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Delaware Community Foundation Awards $587,336 in Grants

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Honoring the wishes of the late Helen Eliason, the Delaware Community Foundation has awarded $587,336 in grants from the philanthropist’s Fund for Children’s Literacy and the Education and Greening Fund. Eliason believed that if a child could read and communicate, they had hope and a future, and that children should understand the value of the land from which their food comes.

This year, the Fund for Children’s Literacy and the Education and Greening Fund has awarded grants to 14 organizations around the state. They are: 

FY22 Fund for Children’s Literacy Grants

PAWS – $8,341

To cover costs associated with establishing and maintaining at least 13 volunteer-driven in-person school programs, reaching approximately 578 Delaware students.

Reading Assist – $11,122

To recruit, train and embed new Reading Assist Fellows to support 700 struggling readers in elementary schools across Delaware.

LENA Start Family

Read Aloud, Delaware – $11,122 

To support the LENA Start program, which serves over 65 families to build school readiness, increase communication in the household, and strengthen families with parent-group classes.

Wilmington Head Start – $11,122

To help supply teachers and students with supplies needed to excel in both in-person and virtual learning environments and build children’s home libraries.

New Castle County Head Start – $11,122

To support live professional storytelling visits designed to help expand children’s vocabulary, promote a love of literature and music, and use rhythm and music to foster language development.

International Literacy Association – $102,881

To support the professional development of teachers of students in grades kindergarten through third grade, emphasizing reading skills and comprehension.

Wilmington Library – $122,345

To purchase and distribute books for children from infant to third grade, improve the library’s collections and activities for baby through third grade, and supplement literacy needs for other organizations.

FY22 Eliason Education and Greening Fund

Healthy Foods for Healthy Kids – $21,649

To buy supplies to sustain and expand the Education Cultivation school vegetable gardening program at 35+ Delaware schools in all three counties and provide seed giveaways to families.

West End Neighborhood House

West End Neighborhood House – $30,927 

To support Bright Spot Farms urban agriculture program, Adult GED Education & Employment Training programs, Youth Summer Camp & After School Programming, and community development programming to support conservation and green space improvement.

UD Early Learning Center – $15,464

To support indoor and outdoor learning environments, classroom materials to implement an anti-bias curriculum, and age-appropriate materials to support social and emotional growth in children.

Fresh Start Scholarship Fund – $21,649

To support overall scholarship funding, which was awarded to 30 Delaware women in 2021.

Delaware Center for Horticulture – $92,783

To support Harvest 2020, which addresses hunger and food insecurity in the region, the Green Thumb virtual program series, and Branches to Chances® and Public Landscapes programs, which both provide economic opportunities and empower low-to-moderate income individuals to achieve self-sufficiency.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Delaware – $92,783

To continue to support children, families and staff through the COVID-19 pandemic by providing distance learning support, academic programs and learning loss, trauma informed and mental health care, food and focused efforts to address a significant labor shortage, staff retention and professional development.

Salvation Army – $34,020

To continue to improve the Early Learning Childcare Center’s outdoor play area and ensure safe, shaded areas for play.