CT Philanthropy Digest - Jun 2013

Saturday, June 1, 2013

CT Health offers to discuss new strategic plan, June 25-26
New research confirms importance of reading proficiency by Grade 3
Four libraries will keep children reading over summer
Perrin Foundation report suggests "new role" for youth
CT students showcase energy ideas at 9th eesmarts contest
More Philanthropy News
Transitions and Announcements
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CT Health offers to discuss new strategic plan, June 25-26
The Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) will engage partners, old and new, about its new strategic plan focused on health equity for people of color at regional forums on June 25 and June 26.
The June 25 briefing is at Southeastern Mental Health Authority in Norwich from 11-12:30 pm; the June 26 is at Norwalk Community College, East Campus, PepsiCo Theater, in Norwalk, from 11-1 pm.

Advance reservations to nancy@cthealth.org are required for both.

CT Health plans to offer briefings in Hartford, Waterbury, and New Haven in July. Dates have not yet been announced.

New research confirms importance of reading proficiency by Grade 3
A new report issued by the Annie E. Casey Foundation underscores the urgency that children are able to read proficiently by the end of third grade, especially those living in poverty or in poor communities.

Early Warning Confirmed: A Research Update on Third-Grade Reading "affirms the points we made three years ago," said Ralph Smith, senior vice president of Casey. "Third-grade reading is a powerful predictor of school success high school graduation. Children who are not ready for school, who miss too many days and who lose ground over the summer months are likely to miss the third-grade reading milestone."

In 2010, the foundation launched the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a network of civic leaders and community organizations that focuses on community solutions, quality teaching, and strong systems of early education. Since the launch, 124 communities have joined the campaign.

For more information: Sue Lin Chong, (410) 223-2836, media@aecf.org.

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Four libraries will keep children reading over summer
Faced with what it reports is the largest educational gap in the nation, NewAlliance Foundation is funding summer reading programs in four Connecticut libraries over the next three years. The $105,000 program is aimed at low-income children ages 5-8 who might otherwise regress in their reading abilities during the school vacation.

NewAlliance described the following projects:

  • Killingly Public Library will set up a reading lab in The Village at Killingly's Dayville Affordable Housing community center. A reading specialist will tailor programs to individual children's needs and coordinate with the schools.
  • New Haven Free Public Library's project, in partnership with Clinton Avenue School, will recruit parents to be "literacy captains" in summer reading programs at Fair Haven School and in the nearby Fair Haven branch of the library.
  • Rockville Public Library in Vernon will create an intensive summer-long program working with children identified by the Maple Street School. Activities will include visits from professionals, such as firefighters and veterinarians, who will emphasize the importance of reading in their lives.
  • Wallingford Public Library will work with the Moses Y. Beach School to invite students to enhanced summer book groups that include art and drama activities. The program will also benefit from a bi-lingual paraprofessional to help coordinate parent activities.

For more information: Kim Healey, (203) 859-6555.

Perrin Foundation report suggests "new role" for youth
The Perrin Family Foundation has issued a report urging involving youth in the efforts to solve "our state's deeply rooted social, racial and economic inequities."

"Too often, youth are regarded as part of the problem and are not given the opportunity to develop the skills that allow them to be part of the solution," explains Sheila Perrin, president of the Perrin Family Foundation, in introducing A New Role for Connecticut Youth: Leaders of Social Change. "Adults create agendas...without the input of those who are most capable of providing firsthand feedback and leadership."

Perrin says the report suggests several factors that impede youth-led social change in Connecticut, including:

  • the absence of local learning opportunities to develop and implement youth-led organizing campaigns.
  • the fear of engaging in "tough" conversations about "uncomfortable" topics like race, class, and power.
  • the need for a shift in prevailing philanthropic culture and practice.

The report was conducted in partnership with the Funders' Collaborative on Youth Organizing.

CT students showcase energy ideas at 9th eesmarts contest
Students from kindergarten through 12th grade shared their ideas for saving energy via poems, essays, graphs, and artwork at this year's 9th annual eesmarts™ contest, sponsored by Energize Connecticut in partnership with the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, Connecticut Light & Power, and United Illuminating Company.

New to the contest this year was the "Power of Change" award category for grades 9-11, which asked students to propose a community-based project plan to address an energy-related issue. eesmarts™ partnered with the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, Hampshire Foundation, and the Common Sense Fund to offer a total of $5,000 in grants to the three winners to implement their projects in their respective communities.

The 31 winners and their schools and towns are named on the eesmarts website.

For more information: Justin May, (860) 839-1538, jmay@gbpr.com or Bethany Meccariello, (203) 393-1101 x166, bmeccariello@mason23.com.

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For more philanthropy news go to the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy's press room and the Connecticut Philanthropy Digest archives; Funders, please email us your news and feedback.

Transitions and Announcements

EMILIE PRYOR of West Cornwall has joined the Board of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Pryor has been involved in the nonprofit world for almost 30 years. She was a program officer for Asia and supervised grants for the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Washington D.C. for nine years. She has served as a director on the boards of the Connecticut Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, RARE Center for Tropical Conservation, Open Space Institute, Miss Porter's School, Indian Mountain School, Prime Time House, Cornwall Library, Cornwall Child Center, the Cornwall Conservation Trust, and the World Rehabilitation Fund.

Liberty Bank has chosen students EMMA CARPENTER of Plainville and LUKE HAJDASZ of Colchester as the recipients of its 2013 Youth In Action Awards. The bank presented the awards - a $1,000 donation to the nonprofit of their choice - at a reception at Middlesex Community College.

Established in 2011, Liberty's Youth In Action Awards recognize middle and high school students within the bank's market area who have distinguished themselves through volunteering, fundraising, and advocating for nonprofit organizations.

Carpenter was lauded for spending more than 500 hours working with the "Out in the Cold Soup Kitchen" in New Britain, the New Britain Triad Senior Center, Monsignor Bojonowski Manor skilled nursing facility, and St. Maurice Church. Carpenter is a member of the Principal's Council at Plainville High School and the founder and president of Interact, the high school arm of the Rotary Club. She also volunteered in Honduras.

Middle schooler Hajdasz brightens the day for senior citizens at the Colchester Senior Center. He organizes friendly Wii bowling competitions and teaches new seniors how to bowl. He also helps with the annual fundraising Holiday Bazaar, attends seniors' birthday parties and field trips, and assists those who have difficulty with mobility. When seniors are ill or hospitalized, Hajdasz visits them and calls them on the phone.

The Connecticut Philanthropy Digest is brought to you by the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy. News about member funders may be submitted to the Council for consideration.

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