BLOOMINGTON – Eleven local nonprofit programs have been awarded a total of $37,161 in grants thanks to the Women to Women Giving Circle and Youth Engaged in Philanthropy (YEP) at the Illinois Prairie Community Foundation.
The Women to Women Giving Circle seeks to improve the lives of women and children in Central Illinois and focused its grants for 2020 on programs that develop the potential in children from birth to third grade in our community and their support networks (families, teachers and caregivers). In addition, the Women to Women grant required applicants to collaborate with another nonprofit organization on a program addressing the focus.
Youth Engaged in Philanthropy grants were selected by 18 area high school students and focus on youth-oriented programs with priority given to organizations that include youth in the application process.
Recipient organizations sharing the $27,641 Women to Women awards are:
- Children’s Discovery Museum in collaboration with Children’s Home + Aid’s Scott Early Learning Center – $7,100 for “Growing STEAM Potential Through Play,” a program that aims to engage children, families and educators in playful learning experiences that enhance their excitement, curiosity and interest about STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) topics.
- Lexington Elementary School in collaboration with Lexington Park District – $6,150 for “Littlest Learners – ‘Lex’ Go Get Moving,” a program that aims to improve the health and wellness of children under the age of 10 and help them develop a foundation for a healthy lifestyle while supporting their personal networks with resources, guidelines and opportunities to get active and make healthy choices.
- Music Connections Foundation in collaboration with Marcfirst and The Baby Fold – $6,991 for “Kindermusik Class at SPICE for the At-Risk,” a program enabling parents and therapists to learn strategies for incorporating music, movement and literature into their routines and therapy sessions to ease stressful times and times of transition and to foster development in children, while promoting positive parenting and strengthening the parent-child relationship.
- The Baby Fold in collaboration with McLean County Health Department – $3,000 for “Perinatal Mood Disorders Community Education and Outreach,” a program to encourage pregnant women and parents of very young children to seek mental health care and other supportive services as soon as they recognize they may be experiencing anxiety, depression and/or other mood disorders; program seeks to reduce the stigma related to seeking care.
- The Immigration Project in collaboration with McLean County Unit 5 Schools – $4,400 for “Holistic Information Sessions for Immigrant Families,” a program to create more secure and healthier families by providing immigration legal information and advice to immigrant families while also providing useful skills to reduce some of the trauma inherent in the immigrant experience.
Recipient organizations sharing the $9,520 Youth Engaged in Philanthropy awards are:
- Bloomington High School Promise Council – $2,000 for “Lights On at BHS” to provide a year-round safe, inclusive environment for events and activities that will engage students, educate them on the opportunities in the community and empower them to make changes in their lives and the world around them.
- Fostering Dignity – $600 for “Backpacks for Youth,” a program that provides backpacks for Department of Children and Family Services investigators to use when removing children from their homes.
- Muscular Dystrophy Association – $1,195 for “MDA Summer Camp,” a week-long summer camp where children aged 6-17 living with muscle diseases can enjoy a safe outdoor experience with a variety of adaptive activities, allowing them to stretch their comfort zones and become more independent.
- Sunnyside Community Garden & Food Forest – $2,880 for “Growing Up!” to provide teens and pre-teens the opportunity to focus on leadership skills while enhancing their gardening skills; in turn, they will pass on their knowledge of gardening to youth (K-5) from the Boys & Girls Club in the Grow Your Garden program throughout the spring and summer.
- The Forgotten Initiative – $1,200 for “The Joy of Dreaming” to fulfill the wishes of local youth in the foster care system, allowing them to focus on experiences that help them feel normal in an abnormal situation.
- YWCA of McLean County – $1,645 for “Anti-Bias Education” to educate local school children about racism, sexism, ableism and more with the goal of eliminating bullying and creating a more inclusive environment that understands and celebrates diversity not only at school, but in the community at large.
Since 2011, the Women to Women Giving Circle has awarded $336,459. The mission of the group is to provide education about issues affecting women and to provide grants to projects and programs aimed at improving the dignity of women and children in McLean, DeWitt, Logan and Livingston counties.
Since 2014, Youth Engaged in Philanthropy has awarded $79,520. As a part of our community’s youth, YEP strives to connect those who care about youth with the monetary means necessary to pursue their vision.
Prairie Community Foundation
Illinois Prairie Community Foundation, now in its 21st year, encourages and facilitates philanthropy in McLean, DeWitt, Livingston and Logan counties by connecting donors who care with causes that matter to them. The Foundation currently manages assets of more than $18 million in more than 170 funds including endowments and donor advised, fiscal sponsorship and scholarship funds. More information is available at www.ilprairiecf.org.
Michele Evans, Grants & Communications Director, 309-662-4477