Grants Awarded in 2020
Area of Greatest Need
To provide nutritional weekend meals for 130 students in Waterbury’s south end. South Congregational Church collaborates with Washington Elementary School (the local neighborhood school), which provides the church with a number of students who have been identified as experiencing food insecurity at home. Through the Food for Hope program, volunteers assemble about 130 backpacks that are filled with food and bulk items (such as large jars of peanut butter or tuna fish) that help feed the children and their families.
To purchase a new roof, windows, and install a supporting framework for an emergency food pantry building originally purchased in 2015. The pantry, which is an external trailer, needs repairs and additional structural supports due to the weight of food storage and wear and tear on the building. GWIM provides emergency food to low-income and food insecure Waterbury families through their soup kitchen and emergency food pantry. During 2018, Greater Waterbury Interfaith Ministries provided 173,647 meals for individuals and families.
To support repairs to engine of a bus that provides medical transportation for older adult and disabled Naugatuck residents. Residents ride to physical therapy, chemotherapy, cardiac rehabilitation, dialysis, among other critical medical appointments.
To launch one of eight regional “100-Day Challenges” in early 2019 to address the critical issue of youth homelessness in Connecticut, focusing on the Greater Waterbury and Litchfield area. Facilitated by the Rapid Results Institute, regional teams start out by setting ambitious 100-Day Goals and developing innovative plans to achieve them. Insights about the issues being tackled stimulate and inform conversations among leaders to bring about long-term change.
Arts and Culture
For continued support and expansion of the in-and-out of school Metamorphosis Project at Waterbury’s Children’s Community School. The four-week program provides experiential hands-on learning that connects art, nature, science, writing, and social studies/ethics, and gives students a deeper understanding of nature and each other.
To support free, high-quality performances and workshops at the Silas Bronson Library that will engage families in cultural arts traditions including music from different places of origin as well as puppetry that brings folk tales to life.
To support the work of the Arts and Culture Collaborative of Greater Waterbury (ACC), which promotes, connects, collaborates and advocates for the arts in a 16-town region. The artists, performers and people affiliated with the arts benefit from its marketing, advocacy and networking support as it raises awareness of the region’s cultural assets.
To support a new three-year strategic plan to increase the organization’s capacity to support Connecticut’s creative community. This road map will ensure that the Arts Alliance is an effective, action-oriented advocate equipped with the staff, programs and resources necessary to succeed.
To support a program in which girls will utilize repurposed or recycled items, along with their ingenuity, to create innovative, sustainable art.
To serve 90 children by offering authentic performing arts instruction and experience. Classes will be offered in story-telling, musical theatre and improvisation. Activities will focus on increasing self-confidence and self-expression through theatre games, character development, storytelling, voice and movement.
To support free family programming offered related to the Litchfield Jazz Festival’s move to Washington. An “Outerfest” will feature: student concerts, artist talks and clinics, craft and art exhibits and sales, food vendors and family activities on the Washington Green and at the First Congregational Church.
To support a hand-crafted art journaling class for the Children’s Community School’s third and fourth-graders. This program aims to teach artistic expression, social and emotional learning, and literacy through a fun and interactive journaling project, giving students the chance to hone their writing and creative skills. The program will also have a professional development component for teachers.
Mental Health Connecticut (MHC) supports artists on their path to health and wellness and for the fourth year, funding from the Foundation will support its Mending Art program—which works to bridge divides around mental health. MHC will continue the quality Mending Art program at the Independence Center in Waterbury while aiming for a broader impact in the Greater Waterbury region.
To support the Council through its transition and growth with the arrival of a new executive director. The Council seeks to update its strategic plan, begin the process of rebranding, and update technology so it can be more agile and responsive to constituent needs.
To grow the free, immersive programs for families and kids at its second annual Five Senses Festival in Washington in the summer of 2019. The festiveal will include interactive family workshops, arts and craft activities, master classes with world-class musicians and performers, and family performances.
