Discover

January 1, 2003

7
Executive Director?s Report, The 10-Year Perspective
When the Memorial Fund first opened its doors in Connecticut on August 6, 1993, we
understood that embracing the field of education was a most appropriate memorial to the
fund?s namesake and to the Graustein family?s immigrant experience. William Caspar
Graustein was a college professor and all of his siblings led lives greatly advantaged by
education. We also perceived that a focus on one state and one issue could allow a relatively
small family foundation to make an impact. In this report on the years 2001-2003, we pause
to reflect on the past decade of our work.
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For our first eight years, we tried to do three things: 1) to support
policy research and advocacy on behalf of children, 2) to
improve teaching and learning through the Connecticut
Center for School Change, and 3) to engage communities
and parents through the Children First Initiative.
The early investments in policy research helped us to learn
about Connecticut in ways that we might not have expected.
For example, the public opinion study called The Broken
Contract, undertaken by Public Agenda, demonstrated that
the biggest gulf in the state was not between black and white
citizens, nor between urban and suburban communities, nor
between the wealthy and the poor, but between educators and
the general public. Addressing that gap led us to shape the initiative
we call ?Community Conversations,? now under the
leadership of the League of Women Voters of Connecticut.
This project, which has touched the civic lives of 69
Connecticut communities, creates an opportunity for communities
to engage in dialogue about education issues,
unconstrained by adversarial posturing. Citizens begin in this
way to find common ground on which to build and
implement action plans for improving the lives of children
and the education enterprise.
Other research has further helped the state to become educated
about important issues. For example, The Social State of
Connecticut report, undertaken in partnership with the
Connecticut General Assembly and the Commission on
Children, has revealed in each of the past 10 years the needs
and challenges that exist in this wealthy state. We are pleased
that Connecticut was the first state to embed such a report in
law. The Social State prompts discussions of policies that can
lead to a better quality of life for all. This year, we honor the
memory of that report?s author, Marc Miringoff, who passed
away as this Memorial Fund report was being completed, for
his vision and commitment to the ideal of holding ourselves
accountable for the condition of our society.
In the early years, our focus on community and parent
engagement became a seven-year, $7 million initiative called
the Children First Initiative (CFI). CFI worked with seven
cities to improve life and education outcomes for children
from birth to eight. Appreciating this new approach, an
assistant superintendent of schools from one community
noted, ?It seems that the Memorial Fund is asking communities
to learn to be more reflective about the condition of their
children.? In fact, we strove to create the possibility for
communities to work collaboratively, across sectors, with us
and with others as true partners. Deepening this relationship
remains a primary goal. Much of what we learned through
Children First is embedded in the Discovery Initiative, which
has been the focus of our work from 2001 to 2003 and which
is the subject of this report.
During the first decade our strategies intertwined in ways that
were powerful beyond our expectations. For instance, in
1997, the Connecticut General Assembly passed the School
Readiness Act, which has since allocated over $40 million
annually to create and sustain new spaces in high-quality
preschools, benefiting 6,500 children statewide. In 1997
legislative staff met directly with Children First community
representatives and asked for information on the need for and
projected cost of early care and education in their communities.
Within two weeks, the communities provided the information
to the legislature, with research and communications
assistance from the Memorial Fund. While passage of the
School Readiness Act was a policy triumph for advocates and
policymakers, we also view it as a triumph of community voice.
support. advocate. improve.
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We are also learning how to integrate the school change work
of the Connecticut Center for School Change. Its executive
director, Andrew Lachman, has shifted the focus from
individual schools to districts and, more specifically, to
instructional leadership. The Center?s new Superintendents?
Network and Principals? Academy help districts that want to
work on systemic change by focusing on student outcomes.
The Center now devotes more than half its efforts to
Discovery districts, while acting as content experts on
education to the Initiative overall.
Looking forward...
The story of our current Discovery Initiative continues today
across Connecticut. In 2001, the Trustees of the Memorial
Fund made a six-year $15 million commitment to Discovery.
In its first two years, Discovery has introduced us to an
extraordinary range of individuals who are willing to commit
time, energy and resources to the idea that all children deserve
a good start in life. Preliminary research is showing that this
simple yet powerful idea is not only sound social and educational
policy, but also has measurable economic benefits.
Nothing means more to me as a foundation leader than that
the Memorial Fund live out the values we espouse in ways that
other people can detect. The central challenge of mid-life for
both people and institutions is to bring behavior into closer
conformity with values. We work hard at that.
So, what is our situation today? Very challenging indeed.
As with most foundations, our economic power has been
constrained by three years of turmoil in financial markets.
Nevertheless, the promise of the Discovery Initiative ? that
we can engage citizens in more effective ways to improve
children?s lives ? has seemed to capture people?s imaginations.
As of this report, 49 Connecticut communities have
joined Discovery. They represent over half of the student
population of Connecticut, and high proportions of the state?s
poor and populations of color.
Nothing is a better antidote to poverty than a good education.
Most children, advantaged or disadvantaged, are capable of
high levels of achievement. Connecticut has the financial and
intellectual resources needed to make sure that every child
enters school ready to learn, and to make sure that every
school is ready to teach and to uphold high standards.
Nothing less is acceptable. Connecticut has enjoyed a
privileged position among the states in income and in leadership.
To sustain that position in the future requires a new level
of intention and investment in the lives of our children.
We try every day to live up to that level of intention. In
doing so, we believe we are doing our part to forge a stronger
Connecticut and a stronger nation.
support. advocate. improve.
David M. Nee
Executive Director
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exploration. challenge. opportunity.
Trustee?s Letter
The year I was a college sophomore, majoring in economics, I took a geology course to
complete a science requirement. I?d worked outdoors on an archaeological dig in Wyoming
the previous summer and became fascinated by the landscape that had surrounded me.
Back in class, as I listened to the professors translate the rocks and canyons into a readable
text of the stories of their origin, my interest grew to the point where I decided to change my
major to geology.
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I told my father my plans as he and I drove home a couple of
weeks later. His initial skepticism made me wonder: Was it
genuine interest or just the adventure of the previous summer
that was catching my imagination? Could the geology course
really be the door to a vocation?
The next day, Dad started the conversation, ?I was thinking
about what you said yesterday. My brother Bill was an
academic and he took great satisfaction from the research he
did. If this is what you want to do, go ahead.? True to his
word and despite my mother?s misgivings, they gave me permission
to drive the family station wagon to New Mexico to
work on an archaeological site. This was the beginning of my
relationship with our 230-cubic-inch straight six ?63 Chevy.
The excitement of being out on my own with a couple of
friends driving across the continent was soon balanced by
the boredom of long hot days on the road. The boredom
evaporated when we turned off the pavement, through a
barbed wire gate and bounced along a ranch road to our field
camp for the summer, across 25 miles of the emptiest
country I had ever seen.
A couple of weeks later I noticed dark streaks of grease on the
inside of the right rear wheel. I had never before been
interested in what went on inside an axle, but I was now.
A couple of guys on the dig diagnosed a busted seal on a
bearing. We thought about driving to town, but all I could
imagine was the bearing?s failing, stranding me in the middle
a very big landscape with only cactus and a few cows for
company. So instead, I bought a shop manual and a slide
hammer, pulled the axle half-shaft from its housing, took it
into town, got a mechanic to replace the bearing, hauled the
half-shaft back to the field camp and reinstalled it.
