FLINT, Mich., Dec. 19, 2019 — A range of programs for north Flint residents featuring neighborhood blight elimination, family engagement and multi-service neighborhood hubs are among the more than $2.1 million in grants awarded recently by the Ruth Mott Foundation.
Seventeen grants totaling $2,156,650 were approved by the Ruth Mott Foundation Board of Trustees, mostly in the areas north Flint residents identified as priorities: youth, public safety, economic opportunity and neighborhoods. The total also includes $1 million toward the renovation of the Flint Public Library, for which Flint voters overwhelmingly approved a $12.6-million bond issue on Nov. 5.
Several of the funded programs include two-generational approaches designed to engage caregivers in children’s learning and improve outcomes for everyone involved.
The Flint Institute of Arts’ expanded Success Through Art program, for example, will now offer free monthly interactive workshops at which caregivers and children will learn how to use art materials and create art together in ways that teach the adults new skills and help the children reach developmental milestones. In another example, the Flint Children’s Museum’s Playing and Learning Together program brings parents/caregivers and children together to explore various themes while also developing parenting skills.
“We know that when caregivers are engaged in children’s schools and lives, the children are better positioned to meet their full potential,” said Raquel Thueme, Ruth Mott Foundation president. “The Ruth Mott Foundation is a strong advocate for youth programs that provide quality learning experiences for children and families beyond the school day.”
In all, the projects are:
YMCA of Greater Flint. $18,750 for the Heart of Worship Dance Studio, an afterschool youth development program that offers performing arts classes in liturgical dance, mime expressive dance, hip-hop, ballet, and dance fitness for north Flint youth.
Delta Research and Educational Foundation. $21,500 for the Delta Academy, EMBODI and GEMS EMPOWERED programs to offer afterschool youth development activities that engage young people through mentoring and academic supports.
Bangtown Studio On The Go. $27,500 for the Studio on the Go Expansion in its continuation of hands-on afterschool programs and lessons using professional-grade studio equipment to expose youth to careers in the industries of music production, technology and videography.
Flint Children’s Museum. $30,000 for the Playing and Learning Together program, consisting of parent-and-child-together sessions with themes of science exploration, kindergarten readiness and resilience as well as the development of parenting skills to help improve early childhood outcomes.
CPSA Courier, Inc. $41,120 for general operating support so the Courier can continue to provide relevant news and information to north Flint residents and to improve its ability to serve as a resource and connector for neighborhood groups and organizations that serve north Flint.
Greater Flint Arts Council. $45,000 for Shop Floor Theatre Company’s Creative Learning Program, providing theatre-based afterschool programming to youth at three sites in north Flint.
Flint Institute of Arts. $45,000 for the START and START Parenting Skills Workshops Project, a hands-on introductory arts program for youth enrolled in Head Start or the Great Start to Readiness Program as well as monthly arts-based engagement sessions for their parents or caregivers.
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. $59,500 for the North Flint Legal Outreach Program, providing free, civil legal support services to low-income, north Flint residents who are enrolled in parenting education and job training programs or are recently employed.
Child Care Network Washtenaw Regional 4C. $60,000 for the Family Support Program, which provides scholarships for children in low-income, north Flint families to attend high-quality child care, enabling parents to attend school or work.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint and Genesee County. $65,000 for the Out of School Time Mentoring Program, which will match north Flint youth on a waiting list with an adult mentor.
InvolvedDad. $75,000 for the IMPACT – Father Engagement program, which offers parenting education and life skills training opportunities for noncustodial fathers, their children and mothers living in north Flint.
Latinx Technology and Community Center. $75,000 in general operating support to provide access to computer technology; bi-lingual instruction in Spanish as a Second Language and English as a Second Language; Spanish translation services; and youth programming.
Boys and Girls Club of Greater Flint. $80,000 in general operating support to serve 1,800 north Flint youth, ages 5-17, after school, during school breaks, and over the summer months in a safe learning environment where kids can have fun, learn new skills, and build positive relationships with peers and adults.
Neighborhood Engagement Hub. $105,000 for its operation as a neighborhood center in north Flint that serves as a source of information, education, facilitation, project development and advocacy. The Hub also operates the Community Tool Shed, where residents can borrow tools and equipment for low to no cost.
SIPI, Inc. $140,880 for the North Flint Capacity Building project, which will provide embedded support to north Flint neighborhood hubs and youth-serving organizations.
Genesee County Land Bank Authority. $267,400 for the Clean and Green program, which provides support to community groups and organizations to help clean, maintain, beautify and repurpose otherwise vacant properties in Flint.
Flint Public Library. $1,000,000 toward renovation of the library to meet the current needs of the public, replace antiquated mechanical systems, and strengthen its role as a community hub providing neutral civic space, digital access, 21st century technology and inclusive services for all.