serving the Valley
The Valley Community Foundation (VCF) is accepting grant applications from nonprofits that serve its 5 town region covering Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Shelton and Oxford, CT. Grant amounts, application deadlines and eligibility requirements vary by grant process; details and applications are available on the VCF website at www.valleyfoundation.org/grants .
          A Nuts & Bolts Workshop for Responsive Grants and Revolving Response Grants is scheduled for Thursday, February 27 for those who want more, in-depth guidance on completing the application. To register, contact Beth Colette at 203-751-9162 or bcolette@valleyfoundation.org.
          For more information: Sharon Closius, Valley Community Foundation, 203-751-9162, sclosius@valleyfoundation.org.

Food Fight is Topic of Youth Essay Contest

The Connecticut Bar Foundation is pleased to announce the Fourteenth Annual James W. Cooper Fellows' Quintin Johnstone Essay Contest. The 2013-2014 topic is "Food Fight."

          In writing their 1,000 word essays, students are asked to assume the role of a counsel for the State Department of Education who is asked by the Commissioner of the Department to prepare an analysis of the proposed plan to restrict school menus and to ban certain foods brought to school by students.

          The contest winner will receive $2,000 and the two runners-up will receive $1,000. Download eligibility and materials at http://www.ctbarfdn.org/20122013essay.

          Entries must be postmarked no later than Friday, February 28.

          For more information: Claire Howard; Connecticut Bar Foundation; 860-722-2494; cbfprograms@cbf-1.org.

Fairfield County Giving Day
          The Fairfield County Community Foundation and Bank of America are launching a new, innovative way to help Fairfield County residents support the important work of local nonprofits. Fairfield County Giving Day, an online 24-hour day of giving, set for Friday, March 7, hopes to raise $1 Million for more than 300 nonprofits throughout the region.

          "Our local nonprofits provide critical services in our community, and Fairfield County Giving Day is a great way to showcase their important work and help them raise funds that will allow them to do more," said Juanita T. James, president & CEO, Fairfield County Community Foundation. "Whether you support a food bank in Fairfield, a land trust in Redding or an after school program in Greenwich, you'll know that your gift is helping a local nonprofit. Your $10 gift could help that organization secure a much larger grant."

          Fairfield County Giving Day is open to all eligible nonprofits organizations Fairfield County. Information on how to register your nonprofit or how you can support this community event is available online at www.fccfoundation.org. 

          For more information: Jeff Yates, Fairfield County Community Foundation, 203-750-3212, jyates@fccfoundation.org; T.J. Crawford, Bank of America, 646-855-3301, tj.crawford@bankofamerica.com.

Women Take Center Stage

          Oddfellows Playhouse and the Community Foundation of Middlesex County and its Sari A. Rosenbaum Fund for Women & Girls are proud to host "Women Take Center Stage ... In Life ... In Excelling ... In Giving Back," on Tuesday, March 11 from 5:30 to 7:00 pm at the Odd Fellows Playhouse in Middletown.

          Playwright Liz Duffy Adams and Oddfellows Playhouse Artistic Director Kristen Palmer will take the stage to share their insights and experiences as leaders in the arts and give an insightful discussion about the power of women in the arts.

          To reserve a seat: Betsy@oddfellows.org or call 860-347-6143.

Healing Health Care: Curing the System
          Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, and its parent corporation Connecticut Health Advancement and Research Trust (CHART), presents its second forum in the Reform to Transform series, "Healing Health Care: Curing the System of Overuse, Underuse and Misuse" on the evening of Tuesday, March 18 at Quinnipiac University's North Haven campus.
          Focused on the overuse, underuse and misuse of medical care, the forum will feature a keynote address by Shannon Brownlee, an internationally known writer and health policy expert, best known for her groundbreaking book, Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making us Sicker and Poorer.
          A panel of experts will respond, followed by a discussion with the audience.

Convening for a Latino Century
Award-winning anchor, producer and journalist, Maria Hinojosar will be the guest speaker at the Progress Latino Fund's forum, Convening: for a Latino Century at the Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale on Thursday, March 27 at 6:30 pm. Ms. Hinojosa's talk, Potential and Hope / Fuerza y Felicidad -- Being Latino in the US, is preceded by a complimentary reception at 5:30 pm.
          Founded at and nurtured by The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, the Progreso Latino Fund has been building capacity and knowledge for grant making, policy forums, and leadership-building activities.