I?d promised my parents that I?d treat the car responsibly, so
I wrote to tell them what had happened and how I?d made
the repairs. Since I was two thousand miles away and the car
was back in shape, I also sent them a photograph of me
kneeling in the dirt, pulling the axle out of its housing. I
don?t know if they were appalled or reassured, but the car and
I did return home no worse for the wear. The next summer,
though, they helped me buy my own pickup truck and I
headed west again. The project I started that summer grew
into a twenty-five year career of research in the earth sciences.
exploration. challenge. opportunity.
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When I look at that snapshot now, I see it as more than a
record of my adolescent adventure. It is a reminder of a
summer when there was enough time and space to explore
possibilities ? to think of a breakdown as a challenge and an
opportunity, not just a nuisance. It?s a reminder of the time I
began to leave home to find my own way; and of how I
discovered that the best way of losing my fear of breaking
something was learning that I could figure out how to fix it.
The Memorial Fund has now been working for a decade to
support the improvement of education for young children of
Connecticut. The real work and responsibility of the education
of the children is of course not ours, but that of the
parents, citizens and institutions in the state.
For the past two years, the Memorial Fund has focused its
efforts and resources on the Discovery program, which aims,
in part, to increase the capacity of communities to analyze,
organize, reflect and act on behalf of children.
Forty-nine cities and towns across Connecticut participate in
Discovery. A key part of Discovery is the formation of a
collaborative working relationship that includes parents,
community members, service providers and government
officials. For most of the participants this is a new way of
working. For many parents and community members, for
whom the landscape of educational programs, policy and
bureaucracy can sometimes seem as vast and inhospitable as
the New Mexico desert, participation in Discovery is a new
and challenging role.
In this report we honor them by telling some of their stories,
as they find their own ways to influence the institutions and
programs that affect them and their children. I invite you to
explore how the accounts of three varied communities ?
urban Norwalk, rural Thompson and suburban
Windsor ? evoke connections with your own experiences
and aspirations.
In their ideal form, democratic institutions are also vehicles
that can take their people anywhere they decide to go, but as
with that ?63 Chevy, the judgment to steer them well and the
ability to maintain and repair them must be learned by each
generation. I invite you to look at these reports as examples
of people committing themselves to learning and practicing
the mechanics of democracy.
exploration. challenge. opportunity.
William Chandler Graustein
Trustee
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?discovery is at the heart of what we do?
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Change in the Land of Steady Habits
CONNECTICUT ? despite its nickname ? ?the land of steady habits? ? is anything but
static. The Connecticut of 2004 is not the Connecticut of even twenty years ago. A drive from
the old mill villages of the northeast corner, to the ?gold coast? of lower Fairfield County, to
the municipalities lining the I-91 and I-95 urban corridors would show a state undergoing
both demographic and economic shifts. And within our 5,000 square miles ? Connecticut
is the third smallest state in land mass ? we harbor 169 separate governmental entities,
ranging in size from cities of over 100,000 to villages of fewer than 700, and 166 school
districts ranging in size from 75 to 23,000 students.
education. community. action.
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The traveler around the state would find enormous racial and
ethnic diversity, great income disparities and a checkerboard
mix of urban, suburban and rural populations. Some of
Connecticut?s 3.4 million people come from ancestors who
have been here since the 17th century; other families have
been here for centuries before that; others arrived last month
from all the world?s inhabited continents.
Still, in the midst of all this change, some constants remain.
While Connecticut?s communities differ in significant ways,
people of all backgrounds want the jobs, housing, health care
and community services that meet their needs. Most of all,
they want the best for their children.
We know intuitively ? and research shows ? that the
experiences of infancy and early childhood lay the foundation
for the adult the child will become and have profound
implications for the individual, the family and the larger
community. With that reality in mind, the well-being of
Connecticut?s young children ? with a particular emphasis
on education ? has been a major focus of the William
Caspar Graustein Memorial Fund since the Fund?s
beginnings in the summer of 1993.
With the inception in 2001 of its Discovery Initiative, the
Memorial Fund continues its commitment to helping communities
support their young children. An outgrowth of its
earlier Children First Initiative, in which seven communities
participated, the Discovery Initiative represents a projected
$15 million commitment for 2001-2007. The 49 communities
who have accepted the Memorial Fund?s invitation
to join the initiative since its beginnings in 2001 are each
receiving grants ranging between $10,000 and $50,000, with
an average grant of $25,000 per community per year.
education. community. action.
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Each of the Discovery communities is addressing at least one
of the program?s four objectives:
1. To expand the supply of high quality early care and
education.
2. To improve the quality of existing early care and
education.
3. To build strong connections between early care and
elementary education.
4. To improve social, emotional and academic outcomes
for young children.
Collaboration, community engagement, and parent involvement
are central values and central activities in this process.
The intent is to create a statewide network of communities,
organizations, and parent groups that will advance local and
statewide policy work on behalf of young children and their
families. While the participating communities are receiving
direct grants, the Memorial Fund is also devoting resources
each year to other activities essential to this work, such
as documentation, peer networking, learning seminars,
technical assistance consultation, and community liaisons
who work directly with the communities. In addition, our
statewide and regional grantmaking supports the four
Discovery objectives by, for example: helping the Discovery
communities to use data strategically; supporting research
on the impact of school readiness programs; and making
available loans for the expansion and improvement of early
childhood education facilities.
The term ?Discovery? is at the heart of what we are doing.
The Memorial Fund went into this process fully open to
uncovering, along with its grantees, what works on a practical
level. We know that communities have the capacity to be
the experts in the needs of their children and families. While
those capacities can vary widely because of economic,
historical, geographic, political and social factors, remarkable
results can occur when opportunities are afforded for local
learning and decision-making.
The 49 communities are developing a range of strategies to
learn about themselves: the Discovery process has resulted in
town-wide potluck suppers, photo exhibits, surveys, focus
groups, community cleanups, the publication of service
directories and a range of ongoing conversations among previously
unconnected or adversarial groups. They are asking
and beginning to answer essential questions: What are our
strengths? Our weaknesses? What programs, activities and
services are currently available for young children and their
families? How can we make the best use of the resources we
have, and what additional resources do we need? What
strategies will work best for us as we seek to provide the best
environment for young children as they prepare for school.
In addition, the eagerness of cities and towns to learn from
others and to share what is working bodes well for the future
of the state as a whole. Our first ten years have taught us to
be open to the new and unexpected, to take time to reflect,
and to pay attention to the voices of communities, where
most of the real learning happens. In the following pages you
will read ? with three of the Discovery sites as examples ?
about some of what has been learned so far.
education. community. action.
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to hear each other differently
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Getting the Picture
The photographs were passed out as people walked in the door. Dozens of pictures that
seemed to typify New England ? of parks and cemeteries, schools and post offices, ponds
and bridges ? documented the long history and the life of Thompson, a town of 9,000
nestled in the furthest northeast corner of Connecticut. As over a hundred town residents of
all ages gathered on an autumn evening in 2002 to participate in a New England tradition ?
the community potluck ? the photos were a focal point for engendering conversation.
?They allowed us,? said one participant, ?to hear each other differently.?
analyze. organize. act. reflect.
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Taken by one of the potluck?s organizers, the photos were
intended to do just that. Those attending the event were
encouraged to speak about their connection to the places
featured. An elderly man reminisced about painting a mill?s
cupola with his father ? making the young people in the
room ?see that old mill as something besides an abandoned
building with windows to break.? An elementary school
child told the gathering about the help his family received
from an agency housed in the building known as the old
town library.