To support an afterschool acting program conducted at Sprague School in Waterbury. The goal is to increase students’ self-confidence, public speaking skills, collaborative work skills and verbal proficiency, while experiencing the sheer fun of being onstage and the excitement of acting.
To support a high quality arts program of multiyear duration and inter-generational participation, wherein elementary/middle school students and older adults create and rehearse interactive performances that focus on the development and history of specific Waterbury neighborhoods. Participants then work with professional resident artists to take these plays to neighborhood parks or centralized locations to perform them for their families and community.
To offer SoCCA’s program (teaching creative work skills to adults with disabilities) once a week at the Mattatuck Museum (Rose Hill Campus) in Waterbury in order to make transportation easier and increase the number of students from Greater Waterbury able to attend the program.
To support live music entertainment throughout downtown Waterbury during the first day of summer (June 21st). Make Music Waterbury is a free event pairing performers of all ages and musical genres with local businesses and city locations to make live music available to the public. This mix of amateur and professional musical acts will be augmented by a festive atmosphere of food trucks and outdoor dining to create a day of communal celebration for the arts.
Cradle to Career
To support two children from Naugatuck and two children from Oxford to attend a week long sleepaway camp. Camp Kesem offers youth the opportunity to develop emotionally and form support networks with other youth whose parents have or have died from cancer.
To provide high-quality legal counsel to indigent children in Waterbury and Litchfield whose parents are embroiled in high-conflict family court disputes regarding custody and visitation.
To support a partnership between EdAdvance’s special education program and Post University in Waterbury that will provide comprehensive transition services for young adults with learning challenges (ages 17-21) residing in Connecticut Community Foundation’s service area.
To fund improvements to the Waterbury child guidance center, modeled after the successful changes at the Danbury location. Planned additions to the center include: 1) The Life is Good Playmakers Village, a fun space where clinicians utilize the power of play and optimism. Youth can meet their therapists in the Village, on a basketball court or in a building blocks room for instance; 2) PeaceLove Expressive Art Studio, where a team will help to heal a youth’s traumatic experiences through art and positive creative expression; 3) Mock Subway Station with Shops, where students can “purchase” items. Tickets for purchasing items are obtained when youth attend their therapy programs.
To expose children to basic scientific concepts about the universe/space through reading of fiction and nonfiction materials that address the topics. There will be five corresponding entertaining educational programs.
To support individuals with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) backgrounds to serve as STEM coaches for girl scout troops who need extra assistance in STEM subjects.
To support eight youth to work with the Glebe House (two per week for four weeks) on educational or historical projects relating to each student’s interests. The program aims to provide professionally designed educational experiences for youth, fostering collaboration and professional skills.
To provide financial literacy, workforce readiness, and entrepreneurship programs for Waterbury students. They will pair mentors from area businesses and community organizations with 300 4th – 8th graders at three Waterbury schools (Wilson, Reed, and Driggs).
To support two Kids Coding for a Cause programs serving students in 4th through 12th grades at Kaynor Technical High School (Waterbury) and Howard Whittemore Memorial Library (Naugatuck). Kids Coding for a Cause has two primary goals: 1) to expose students to kindness and social good through the lens of technology, and 2) to introduce them to the basics of coding and the design process. The program will take place through “hackathons,” intensive, 7-hour trainings. During the hackathon, student groups will work together to take a project from inception through design, refinement, testing and distribution.
To support two separate youth-centered leadership programs for girls of color primarily from Greater Waterbury that focus on building self-advocacy and self-esteem: the Leadership Academy and Liberation on FYER.
To continue support for the Boost! Waterbury program, a collective impact model that addresses students’ social, emotional and academic needs. For Bridge to Success, Boost and its emphasis on getting service providers in schools is the first step in transforming the four Boost schools into community schools.
To continue support of a middle school robotics program that engages students in four different schools and involves a high school/middle school mentorship component. Goals include increasing the STEM knowledge and abilities of 6th-8th graders, enhancing student interest in STEM-related careers, and building 21st century skills. They also aim to develop a vertical pipeline of middle school students who enter high school with prior robotics and STEM hands-on learning experience in order to ensure that those students are confident enough to sign up for the high school robotics programs.
