The Community Foundation of East Central Illinois has distributed $43,200 on behalf of the Marajen Stevick Foundation to four area nonprofit organizations. Marajen Stevick Foundation Grants offer annual funding for nonprofit organizations that provide services in the three areas of enhancing the lives of senior citizens, beautification of the Champaign-Urbana area, and promoting excellence in reading and writing, as was the wish of Mrs. Stevick-Chinigo.
The Don Moyer Boys and Girls Club was awarded $13,600 to implement a structured reading program in its After School Program. Currently, 50% of the youth attending the After School Program are reading below grade level and could benefit from guided support. Twenty-five students in 2nd through 5th grades will meet with a reading supervisor and volunteer tutors for two 45-minute sessions per week. This Reading Partners model, which has been replicated in six states and 140 schools, can help a student increase his or her reading ability by one full grade with 25 hours of tutoring.
Tap In Leadership Academy (featured in photo above) was awarded $12,000 to support its new Tap In Prep Academy which will provide an educational foundation necessary for kindergarten readiness for children who are currently on the Champaign Unit 4 Schools’ preschool wait list. Students will receive individualized attention, support and the motivation they need to achieve kindergarten readiness by the end of the school year. This grant represents 10% of the total cost of the program.
The Senior Resource Center at Family Service will receive $10,000 to respond to requests from seniors for assistance up to $200 for immediate medical and $100 for emergency food per person. Caseworkers will assess clients’ situations and determine how to meet immediate needs. Senior Resource Center will pay medical bills directly or purchase the food needed. By addressing immediate needs, the caseworkers will have the opportunity to also work with clients to identify possible long-term solutions.
Champaign Public Library Foundation received a $7,600 grant to purchase 10 iPads and a mobile charging cart to be used primarily in a Senior Tech program aimed at encouraging seniors to learn, socialize and discover new technologies. The Senior Tech program will include six four-week courses that meet once a week and provide “hands-on” experience. The iPads will also be available for use by teen programs.
The Community Foundation administers the Marajen Stevick Foundation’s granting process beginning in early February with a call for proposals from area nonprofit organizations. A Community Foundation selection committee reviews proposals and seeks additional information as needed to fully understand the proposed projects. Awards are announced in the spring.