This re-envisioning of the traditional New England potluck
? the first in an ongoing quarterly series ? was more than
a way for people to spend an enjoyable evening with neighbors.
It was part of a very conscious process of developing
community self-awareness. ?We knew that Graustein had a
new approach to working with communities to address the
needs of young children,? notes one community leader. ?As
we looked at the Discovery application guidelines, we knew
that our first job was to work toward building a healthier
community where people talked to each other and where
they realized that all of their interests could be addressed.
Then we would be able to talk about building stronger
supports and positive outcomes for children.?
Across all the Discovery communities ? whether through
Windsor?s parent brainstorming sessions, Norwalk?s focus
groups or Thompson?s quarterly potlucks ? an ongoing
learning process has begun to uncover strengths, challenges
and resources as a prerequisite to creating positive change.
analyze. organize. act. reflect.
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While among Discovery communities Thompson looks in
many ways like the ?typical? New England town ? the kind
of place where everyone knows their neighbors ? this small
municipality is in fact composed of ten separate villages
spread over 47 square miles, each village with its own distinct
identity. Yankee independence runs deep. ?We?re one
town with five zip codes,? says a town official, ?and no one
will give up any of them.?
Thompson?s history as a mill town inhabited by both mill
owners and workers, and its more recent development as a
bedroom community to nearby urban areas, have produced
great economic, social and political diversity. ?We had to
deal with those differences and wanted to make sure that the
Discovery process did not become what had been the historical
town meeting focused on funding agendas,? says the
head of a town agency ? ?where it?s seniors pitted for
resources against the needs of education, pitted against the
Fire Department. We knew we needed a collective conversation
to show us that we could work together as a community
on what mattered to us.?
Through the Discovery process, asset-based community
development (ABCD) was introduced to Thompson
residents. During a two-day training, over 70 residents came
together to talk about what mattered to them. Together,
they created a list of civic concerns, which fell into the categories
of economic development, environment, education
and communication. These concerns were put under the
umbrella of the newly created community development
organization ?Thompson Together,? the creation of which
was a direct result of Thompson?s participation in Discovery.
Groups focused on each of these areas worked on projects
ranging from stream cleanups to an exhibit featuring the
work of local artists, to the creation of a town web site. The
community potlucks ? including the event featuring the
photographs ? were held.
In the meantime, a League of Women Voters grant funded a
community conversation specifically about what could be
done to improve life for children from birth through age
eight. The communications group came up with the idea
of using Fire Department and church newsletters to communicate
important information about services and
activities to parents of young children. ?The quality of early
childhood education was a common thread through all our
conversations,? notes a local preschool teacher. ?Ultimately,
it is all about working towards making Thompson a
healthier, happier place to live and to raise children.?
Echoed by the other Discovery communities, that sentiment
is at the heart of Discovery. While the Memorial Fund is
focused specifically on issues related to young children,
Thompson?s holistic approach is unique. ?The Discovery
influence allowed for unprecedented collaboration among
town agencies, the school system, local non-profits and
interest groups,? says a community leader. ?It led to our
being able to save the town?s youth center. Our teenagers are
organizing to create a skateboard park. We?re on the verge
of kicking off a Community Health Center project with
another Discovery town because of Discovery conversations.
The spirit of collaboration in the past two years ? among
individuals, among populations, among communities and
interest groups ? has been amazing to watch.?
analyze. organize. act. reflect.
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23
Starting Smart
?It?s a real struggle sometimes,? a woman caring for her three young granddaughters told a
meeting of Windsor?s Early Childhood Council (ECC). As an older caregiver, she spoke about
the challenges she faces in locating resources, getting support, helping her family with homework
? and her fatigue at the end of a long day of both paid work and family caretaking.
?Stories like that remind me of why I accepted the invitation to join the Council,? says an
ECC parent member. While her own children are now past the ?early? years, she notes that
she wanted to get involved in setting the direction for early childhood care in town. ?We have
to remember,? she says, ?that if parents are feeling overwhelmed they are less likely to be
responsive to what their kids need.?
listen. create. plan.
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Since April of 2001, Windsor has committed to providing
an optimum beginning for its youngest residents through its
Start Smart program. Described by a town official as ?a program
to ensure that children are ready to learn when they
enter school ? based on a ?parents as teachers? model,? Start
Smart is free and available to any family with a child, newborn
through kindergarten age. Through this home visit
program, a trained parent volunteer comes every four to six
weeks, supplying materials, coaching the family on parenting
skills and providing friendly intervention if problems are
detected.
Start Smart in turn is run under the auspices of Windsor?s
Healthy People Initiative, begun in late 1999 as an
umbrella organization for town programs that focus on ?the
physical, intellectual, social and emotional well-being of all
people in Windsor.? Another official notes: ?We wanted to
create a structure to help us prevent problems, not just react.
When we heard about the invitation from Graustein to join
Discovery, it was a natural fit for Healthy People and its
strategy team(s) to be the lead organization.?
Healthy People collected data ? through forums, focus
groups and surveys ? on the quantity, quality and availability
of early childhood care and education. During this
process, the idea for an Early Childhood Council emerged.
A school administrator says: ?There?s a gap for parental
involvement in early childhood issues. If you have children
in the school system, there are channels for input. But there?s
no board of education for preschool. The ECC is a vehicle
for parents of young children to have input on what?s
happening in town.?
listen. create. plan.
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listen. create. plan.
In important ways, a lot is happening for young children in
Windsor, with a wide array of services and programs. But as
a result of Healthy People?s information gathering, this
ethnically and culturally diverse community of 28,000
located just north of Hartford also uncovered concerns
about the well-being of its young children, many of which
focused on child care. ?Child care is not the only issue that
matters when we think about the social, emotional and
physical health of young children,? says a town official. ?But
it is central.?
Many of these concerns are common to communities across
the state. Windsor has a number of child care providers ?
public and private, formal and informal. But care is hard to
find for parents with unconventional work schedules, and is
often not readily obtainable for infants and for children with
behavioral issues. Cost is always a factor; care that is not
affordable is not really available. ?And we hear from
providers,? says a Windsor teacher, ?that they would like
professional development, which is hard to come by,
especially for those who are home-based.?
In addition, Windsor, like every community, faces its own
unique challenges. The head of a town agency points out:
?Something you might not think of is how the size and
shape of the town create barriers. Windsor is elongated
north-south with a huge area to the northwest adjacent to
the airport and the other part near the Hartford town line.
Child care is not distributed across the town in a way that
makes it accessible to all families.? A school official adds:
?There?s also an issue with transportation, since our child
care centers are not located on bus routes.?
Through its Discovery process, Windsor is creating a structure
to build on its strengths and to identify and address
problems. ?Ultimately,? says one parent, ?we want the ECC
to provide a vehicle through which we can move into the
future once the Discovery work is done.?
What is really exciting, adds a board of education employee,
is the community input. ?When I talk to other towns about
Healthy People, the Early Childhood Council, Start Smart
and the Graustein Discovery process, I?m aware of the degree
to which Windsor has made early childhood health a town
issue, and of how conscious we are of creating an environment
that is attractive to families with young children.?