To support (1) the beautification and maintenance of the Association’s Adopt-a-Spot, at which the neighborhood’s welcome sign sits, (2) the neighborhood cleanup of the historic Hobart Welton Victory carriage shed, featured on the state’s Historic Landmark Registry, (3) supplies for the Adopt-a-Pot, a community building event for neighbors to gather together and create pots of flowers for their own front porches and the front porches of elderly or home bound neighbors, and (4) the monthly meetings, which includes printing of materials/flyers and refreshments.
To support pardon and employability classes for Waterbury residents who are formerly incarcerated. Program volunteers meet with individuals once a month to assist in filling out a request for pardon and also an employability certification. Both documents require very specific processes in place to be accepted and volunteers, who have gone through the process before, assist in making sure the applications are as ready as possible.
To support the purchase and planting of trees and shrubs in well-trafficked areas at the park in preparation for the opening of the new Fulton Park splash pad. Planting days will be combined with clean ups and community members from various neighborhoods (Overlook, Upper Fulton Park, Crownbrook and Hillside) will attend the events and participate in this community building project.
To establish a year-long fellowship program for youth ages 16-21 in Waterbury. The program will teach participants basic organizing skills as well as focus on the overlap of organizing lenses (environmental, racial equity, queer justice, disability justice, immigration rights, etc.). The program is designed to engage with youth of color, LGBTQ youth, and youth experiencing homelessness.
To support black and African-American women who are starting a Waterbury Chapter of GirlTrek, whose goals are for women of color to: 1) Lace up their sneakers and walk each day as a declaration of self-care, 2) health their bodies, inspire their daughters and reclaim the streets of their neighborhoods, and 3) re-establish walking as a healing tradition in black communities as a tribute to those who walked before them.
To support 25 students and 12 chaperones on a trip to Alabama, which will focus on the work of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and many historically black colleges and universities in the state.
To support the activities of the university’s first official LGBTQ student organization, to include: LGBTQ Awareness Day, workshops on gender and sexuality, mental health and community history, Queer prom, and other events. All will be open to the public.
To support a nonpartisan political podcast produced and designed by youth of color (ages 12-24) focusing on discussions of current political, local, national and global events and the dynamics of the U.S. government, and providing community members with a platform for expressing their views and learning from others.
To establish a school based health clinic (administered by Community Health Center), which will provide medical and behavioral health care for students, families and staff.
To educate clinicians on Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, the role opioids play, and how to decrease risks in pregnant women.
To connect Naugatuck and Waterbury K-8 students with healthy foods in school by providing gardening and cooking lessons, taste testing, improved school meals, and by promoting a school-wide culture of health.
To provide a six-week therapeutic riding session for nine riders that require occupational therapy from June- July 2019.
To provide information on early detection, health risk and disease reduction to the Latino community through community events.
To fund collaboration with two other health districts (Chesprocott and Naugatuck) in order to create a data-driven outreach and education initiative to address the opioid crisis.
To fund glucose screenings for New Milford residents, which would lead to referrals to an evidence-based diabetes prevention program at the local YMCA.
To support two evidenced-based programs, “Diabetes prevention” and “Healthy weight and your child.”
To establish a low vision center in Meriden where clients receive low-vision assistive devices at no cost, when vision loss can no longer be corrected by a medical procedure or treatment.
Naugatuck Health and Wellness
To distribute fruit, vegetables, whole grain and dairy products to food insecure households in Naugatuck.
To connect Naugatuck students with healthy foods in school by using evidence-based methods, including gardening, cooking lessons and taste testing, by improving school meals and by promoting a school-wide culture of health.
To provide equine-assisted therapies to sick and infirm people of Naugatuck and to increase participation in new programs to reach new Naugatuck residents.
To continue to provide afternoon medical transportation to Naugatuck residents, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that the town’s older adults can remain independent and in the home for as long as possible.
To provide Livestrong, an evidence-based program for adult cancer survivors in Naugatuck.
