November Grant Highlights

Cleveland Classical Guitar Society
© Cleveland Classical Guitar Society

We’re thrilled to announce $11.3 million in November grants to organizations serving Lake, Geauga and Cuyahoga County residents! Many of our grants this month concentrated on education and youth development, and vulnerable populations. Just a few highlights include:

Vulnerable Populations:

$103,000 to Linking Employment Abilities & Potential (LEAP), which offers services to assist people with disabilities to live independently and secure and maintain employment. Facing significant federal budget cuts to programs for those with disabilities, LEAP aims to build staff capacity as they work to expand their organization and services. Our grant will help fund new staff positions, as well as the organization’s work to secure grants and ensure financial sustainability.

$22,000 to The Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio (USOD), an organization that supports, educates and advocates for families with children that have Down syndrome. Our grant will help create a new online store for Artful 21, a space for artisans with Down syndrome, as well as develop new educational programming for teens and young adults with Down syndrome. USOD opened the physical Artful 21 store last year with support from the foundation.

$80,000 to United Cerebral Palsy Association of Greater Cleveland (UCP), a nonprofit that provides services to individuals with a variety of disabilities, including therapy, education, and vocational support. Our grant will help UCP hire an Associate Director of Adult Services to enhance support for the full range of services provided that empower and improve the lives of adults.

$20,000 to Project Hope for the Homeless, an organization that provides emergency shelter, care and guidance to people struggling with homelessness in Lake County. This grant follows a grant we made in 2016 to add a support operations specialist position, which successfully increased the shelter’s capacity to take in guests and transition them out of Project Hope and into a better quality of life. This new grant extends support of that position.

$150,000 to the Spanish American Committee, established in 1966 by Hispanic citizens of Cleveland to address key issues affecting the community. Our grant supports the expansion of their Families First Employment Program, which provides ladders of opportunity to help low-income families and individuals become self-sufficient and break the cycle of poverty. Services include job training, financial literacy, adult literacy and education, and other wraparound services such a childcare and housing. This grant will support key staff positions, including social workers and English teachers, that are essential to deliver services.

Education & Youth: 

$165,000 to Cleveland Public Library (CPL) to advance literacy related programming at the library’s Learning Centers. The Learning Center Program began in 2009 to help elementary students, teens and adults develop math and reading skills. Now, 19 Learning Centers serve children ages 3-18 at locations across the CPL system. Our grant will help pilot new literacy-related services in partnership with Cleveland State University and Lake Erie Ink, as well as serve more students in tutorial and/or homework assistance.

$200,000 to Starting Point, Northeast Ohio’s child care, early education and out-of-school time resource and referral agency serving families, the community, and early childhood organizations and professionals since 1990. Our grant will help Starting Point scale up its work in the infant and toddler early childhood education space by supporting a “Zero to Three Critical Competencies” training series for teachers of infants and toddlers, which address core learning and development areas. In 2016, we made two grants to Starting Point totaling $215,000, used to help coordinate publicly-funded early care and education programs in Cuyahoga and Geauga counties in working toward and securing three-star ratings via Step Up to Quality.

$50,000 to Scranton Road Ministries Community Development Corporation, as they work to implement an initiative that will create local jobs and provide traditionally underserved Cleveland residents with marketable skills, business training and career pathway services, including job placement and shadowing opportunities across various industries. Scranton Road Ministries is a faith-based organization in the Tremont and Clark-Fulton neighborhoods working to revitalize Cleveland’s west side neighborhoods.

$18,935 to Brooklyn City Schools toward an English Language Learner Summer Camp. Brooklyn City Schools’ ESL learner population is increasing, and they speak a diverse set of languages, including Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Mandarin and the Slavic languages. Most come into the school system speaking no English. The summer camp will provide reading, writing and speaking English courses focused in core areas of language arts, math, science and social studies, as well as support certified ESL teachers.

$50,000 to the Cleveland Classical Guitar Society (CCGS) to expand classical guitar instruction within Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD). CCGS has implemented a classical guitar training program at Luis Munoz Marin School, serving 200 students. Our grant will allow CCGS to expand their program to serve 300 students, to deepen learning for the most dedicated students, and to incorporate partnerships with Cleveland School of the Arts High School and area colleges.

These are just a few of our November grants. Follow our grantmaking each month – and get the latest news from the Cleveland Foundation – by signing up for our monthly e-newsletter here.

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