?Even the young kids themselves are helping to keep us on
track,? another ECC member says. ?Most of the Council
members have kids of their own and we?ve been using the
teens from one of our youth groups to entertain and feed the
little ones during meetings. The kids have so much fun with
their teenage babysitters that they?re always asking their parents,
?When are we going to a meeting??!?
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Minding Our Business
?There have been moments when ? I have to confess ? I?ve referred to it as group therapy,?
laughs a member of Norwalk?s School Readiness Council in describing the process surrounding
Norwalk?s involvement in the Discovery Initiative. ?At other times I can say that it was a
lengthy process of building consensus.? For Norwalk, as for the other 48 Discovery sites,
building consensus was essential. To encourage collaboration, the Memorial Fund accepted
only one Discovery application per community; each application had to be signed by representatives
of five specified groups. ?Our Discovery steering committee spent much of its first
year developing trust and defining a common purpose,? notes a Board of Education member.
focus. develop. encourage.
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While community conversations about education had been
taking place in Norwalk since 1999, the invitation to join
Discovery spurred renewed activity. Open meetings in July
and September of 2001 led to accepting Graustein?s
invitation. Initial plans called for focus groups and for a
community conversation on available services and unmet
needs. At the same time, the Discovery steering committee
was looking at existing research on the status of Norwalk?s
children. ?We also looked at data from other communities,?
says a school official. ?We knew intuitively that early childhood
care and support were not what they should be, but we
needed more concrete information.?
A city of 82,000 mid-way up the coast of Fairfield County,
Norwalk has a great diversity of cultures, ethnicities and
income levels. While most other Connecticut cities lost
population from 1990-2000, Norwalk?s population grew by
nearly 6 percent, almost twice the state average.
?We realized,? says a Discovery steering committee member,
?that part of Norwalk?s vitality is connected to our ability to
retain and attract businesses. So if we wanted to have a
healthy investment in early childhood, we had to get business
interested and involved.? Business input was elicited
through a focus group, one of ten held between May and
October of 2002. In addition, the president of the local
Chamber of Commerce became a Discovery steering committee
member in March of 2003.
focus. develop. encourage.
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The nine other focus groups provided forums for parents,
preschool providers and elementary educators. The seven
parent groups included one each conducted in Spanish and
Creole. ?Everyone was enthusiastic,? says a parent member
of the Discovery steering committee. ?In the Haitian group,
31 parents with 10 children showed up on a Saturday,
encouraged by their priest. In all the groups, we found a lot
we expected and a lot we didn?t. People often had trouble
getting children to day care, even if they could afford it.
Who watches the kids of the parents who work nights? What
about the kids who receive child care from family members
who speak only Creole or Spanish and who then show up in
a school room where only English is spoken??
Parents also requested more information about services and
programs. ?We were committed to not duplicating resources
and services,? says a steering committee member. ?We
updated the existing Norwalk Family Resources Directory,
and collaborated with a group at Norwalk Community
College to develop a data base and Internet access to the
directory, which is also available in print all over town.?
In addition, a town official notes: ?Throughout the discussions,
a primary theme was school readiness. We?ve been
wrestling with an achievement gap between majority and
minority populations, and many people felt that changing
the preschool environment could have a major impact on
helping children in their early years of school.?
As a follow-up to the focus groups, a community conversation
in November of 2002 brought together over 90
participants. Their input and that of the focus groups, along
with research data, were synthesized into a report published
in May of 2003. The report ? Norwalk?s Young Children:
What They Need to Succeed ? was presented at an open
meeting attended by nearly 100 people, and was printed by
a local newspaper. Attendees were invited to participate in
one of four task forces that grew out of the report?s ?next
steps?? a variety of tasks to meet the stated goal of ?helping
all children be more successful in the early years of school.?
The creation of the report offers another story beyond what
is contained in its pages. ?I saw a report from another town,?
says a Board of Education official, ?and I thought, ?This
doesn?t say much without pictures.? And then I wondered
about getting Briggs High School involved. That?s where our
kids go if they need help and an alternative education. What
if we asked them to take the photos??
As happened in Thompson, photographs became a vehicle
for making connections. With the help of two professional
photographers, the school turned the project into a social
studies course designed around the idea of looking at the
lives of Norwalk?s children.
Then the local paper ran articles about the project and Briggs
received a grant from the Police Athletic League to buy
equipment. ?They had a show at the Norwalk Museum,? the
official continues, ?and then they became the teachers for
photography courses for middle school kids. Now the
program is part of an English class. We?d been working for a
while on how to change some of the dynamics at that high
school. The project transformed how the Briggs students
feel about the school and themselves. In a way, this is
emblematic of what we hope the Discovery process can be.
For those kids, that project changed everything.?
focus. develop. encourage.
30
Ansonia/Shelton*
Bloomfield
Branford
Bridgeport
Bristol
Brooklyn
Chaplin
Danbury
Derby
East Hartford
East Haven
Enfield
Granby
Greenwich
Griswold
Groton
Hamden
Hartford
Killingly/Plainfield/Putnam*
Manchester
Mansfield
Meriden
Middletown
Milford
Naugatuck
New Britain
New Haven
New London
Norwalk
Norwich
Plymouth
Southington
Stafford
Stamford
Stratford
Thompson
Torrington
Vernon
Wallingford
Waterbury
West Hartford
West Haven
Wethersfield
Winchester
Windham
Windsor
*Discovery grants support these
communities in working together to
develop a regional plan of action.
Towns in Discovery
As a small sampling of Discovery community experiences being generated across Connecticut,
the three stories featured in this report are both illustrative and unique. Each of our 49
Discovery cities and towns has its own narrative ? a function of its history and geography
and its political and social culture. At the same time, all share a deep commitment to developing
a fuller understanding of the needs of their children and families and to creating
processes and structures to meet those needs.
The full list of Discovery communities follows. For more information on Discovery, visit our
Discovery web site: www.discovery.wcgmf.org
COMMUNITIES PARTICIPATING IN DISCOVERY INCLUDE:
31
32
In 2000, the Trustees of the Memorial Fund adopted a new strategic plan for the years 2001 to 2007. The strategic
planning process reaffirmed the overall mission, goals and beliefs that have guided the Memorial Fund since 1993,
when it was founded as a memorial to the son of an immigrant family. In reviewing our past work, the staff and
trustees also identified elements of practice that we most want to affirm because they are fitting as a memorial, they
encourage those with whom we work, and they motivate us all to embrace new challenges.
We aim to:| Create relationships that build trust and increase people?s capacity to imagine and achieve their goals.| Respect the voices of all stakeholders in critically reflecting on our work and role.| Help all citizens to understand the full spectrum of issues affecting children and education and help them
participate in addressing these issues.
The Discovery Initiative
Strategic Direction
Discovery is the successor to our earlier initiative, Children
First, and has the same overall aim: To improve early school
success for children from birth to eight. Our first seven years
of listening, reflection and experiences led to developing
strategies that focus on four objectives:
1. To expand the supply of high quality early care and
education.
2. To improve the quality of existing early care and
education.
3. To build strong connections between early care and
elementary education.
4. To improve social, emotional and academic outcomes
for young children.
33
To link its interests in community, school and policy
change, the Memorial Fund employs three strategies:
capacity building, knowledge development and public willbuilding.
From a community?s perspective, these strategies
work together. Our aim is to help communities create the
policies, practices, and processes needed to build an agenda
for enhancing the lives of children. For purposes of this
initiative, these three strategies are defined as follows:
Capacity building
Aimed at improving the capacity of both a community?s
organizations and its residents, this strategy includes
support for collaboration, leadership development, network
creation, planning, communications, organizational
development, and technical assistance.