To enable City Hill and Naugatuck High School students to receive mental health services during school hours. Anticipated outcomes include improving school performance and increasing teachers’ capacity to work with students that have severe emotional issues.
To help fund overhead costs at the Waterbury Senior Center’s BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action to Serve Seniors) programs. Funds will be combined with city funds to support a part-time activities assistant.
To help fund overhead costs for BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action to Serve Seniors) programs. Funds will be used for transportation for older people.
To help fund overhead costs associated with the BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action for Serve Seniors) program. Funds will be used for staffing, presenters, art supplies and refreshments.
To help fund overhead costs (staff) associated with the BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action for Serve Seniors) program.
To fund the BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action to Serve Seniors) program coordinator who will plan and organize programs for BRASS sites, publicize and evaluate programs and members’ interests, and coordinate with site staff. A portion of the funding is used for instructors and other program costs, too.
Grant funds will be used for hardware and software for BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action to Serve Seniors) sites and for library staff’s travel costs to teach technology classes at BRASS sites.
To help fund overhead costs for the BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action to Serve Seniors) program. Funds will be used for staff hours, facility costs, programming and printing costs.
Funding will be used for instructor fees for tai chi and chair yoga.
To fund a full-time information and benefits specialist to assist older adults in Waterbury with health insurance and financial benefits and to fund programs that foster aging in the community. The grant will also help them develop a pilot project for Waterbury seniors on recognizing and dealing with elder abuse.
To help support instructor, speaker and staff costs for a yearlong project of writing and art classes leading to a publication of participant work. Monthly open studio sessions offer opportunities for collaboration and peer feedback.
To support driver and fuel costs for 25 mini-bus day trips for social and cultural outings. The senior center will also offer ‘hands on’ technology classes with topics determined by member interests and questions.
To support nutrition education, meal planning and healthy cooking classes for older adults at Waterbury BRASS (Bringing Resources to Action to Serve Seniors) and housing sites as well as senior locations in surrounding towns.
To fund partial costs for a soil analysis, engineering study and architectural consultation to assess feasibility of the site. The Senior Housing Committee identified a need for senior housing among people who find it difficult to maintain and pay taxes on their single family homes. The town would supply land and water at a location near the Hilltop Senior Center.
To support staff time for weekly social gatherings and food and supply costs for monthly luncheons with educational programs. Staff and volunteers monitor the well-being of participants and follow up to address needs. This program addresses social isolation which is common among older adults in rural areas.
To support staff costs for two ten-week improvisation classes including instruction and project development. The first class will target people who have been engaged with Landmark, but are aging out of traditional ways to remain involved.
To support a portion of the uncovered costs for chore workers who help seniors age in their own homes with up to three hours per week of assistance. Last year, 85% of service hours went to clients at or near the poverty level. Many could not remain safely at home without the assistance of the chore worker.
To support instructor and lifeguard costs for a wide variety of fitness programs for older adults offered at the Y and offsite. Offerings include Enhance Fitness and Livestrong which are specifically evidence-based. More than 30 classes per week are offered.
To support instructor, materials and other costs for older adult classes in clay sculpture, watercolor and drawing. Class fees are modest and New Milford Senior Center provides scholarships if needed. The pilot year was very successful in terms of developing skills, offering a creative experience and building friendships and community.
To support instruction and oversight costs of providing Silver Yoga classes at senior centers and housing sites in Waterbury and Wolcott. Most participants are low income. The organization plans to develop and research an enhanced senior yoga curriculum and then offer teacher training; this would expand the pool of yoga teachers for older people.
Town of Southbury
To support the Southbury mobile pantry that distributes fresh fruits, vegetables and other groceries directly to residents of high poverty areas.
To provide students with an opportunity to develop leadership roles by repairing residences for those in need.
For continued support of S.M.A.R.T.’s outreach efforts, particularly the local prevention council, Parent University and community/school-based initiatives. Activities are determined at the beginning of the academic year and reflect the concerns, trends and requests identified by the council.