          "Through the use of issue oriented forums, Progreso Latino has brought together diverse groups of people to seek answers to complex and challenging issues and concerns." said fund supporter Judge Carmen Lopez.

          For more information: Sharon Cappetta, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven; 203-777-7071; scappetta@cfgnh.org.

New CT Locations  - Museums on Us®

          Bank of America has announced the 2014 Museums on Us program roster, including 2 new Connecticut museums. Bank of America is able to provide debit and credit cardholders free admission to 150 vibrant cultural venues across 89 cities in 30 states on the first full weekend of every month.

          "Museums on Us is entering its 17th year, and its longevity reflects its popularity with both our customers and our partners in the art museum world. It also reflects our company's belief in the power of arts institutions to enhance local economies and is one more way we deliver added value to our customers," said Rena DeSisto, Bank of America Global Arts and Culture executive.

          Bank of America partners with an array of prominent cultural institutions in the United States including museums, science centers, botanical gardens and aquariums. 2014 Museum roster additions include:

* Fairfield Museum and History Center - Fairfield, CT
* Mattatuck Museum - Windsor Locks, CT
* Berkshire Museum - Pittsfield, MA
* Battleship Cove - Fall River, MA.
* The International Center of Photography - New York, NY


For more information: Diane Wagner, Bank of America, 312-992-2370; diane.wagner@bankofamerica.com.


The Community Foundation of Middlesex County (CFMC) welcomes four new members to its board of directors:

          JOHN L. BOCCALATTE of Middletown, is president and manager of the law offices of Farrell, Geenty, Sheeley, Boccalatte & Guarino PC. John has served the community in many capacities, including a past Board Member of the Middlesex Community College Foundation and past Chair of the Long Hill Estate Authority.
          GREGORY P. RAINEY of Ivoryton, is a principal/owner of CCI Performance Group, a consulting firm specializing in the healthcare industry. Greg is also a founding member of the Live Local Give Local 365 Fund at the Community Foundation.
          ERIC THORBURG of Clinton is president and CEO of Connecticut Water Services, Inc. Under his leadership, Connecticut Water has undergone significant growth and is currently ranked in the top tier among all publicly traded water utilities. 
          FRANTZ WILLIAMS, JR. is currently the Director of Parent Development at Wesleyan University, Frantz is also a graduate of Wesleyan University and brings a strong commitment to the community's welfare to his work with the Community Foundation.
          CFMC Directors re-elected to three year terms are GARY SALVA of Middlefield; DAVID DIRECTOR of Cromwell who was elected as the board treasurer; and NANCY FISCHBACH of Deep River who was re-elected as board secretary.

The Nellie Mae Education Foundation, the largest charitable organization in New England focused exclusively on education, welcomes two new members to its board of directors, ELSA M. NUNEZ, president of Eastern Connecticut State University, and WARREN SIMMONS, executive director of Brown University's Annenberg Institute for School Reform.

          "We offer a very warm welcome to Dr. Núñez and Dr. Simmons to Nellie Mae's board of directors," said Nick Donohue, president and CEO of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation. "Their commitment and close ties to both local and statewide communities, as well as their strategic visions and depths of experience, will bring value to the group and offer critical insight to the long-term success of our organization."
           Núñez has worked in education for more than 40 years and is a recognized leader. She has been at Eastern Connecticut State University since 2006, where she has made a profound and lasting impact. She has established Eastern's role as Connecticut's only public liberal arts university, while also providing valuable support for faculty and undergraduate research and academics. 
          Simmons directs the work of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, which aims to improve outcomes and practices in urban schools, especially those serving economically disadvantaged students.  He also team teaches a course in Urban Systems and Structure in Brown University's Urban Education Policy Master's Program.


For more news about philanthropy in Connecticut go to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy's press room and the Connecticut Philanthropy Digest archives.
News about Connecticut funders may be submitted to the Council for consideration. The Connecticut Philanthropy Digest is brought to you by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. Edited by Laurie Allen.


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