Knowledge development
With the goal of collecting and using information for better
decision-making, this strategy includes issue and action
research, assessment, monitoring, dissemination of best
practices and other information, convening communities
and individuals working on similar issues, and other
activities that contribute to the development of learning
communities.
Public will-building
To inform and engage citizens, this strategy focuses on
building public awareness, advocacy, constituency building,
and message development that will move local and state
policy to be more responsive to children?s needs.
Community, School and Policy Change
The Memorial Fund continues to have an interest in strategies
that support community change, school change and
policy change to improve outcomes for young children. We
are most interested in ways that communities can integrate
these strategies into comprehensive, broadly supported
solutions that make sense at the local level and can garner
long-term commitment at both the state and local levels.
The Memorial Fund aims to work with community
collaboratives that share an interest in these four objectives
and with organizations that can support this work locally,
regionally and statewide.
Strategies
34
1. Discovery Community grants
In 2001, the Memorial Fund invited 50 Connecticut
communities to engage in a partnership with the Fund
over the next seven years to work on one or more of the
four objectives listed on page 32. Invitations to apply
were sent to mayors and school superintendents for a
community response involving a local collaborative of
other early care and education stakeholders and parents in
their communities. Applications are by invitation.
2. Discovery statewide and regional grants
These grants support such activities as policy research,
advocacy, data analysis, developing systems change
strategies, constituency building and creating public
information campaigns. Eligible applicants are regional
and statewide organizations in strategic alliance with the
Memorial Fund. Applications are by invitation.
3. Connecticut Center for School Change grants
The Memorial Fund works in close partnership with the
Connecticut Center for School Change and shares two of
its four Discovery objectives with the Center: to build
strong connections between early care and elementary
education, and to improve social, emotional and academic
outcomes for young children. The Center accepts applications
directly for its grants. For information contact the
Center at 151 New Park Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106, or
visit its web site at www.ctschoolchange.org.
4. Corinne G. Levin Education Fund grants
The Levin Fund was established in 1998 to honor the
memory and continue the work of Corinne G. Levin.
The Levin Fund aims to enhance access to and the
quality of education for all children. Revised application
guidelines for these grants will be available by Fall of 2004.
The Memorial Fund currently pursues its mission and goals and its Discovery objectives through four grant programs:
35
Ansonia . . . . . . . . . . . .Valley United Way/Healthy Valley
Bloomfield . . . . . . . . .Capitol Region Education Council
Branford . . . . . . . . . . .The Branford Community Foundation
Bridgeport . . . . . . . . .Bridgeport Public Education Fund
Bristol . . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of West Central Connecticut
Brooklyn . . . . . . . . . . .United Services
Chaplin . . . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN Regional Education Service Center
Connecticut . . . . . . . .Connecticut Charter Schools Network
Charter School
Network
Danbury . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Northern Fairfield County/
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Danbury Children First
East Hartford . . . . . . .East Hartford Community Project Company
East Haven . . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Services
Enfield . . . . . . . . . . . .St. Andrew?s Episcopal Church
Greenwich . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Greenwich
Griswold . . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN
Groton . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Southeastern Connecticut
Hamden . . . . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Services
Hartford . . . . . . . . . . .Capitol Region Education Council
Killingly, . . . . . . . . . .Women?s Center of Northeastern Connecticut
Plainfield,
Putnam
Manchester . . . . . . . . .Manchester Early Learning Center
Mansfield . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN
Meriden . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Meriden
Middletown . . . . . . . .United Way of Middlesex County
Milford . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Milford
Naugatuck . . . . . . . . .United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls
New Britain . . . . . . . .New Britain Foundation for Public Giving
New Haven . . . . . . . . .Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
New London . . . . . . . .LEARN Regional Education Service Center
Norwalk . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Norwalk & Wilton
Norwich . . . . . . . . . . .United Community & Family Services
Plymouth . . . . . . . . . .United Way of West Central Connecticut
Shelton . . . . . . . . . . . .Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley
Southington . . . . . . . .United Way of Southington
Stafford . . . . . . . . . . . .First United Methodist Church
Stamford . . . . . . . . . . .Stamford School Readiness Foundation
Stratford . . . . . . . . . . .Stratford Library Association
Thompson . . . . . . . . .The Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group
Vernon . . . . . . . . . . . .Hockanum Valley Child Care Center
Wallingford . . . . . . . . .The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce Trust
Waterbury . . . . . . . . . .United Way of the Central Naugatuck Valley
West Hartford . . . . . . .The Bridge Family Center
West Haven . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Education Services
Winchester . . . . . . . . .Winsted Area Child Care Center
Windham . . . . . . . . . .Windham Regional Community Council
Windsor . . . . . . . . . . .Friends of Northwest Park
Total - $1,150,000
Grants Voted in 2001
Discovery Community Grants - $1,150,000
Grants of $25,000 were voted for each community participating in the Discovery Initiative for the purpose of beginning
or building on an existing collaborative effort to improve the education of young children. The communities and their
collaborative agents are:
COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE AGENT COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE AGENT
36
Children First Dissemination Project/Child & Family
Agency of Southeastern Connecticut
$53,000
To publish a manual of successful practices in the following four areas: family
support; parent engagement and leadership; family literacy; and transition
from community to school; and to share the information with other communities
in Connecticut and other states.
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition (BCAC)
$38,300
To continue BCAC?s activities in the areas of parent information, advocacy
and empowerment with a new focus on teacher recruitment and retention.
Parent Trust Fund/Children?s Trust Fund &
United Way of Connecticut
$100,000
To support the Parent Trust Fund, a public-private trust created to bolster
quality parent engagement, consumer education and leadership activity across
the state.
Hispanics in Philanthropy
$50,000
To match grants to the National Funders? Collaborative for Strong Latino
Communities aimed at strengthening Latino non-profit organizations in
Connecticut.
The Waterbury Foundation/After-School Program Collaboration
$30,000
For a third year of a project aimed at helping community youth service
providers to coordinate and assess after-school programs for K-8 grade
students in five Waterbury neighborhoods.
Emergency Funding for the World Trade Center Disaster/
United Way of New York City
$10,000
Emergency funding to help the United Way of New York respond to the needs
created by the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001.
Danbury Children First /United Way of Northern Fairfield County
$60,000
To support the continuation of Danbury Children First activities in early care
and education.
Total - $341,300
2001 Community Engagement and Parental
Involvement Grants
37
Children First Legacy Evaluation/Center for Assessment
and Policy Development
$90,000
To continue the evaluation of the Memorial Fund?s Children First Initiative
following the close of its legacy phase.
Parent Information & Advocacy Initiative/Bridgeport Child Advocacy
Coalition (BCAC)
$76,000
To continue activities in the areas of parent information, advocacy and
empowerment with a new focus on class size and the education capital plan.
From Policy to Practice IV/Connecticut Association for Human Services
$25,000
To organize an education policy leadership briefing and provide an opportunity
for state and local officials to become better informed on the education
topic selected by representatives of the group.
Shared Steps: Collaborating for Early Childhood Education/Connecticut
Association for Human Services
$20,000
To provide support through Shared Steps to a collaborative of child care
providers and other professionals and to help maintain the Child Care Fax
and E-Mail Alert Network.