To support printed communication through media or mailers to reach Southbury residents who are uninsured, low income and/or living without a regular source of health care.
To create a spend-down account at the Southbury Veterinary Hospital for cat foster families to receive free medical treatment for cats in the Forever Foster program.
To purchase and install raised garden beds and equipment at YMCA Camp Oakasha in Southbury. The garden would serve as a tool to teach youth about environmental sustainability, making healthy choices and social responsibility in an engaging hands-on way.
Technology for Organizational Development
For the purchase of an online fundraising platform to help manage events, programs, donor information and marketing efforts.
For the purchase and implementation of the Neon Nonprofit CRM system, designed to expand outreach, provide more data for analysis and build capacity by automating steps in the process.
For the purchase of chromebooks and the CASAS pre- and post-test system, which would aid in student recruitment by creating a rolling registration process. The CASAS system also allows for better, more efficient student tracking.
For the purchase of new cloud-based student information system and compatible hardware in order to greater secure data and more efficiently share information.
For the purchase of a new membership database to support development efforts, analyze programming data and improve facility access management.
For the purchase of five new tablets with electronic medical record capabilities. Migrating to an electronic medical records system will build efficiency, allowing staff to spend more time focusing on client care.
For the purchase of five iPads that will be available to all residents. Staff will help train residents who can use the tablets for information, entertainment and connecting to family and friends through face time features.
Women’s Giving Circle
To launch “Young Representative of Waterbury” a unique program that targets Latino female high school students with the goal to prepare them as the Leaders of Tomorrow. Through this civic engagement program, participants will learn how to work in the community to make change and create impact.
With 14 Waterbury high school participants, Girls Who Code will run for 38 weeks during the school year. This is the second Women’s Giving Circle grant to this program.
To subsidize counseling sessions for women so that they can access the psychological support necessary for promoting and protecting mental health and develop resilience to stress and adversity.
To collaborate with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Waterbury to provide: 1) Four scholarships to Camp LiveGirl; 2) 20 weeks of LiveGirl Talk afterschool programming; 3) Transportation to a Leadership Summit in Bridgeport.
To create a six part, hands-on workshop that will present colonial women’s activities.
Women and Girls
To support collaboration between ASAP and Save Girls on F.Y.E.R during the summer. Funds may support scholarships for the interdisciplinary camp or for the weeklong theater intensive.
To support collaboration with the Boys and Girls Club in Waterbury to run a Girl Scout Troop with 30 members.
To support a youth empowerment program that provides positive health messages and promotes self-esteem, advocacy and leadership skills in Latinas ages 10 to 18.
To support two leadership programs for girls of color in greater Waterbury.
To provide provide children residing in Greater Waterbury and the Litchfield Hills with information, safety planning and referral services related to human trafficking.
To support the provision of domestic violence, crisis intervention, and long-term services for victims and survivors in ten towns in the Foundation’s region.
To support single women to stay inside the shelter between October 2018-May 2019, rather than having women seek shelter with partners who are physically or sexually abusive.
For crisis and support services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, transitioning victims from crisis and dependency to safety, empowerment, self-sufficiency and independence.
To support an evidence-based trauma treatment mental health intervention for child victims ages 7-17.
For crisis interventions, emergency shelter and individual/group counseling services for women and children from Bridgewater, New Milford, Roxbury and Washington.
To support sending the NAACP Waterbury youth council to the NAACP national conference in Detroit for training and networking. The youth track features a leader orientation, a welcome party/social gathering, youth and college regional meetings, workshops, networking, and strategic planning time. NAACP will send members from the Waterbury youth council team (up to six students) to the conference.
To support 26 New Milford youth to travel to Germany for a cultural exchange program. Funds from the grant will go toward covering the cost of museum fees and tour guides. Additionally, two students will receive $500 each to help cover the costs of the program. Before students leave for their cultural exchange, they and the German partner school research a cross-cultural topic to present to each other. While in Germany, American students will present to German students, in German, on the topics of the cultural and historical sites they will be visiting.