The Watertown Community Foundation gave $47,490 to 21 nonprofits serving Watertown last week as part of their spring grant cycle, the organization announced last week.
The grants are from the foundation's Arsenal Education Income Fund and will help support local educational programs and institutional proceedings, officials said.
However, the grants given out were nowhere close to fully funding all the proposals the foundation received this season, said executive director Michael Schrade.
“This spring WCF received proposals requesting over $85K in grants," Schrade said in a statement. "Unfortunately, we had to turn away several worthy applicants because our budget is limited. However, WCF’s board was pleased to award 21 grants to these wonderful organizations to help fund their important programs here in Watertown."
The WCF Board of Directors awarded grants to local nonprofits as follows:
- Armenian Library and Museum of America: to help fund oral history workshops for high school students and adults that will result in multi-media events and exhibitions for the community. The workshops will provide an opportunity to explore many stories that families and individuals of all backgrounds bring with them and create together in this community.
- Arsenal Center for the Arts: to help provide art education for Watertown children and adults to inspire them to create and grow through the arts. Along with contributions from other sponsors, WCF’s funding helps make over 75 classes free of charge to children from low-income families.
- Beaverbrook STEP: to help fund Beaverbrook’s Strategic Plan, “New Directions: Providing Quality Services within Managed Care Models.” It will allow STEP to advance its infrastructure to meet new managed care service delivery models. Over 170 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities are served in Watertown and surrounding communities.
- Charles River Conservancy: to support its volunteer workdays program in the 400 acres of urban public parklands along the Charles River from Boston Harbor to the Watertown Dam. CRC volunteer events provide maintenance and environmental stewardship activities in the parks as well as important civic and community engagement opportunities for participants.
- Easter Seals of Massachusetts: to help fund transportation for Watertown youngsters to Easter Seals Youth Leadership Programs for Youth with Disabilities. Objectives are to increase confidence and self-esteem of youth with disabilities. Easter Seals mission is to provide services to ensure that children and adults with disabilities have equal opportunities to live, learn, work and play.
- Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery: to help fund a series of family-focused, self-guided activities for children, designed to engage the many families who visit Mt. Auburn. The activities will be geared toward various age groups, cover a range of topics, and will be tied to the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks.
- Friends of Project Literacy: to help Project Literacy serve over 300 adult learners enrolled in classes or matched with trained volunteer tutors. Project Literacy assists basic education learners, both speakers of other languages and English speakers to help them improve their English skills for employment, parenting, preparation for higher education or self-improvement.
- Historical Society of Watertown: to help fund the publication of student coloring books and teacher’s kits, “Early History of Watertown 1630-1776” which will be provided to every third grade class in the Watertown Public Schools. The coloring book is aligned with Massachusetts 3rd Grade Curriculum Frameworks.
- Hosmer Elementary School: so all third grade students can attend a hands-on program at the Gore Estate that focuses on habitats, soil, composting and farming to help bring science to life. By piloting this program, Hosmer 3rd grade teachers will give feedback to the Gore Estate in hopes that this will become a yearly field trip for all third graders in the Watertown Public Schools.
- Hosmer Elementary School's PTO: to help fund an art project and communal green space in the school. It will include artwork and live plants. During Hosmer Family Green Days, students and parents will design, build, and paint the planters and mosaic installations. Students will create and display their artwork as part of the project.
- Improbable Players: to collaborate with teachers and counselors at the Watertown Middle School to facilitate theater workshops about substance abuse prevention and healthy choices. The Improbable Players has a six-plus-year track record of bringing prevention performances to Watertown Middle School.
- Metro West Collaborative Development: to allow it to take 1,000 phone calls annually, meet with Watertown low-income tenants in crisis, and help them find stable places to live. Also, it will help fund a monthly “affordable housing” bulletin mailed to housing seekers. MWCD offers tenant training programs, counseling and housing search assistance in Watertown.
- New Repertory Theatre: to help expand New Rep’s impact on Watertown residents, businesses, schools, and other non-profits, including the Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown Library, and Perkins School for the Blind. New Rep produces plays that speak powerfully to the essential ideas of our time. It is about to celebrate its 30th season.
- Parent Child Home Program: to extend home visits to three additional Watertown families for 30 weeks. Priority will be given to families on the waiting list having multiple risk factors for school readiness. PCHP provides early learning and parent support to educationally at-risk families. These home visits have proven to be an effective way to empower parents in their role as a child’s first teacher.
- Springwell, Inc.: to help Springwell continue delivering hot, nutritious meals to low-income and at-risk older and disabled adults in Watertown. In 2012, Springwell delivered more than 28,200 meals to almost 200 Watertown older adults. Government funding pays for less than half the cost of Springwell’s home delivered meals.
- Watertown Boys and Girls Club: to help the Club pay the many expenses associated with pool, gym and game-room programs. The Watertown Boys and Girls Club’s mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need the Club most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens.
- Watertown Council on Aging/Senior Center: to continue its writing workshops at the Watertown Senior Center where older adults are taught and guided in writing and sharing their life stories. This program was funded by WCF in 2012 and is being repeated because it was so popular not everyone could be accommodated the first time around.
- Watertown Family Network: to help fund the WFN Center where Watertown families with young children can come together to receive information, referrals, education, support and care from facilitators as well as from their peers as they rear the next generation. WFN provides a welcoming, accessible space for families to build community, strengthen parental instincts and skills and experience the joy of taking care of their young children in a community setting. WFN is free for Watertown residents.
- Wayside Multi Service Center: to provide after-school enrichment programming at Watertown’s low-income housing complex Willow Park Learning Center for community youth ages 6 to 16. The money is used for art and cooking supplies, nutrition education, program management and supervision.
- World in Watertown: to help fund Watertown’s first naturalization ceremony and voter registration drive, which took place on May 17. The event highlighted the positive face of immigration and demonstrated that Watertown is a welcoming and tolerant community. Almost 200 immigrants, surrounded by family and friends, became United States citizens at the event.
- World in Watertown's 2014 Unity Breakfast: to help fund the upcoming 14th annual Martin Luther King Day breakfast, a Watertown tradition. It brings together hundreds of people representing Watertown’s diverse population. The breakfast program includes a keynote speaker, recognition of a community leader, student essays and chorale presentations.
The Watertown Community Foundation has awarded over $410,000 in grants since it was founded in 2003.
Anyone interested in supporting the foundation should contact Schade at 617-926-1500 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit watertownfoundation.org.
Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at email@example.com