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
$10,000
Support for the Connecticut Giving Project, which aims to increase giving and
volunteering throughout the state.
Great Kids Connecticut Phase II/Connecticut State Library
$77,500
To create an informational web site which is responsive to the needs of
parents, caregivers and health care professionals of young children.
Early Care and Education in Connecticut: Building the Constituency/
Connecticut Voices for Children
$133,350
To expand public information, advocacy, community outreach and citizen
mobilization efforts aimed at improving Connecticut?s system of supports for
young children.
The Social State of Connecticut/Fordham (University) Institute for
Innovation in Social Policy
$35,000
In cooperation with the Connecticut state legislature, to continue a trend
analysis of the state?s social well-being and to publish the Social Health Index
through 2001.
International Festival of Arts and Ideas
$10,000
To support Mayday, 1970: Memory and History, part of a series of public
discussions on educational issues.
Community Conversations About Education/League of Women Voters
of Connecticut Educational Fund
$135,600
To support the League and its in-state partners in promoting civil dialogue on
education issues, and to help more communities find common ground
between the public and educators on which to build an action agenda.
National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention
$40,000
To sustain national public information, media and advocacy efforts promoting
the prevention of violence in local communities and nationally.
Total - $652,450
2001 Policy Research and Advocacy Grants
38
Connecticut Center for School Change
$800,000
For the Center?s efforts to improve student achievement by improving
instructional leadership at the district and school levels. The Center is a
former initiative and strong partner of the Memorial Fund.
Connecticut Charter Schools Network
$22,500
To expand the Network?s capacity for sharing resources, expertise, external
professional development opportunities, and parental involvement across the
state?s charter schools.
Total - $822,500
2001 School Change Grants
2001 Levin Fund Grants
Benjamin Jepson School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
Burns Family Resource Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Clinton Avenue School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Davis Street Interdistrict Magnet School PTO. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Edward J. Morley Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $680
Farm Hill Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $800
Garde Arts Center/Parent Toddler Play Troupe . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $600
Mary R. Tisko PTA/Parent Lending Library . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Meriden Children First Initiative/People Empowering People . . . . . . . . . $750
Metacomet Elementary School/Empowering Families
Through Partnership with the School Community . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $700
Mitchell College Children?s Learning Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Student Parenting & Family Services/
Celotto Center Reading Program. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $902
The Riverfront Children?s Center ?Reading Night?. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $725
Total - $10,657
2001 Membership Grants
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,400
Council on Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11,190
Family Support America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $100
Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $5,000
Grantmakers for Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
Independent Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $3,762
Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,000
New York Regional Association of Grantmakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $4,300
The Foundation Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $2,750
The Philanthropy Roundtable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
Total - $35,502
39
2001 Director?s Discretionary Grants
Artspace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
ASPIRA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition/ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Family Services Woodfield . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$750
Bridgeport Public Education Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Child Care Action Campaign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$100
Child Guidance Center of Greater Bridgeport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Christian Community Action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
CityKids@Safe Space of New Haven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$750
Connecticut Association of Boards of Education/
Association of Educational Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$3,000
Connecticut Center for School Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
General Support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Connecticut Head Start State Collaboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Connecticut School Readiness Council Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
E Magazine . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Family Foundation of North America/
Alliance for Children and Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Greater New England Alliance of Black School Educators . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Highville Charter School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Hill Cooperative Youth Services/Montessori in the Hill . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Independent Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
National Funding Collaborative on Violence Prevention . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
National Storytelling Membership Association . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
New Haven Public Schools/Reading is Fundamental . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
New Haven Symphony Orchestra . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Peace Games . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Sacred Heart Kindergarten & Nursery School Playground . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
The Center for First Amendment Rights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
The Center for the Advancement of Youth, Family &
Community Services . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
The Children?s Mission of St. Paul and St. James . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,500
The Storytelling Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
United Way of Greater New Haven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
United Way of Northern Fairfield County/
Danbury Children First Parent Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Weston Woods Institute/Connecticut Literacy Caravans . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Windham Public Schools . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$400
WSHU National Public Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Total - $80,000
2001 Grants, Program & Charitable Activities Summary
Grants voted
Grants refunded and withdrawn
Total grants
Other program activities
Other charitable activities
Total grants, programs and charitable activities
$3,092,409
(10,790)
3,081,619
822,173
115,533
$4,019,325
40
Ansonia . . . . . . . . . . . .Valley United Way/Healthy Valley
Bloomfield . . . . . . . . .Capitol Region Education Council
Branford . . . . . . . . . . .The Branford Community Foundation
Bridgeport . . . . . . . . .Bridgeport Public Education Fund
Bristol . . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of West Central Connecticut
Brooklyn . . . . . . . . . . .United Services
Chaplin . . . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN Regional Education Service Center
Danbury . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Northern Fairfield County/
. . . . . . . . . . . . . Danbury Children First
East Hartford . . . . . . .East Hartford Community Project
East Haven . . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Services
Enfield . . . . . . . . . . . .The After School Program
Greenwich . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Greenwich
Griswold . . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN
Groton . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Southeastern Connecticut
Hamden . . . . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Services
Hartford . . . . . . . . . . .Capitol Region Education Council
Killingly, . . . . . . . . . . .Women?s Center of Northeastern Connecticut
Plainfield,
Putnam
Manchester . . . . . . . . .Manchester Early Learning Center
Mansfield . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN
Meriden . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Meriden
Middletown . . . . . . . .United Way of Middlesex County
Milford . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Milford
Naugatuck . . . . . . . . .United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls
New Britain . . . . . . . .New Britain Foundation for Public Giving
New Haven . . . . . . . . .Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
New London . . . . . . . .LEARN Regional Education Service Center
Norwalk . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Norwalk & Wilton
Norwich . . . . . . . . . . .United Community & Family Services
Plymouth . . . . . . . . . .United Way of West Central Connecticut
Shelton . . . . . . . . . . . . Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley
Southington . . . . . . . .United Way of Southington
Stafford . . . . . . . . . . . .First United Methodist Church
Stamford . . . . . . . . . . .Child Care Learning Centers
Stratford . . . . . . . . . . .Stratford Library Association
Thompson . . . . . . . . .The Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group
Torrington . . . . . . . . .Education Connection
Vernon . . . . . . . . . . . .Hockanum Valley Child Care Center
Wallingford . . . . . . . . .The Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce Trust
Waterbury . . . . . . . . . .United Way of the Central Naugatuck Valley
West Hartford . . . . . . .The Bridge Family Center
West Haven . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Services
Winchester . . . . . . . . .Winsted Area Child Care Center
Windham . . . . . . . . . .Windham Regional Community Council
Windsor . . . . . . . . . . .Friends of Northwest Park
Total - $1,250,000
Grants Voted in 2002
Discovery Community Grants - $1,250,000
The Discovery Initiative supported early childhood education efforts in these communities by offering technical assistance,
creating learning opportunities among grantees and others, and providing grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE AGENT COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE AGENT
41
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition
$65,000
To design and conduct in Bridgeport schools an assessment of parent
engagement that will identify best practices, roles for principals and teachers,
and recommendations for school and district changes to enhance parents?
roles in children?s education.
Connecticut Association of Human Services
$25,000
For the Education Fellows Program for emerging leaders among child care
providers, teachers and parents who wish to become more effective on behalf
of young children.
Connecticut Association of Human Services
$25,000
To support Champions for Early Childhood Education, a project that gives a
voice to providers of early childhood care and education and offers important
information on ways to improve the system.
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy
$10,000
To support the Connecticut Giving Project, an initiative aimed at increasing
knowledge and awareness about philanthropy, thereby expanding
philanthropic capital in the state.
Connecticut Voices for Children
$128,500
For support of this statewide advocacy organization?s efforts to raise the profile
of early childhood issues, to assist in the development of the Early Childhood
Alliance?s strategic agenda, to link Voices? advocacy work with the Discovery
communities, and to participate in the national Early Childhood
Communications Collaborative that is working to build awareness of the
importance of early childhood learning.
Early Childhood Data Primer/Connecticut Voices for Children
$40,000
To support the work of Discovery communities with baseline demographic
data, technical assistance on data gathering and its use, and the production of
a data primer to guide others in gathering, computing and presenting data on
children and families.
2002 School Change Grants
Connecticut Center for School Change
$800,000
For the Center?s efforts to improve student achievement by improving instructional leadership at the district and school levels. As a partner in the Memorial Fund?s
Discovery Initiative, the Center commits at least half of its efforts to working with those communities participating in Discovery.
Total - $800,000
2002 Statewide and Regional Grants
42
The Social State of Connecticut/Fordham (University) Institute for
Innovation in Social Policy
$35,000
For support of the Social State of Connecticut, in partnership with the State of
Connecticut, as a policy tool that reports on indicators of the social health of
the state.
Community Conversations About Education/League of Women Voters
of Connecticut Educational Fund
$162,000
With the League?s support and small grants, 18 Connecticut communities
engaged citizens in conversations about ways to improve early childhood learning
and K-12 education.
Connecticut Children?s Investment Partnership/Local Initiatives Support
Corporation (LISC)
$75,000
To expand and improve the buildings and spaces used by early learning centers
through the generation of specialized capital and the provision of technical
resources to local communities.
Meriden Children First Initiative
$60,000
For the Community Engagement, Leadership and Advocacy Project that
includes leadership training for a diverse group of parents and research on
critical issues related to child and family well-being.
Public Agenda
$10,000
To build Public Agenda?s capacity to respond to the most critical issues of the
day with balanced presentations, unique insights and a perspective that
encourages open discussion and deeper engagement in public life.
Youth As Resources/Regional Youth and Adult Substance Abuse Project
$55,000
To support the continuation and evaluation of the impact of the Youth As
Resources ?Promote the Peace? program in seven Bridgeport schools; this
program aims to improve students? social, emotional and academic success by
engaging them in projects that improve their schools and communities.
United Community & Family Services/Greater Norwich Community
Leadership Team
$10,000
To increase the capacity of the Community Leadership Team to engage parents
in parent leadership training, alumni activities and other opportunities for
leadership graduates.
Danbury Children First Initiative/
United Way of Northern Fairfield County
$40,000
The goal of Parents As Partners in Danbury is to increase parental involvement
in elementary schools, to document how children are faring, and to investigate
ways to help more children succeed and to close the achievement gap.
Yale University Child Study Center
$32,000
To extend to more sites an ongoing study of the impact of attending a highquality
preschool program on young children?s educational success and on
closing the achievement gap between low-income minority students and more
affluent students.
Total - $772,500
43
Connecticut School Readiness Network/Area Cooperative
Educational Services
$20,200
To support the Connecticut School Readiness Network of local school
readiness councils as they share information and promote early childhood
issues in their communities and across the state.
Avon Public Schools
$27,000
To initiate in Avon and other Farmington Valley towns the Parents As Teachers
program, an early childhood parent education and family support program
that aims to strengthen families? ability to nurture their young children.
Connecticut Children?s Museum
$21,000
For the Museum Multiple Intelligences Project, a pilot designed to strengthen
the partnership of teachers and families in the education of young children by
using the Museum?s exhibits as a shared learning environment.
Family Literacy Outreach Project/Connecticut Voices for Children
$35,000
To support the Family Literacy Outreach Project, a collaborative effort among
public and private organizations working to improve literacy.
Hope for New Haven
$14,000
To develop the organizational capacity of a collaboration among several
New Haven churches to expand the supply of quality and affordable child
care in their neighborhoods.
Libraries for the Future
$44,000
To support Life Options Libraries, aimed at enhancing the role of Connecticut
libraries as centers for positive aging, engaging older residents in educational
activities that benefit the state?s young children, and facilitating intergenerational
exchange.
Music and Arts Center for Humanity
$10,000
To pilot the Start with Arts program in Bridgeport by providing training to
parents and early childhood teachers on how to improve the quality of early
learning by incorporating the arts into classroom activity.
P.E.A.R.L.
$10,000
To support a self-assessment by the Parent Education and Resident Leadership
(P.E.A.R.L.) of its work with Bridgeport parents and to develop the organization?s
future goals.
The Cove Center for Grieving Children
$20,000
To support those who work with grieving children through training,
multicultural outreach and expansion of the Cove program to Meriden
and surrounding communities.
Weston Woods Institute
$20,000
To support the Literacy Caravan, a staff development project providing literacy
training for professionals and for family caregivers and others in early childhood
settings.
Total - $221,200
2002 Opportunity Fund Grants
44
2002 Levin Fund Grants
Benjamin Jepson School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Edgewood School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $255
Hayestown Avenue School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $996
Laurel School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750
Mitchell College Children?s Learning Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
New London Main Street Corporation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750
Putnam Public School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
Second Hill Lane Elementary School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $935
The Village for Families and Children. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750
Total - $6,436
2002 Membership Grants
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,400
Council on Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11,367
Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$7,500
Grantmakers for Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Hispanics in Philanthropy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$175
Independent Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$3,866
Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
New York Regional Association of Grantmakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$4,160
Rockefeller Family Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
The Foundation Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,750
The Philanthropy Roundtable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Total - $38,718
45
2002 Director?s Discretionary Grants
Alliance for Children & Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
ASPIRA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Boundless Playgrounds/Friendship Place . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition/Family Services Woodfield . . . . . . .$750
Bridgeport Public Education Fund/
Neighborhood School Conversation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,500
Connecticut Association of School Based Health Centers . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Connecticut Collaborative for Education
Against Gun Violence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,500
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$3,600
Corinne G. Levin Education Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,500
Gazelle Productions, Ltd./?Standing Tall? Series . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
Greater New England Alliance of Black School Educators . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Greater New Haven Leadership Center/
Youth Leadership Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$750
Greater New Haven Leadership Center/
Youth Empowerment Team . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$300
Greens Farms Academy/
Horizons program for Bridgeport students . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Hope for New Haven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Independent Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
International Festival of Arts and Ideas/
Children?s Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$3,000
Junior League of Greenwich/Child Care 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,500
Martin Luther King School/
Summer Kindergarten Orientation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Mid-Fairfield Child Guidance Center/
Devon?s Place Playground . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
North End Arts Rising/The Buttonwood Tree . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Pooh Corner Preschool Learning Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $600
The School for Ethical Education/
Character Development . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
United Way of Greater New Haven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
Volunteer Center for Greater New Haven,
New Haven Scholarship Fund, and the
New Haven Fund for Public Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
WSHU National Public Radio . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Total - $50,000
2002 Grants, Program & Charitable Activities Summary
Grants voted
Grants refunded and withdrawn
Total grants
Other program activities
Other charitable activities
Total grants, programs and charitable activities
$3,138,854
(154)
3,138,700
1,300,214
109,451
$4,548,365
46
Ansonia . . . . . . . . . . . .Valley United Way
Bloomfield . . . . . . . . .Capitol Region Education Council
Branford . . . . . . . . . . .Branford Community Foundation
Bridgeport . . . . . . . . . .Bridgeport Public Education Fund
Bristol . . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of West Central Connecticut
Brooklyn . . . . . . . . . . .Brooklyn United Services
Chaplin . . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN Regional Education Service Center
Danbury . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Northern Fairfield County
East Hartford . . . . . . .East Hartford ChildPlan
East Haven . . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Services
Enfield . . . . . . . . . . . .Educational Resources for Children
Granby . . . . . . . . . . . .Granby Education Foundation
Greenwich . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Greenwich
Griswold . . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN
Groton . . . . . . . . . . . .LEARN Regional Education Service Center
Hamden . . . . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Service
Hartford . . . . . . . . . . .Capitol Region Education Council
Killingly, . . . . . . . . . . EASTCONN
Plainfield,
Putnam
Manchester . . . . . . . . .Manchester Early Learning Center
Mansfield . . . . . . . . . .EASTCONN
Meriden . . . . . . . . . . .Meriden Children First Initiative
Middletown . . . . . . . .United Way of Middlesex County
Milford . . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Milford
Naugatuck . . . . . . . . .United Way of Naugatuck and Beacon Falls
New Britain . . . . . . . .New Britain Foundation for Public Giving
New Haven . . . . . . . . .Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
New London . . . . . . . .LEARN
Norwalk . . . . . . . . . . .United Way of Norwalk & Wilton
Norwich . . . . . . . . . . .United Community & Family Services
Plymouth . . . . . . . . . .United Way of West Central Connecticut
Shelton . . . . . . . . . . . .Boys & Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley
Southington . . . . . . . .United Way of Southington
Stafford . . . . . . . . . . . .First United Methodist Church
Stamford . . . . . . . . . . .Childcare Learning Centers
Stratford . . . . . . . . . . .Stratford Library Association
Thompson . . . . . . . . .Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group
Torrington . . . . . . . . .Education Connection
Vernon . . . . . . . . . . . .Hockanum Valley Child Day Care Center
Wallingford . . . . . . . . .Quinnipiac Chamber of Commerce Trust
Waterbury . . . . . . . . . .United Way of the Central Naugatuck Valley
West Hartford . . . . . . .The Bridge Family Center
West Haven . . . . . . . .Area Cooperative Educational Services
Wethersfield . . . . . . . .Capitol Region Education Council
Winchester . . . . . . . . .Winsted Area Child Care Center
Windham . . . . . . . . . .Windham Regional Community Council
Windsor . . . . . . . . . . .Friends of Northwest Park
Total - $1,250,000
Grants Voted in 2003
Discovery Community Grants - $1,250,000
The Discovery Initiative supported early childhood education efforts in these communities by offering technical assistance,
creating learning opportunities among grantees and others, and providing grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000.
COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE AGENT COMMUNITY COLLABORATIVE AGENT
47
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition
$75,000
To complete an assessment of parent engagement in Bridgeport schools and
share best practices, and to support parent participation in school-based
management teams and other advocacy activities.
PACK (Parents and Communities for Kids)/
Community Foundation for Greater New Haven
$25,000
To promote opportunities for families to engage young children in learning
outside of school and to support community organizations working directly
with families.
Connecticut Association for Human Services
$50,000
To work with early childhood centers, home care providers and others
involved in improving early education by sharing information, providing
timely analyses, and increasing participation in a statewide network.
Connecticut Voices for Children
$132,500
To launch Ready Set Grow?CT Kids, a communications and public
engagement campaign in support of the reform of early childhood development
systems; to support the Early Childhood Alliance as a network of those
working on early childhood issues; to explore the economic and financing
issues involved in creating a viable early childhood education plan for
Connecticut; and to broaden the base of support for early childhood issues.
Early Childhood Alliance Leadership/Education Connection &
United Way of Northern Fairfield County
$10,000
To support the volunteers who are convening the Early Childhood Alliance,
a network of organizations, agencies and individuals working to improve the
health, education, safety and family security of all of Connecticut?s young
children, from birth through eight.
2003 School Change Grants
Connecticut Center for School Change
$800,000
To support the Center?s work in promoting instructional leadership focused on student achievement in districts and schools across Connecticut. As a partner in the
Memorial Fund?s Discovery Initiative, the Center commits at least half of its work to those communities participating in Discovery.
Total - $800,000
2003 Statewide and Regional Grants
48
The Social State of Connecticut/Fordham (University) Institute for
Innovation in Social Policy
$35,000
To publish, in partnership with the state of Connecticut, the tenth annual
social health index and The Social State of Connecticut as a means of tracking
the social well-being of the state and informing the policy-making process.
Hispanics in Philanthropy/The Funders? Collaborative
for Strong Latino Communities
$50,000
To participate in the Funders? Collaborative three-year program of building
the capacity of community-based organizations that provide health, education
and social services for Latino children and their families.
League of Women Voters of Connecticut Educational Fund/
Community Conversations About Education
$100,000
To support the Discovery communities? use of community conversations to
engage citizens in discussions of important early childhood and education
issues and to build on the findings and recommendations generated by the
conversations.
Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)/
Connecticut Children?s Investment Partnership (CIP)
$100,000
To provide technical assistance and financial support to early care providers,
school readiness councils and others serving low income communities in
Connecticut in order to increase awareness of the impact of facilities on
quality care; to develop financing strategies for improving or expanding
facilities; and to secure capital in the form of no-cost or low-cost loans.
Meriden Children First Initiative/
Community Engagement, Leadership and Advocacy Project
$50,000
To continue to build parent leadership through a variety of training opportunities,
to enhance public awareness about children?s issues, and to share best
practices with other Discovery communities and networks across Connecticut.
Public Agenda
$10,000
To conduct a case study describing and analyzing the community conversations
in Connecticut and their impact, and to document the staying power
of authentic public engagement.
State of Connecticut Department of Education/
Removing Barriers to Preschool
$25,000
To inform, in collaboration with other funders and advocacy organizations,
a planning process for Connecticut to provide full access to preschool for
all children.
United Way of Northern Fairfield County/Danbury Children First
$35,000
To support the development of effective community leadership working on
behalf of Danbury?s young children; to strengthen connections among local
and statewide entities and systems; and to develop new resources and support
for families with young children.
Total - $697,500
49
Educational Equity Concepts/Quit it!
$23,000
To test the Quit it! Tool Kit in six schools in the towns of Meriden, Norwalk
and Windham, as a means to reduce teasing and bullying in grades K-3
through training and support for school staff.
Leadership Greater Hartford/?Readers as Leaders?
$27,000
To encourage middle school youths to assume responsibility as role models as
they learn how to engage young children in reading.
United Way of Northern Fairfield County & Danbury Children First/
IMPACT (Involving and Mobilizing Parents Across Connecticut)
$50,000
To support Connecticut Parent Power, a group of parents from across the state
who are working together to advocate for children.
Yale University/Early Childhood Education as a Bridge for the School
Readiness Race Gap
$35,750
To expand to other Connecticut cities an ongoing research project on the
effectiveness of school readiness programs in closing the educational gap
between low-income children of color and their more affluent white peers.
Total - $135,750
2003 Opportunity Fund Grants
2003 Levin Fund Grants
Benjamin Jepson School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750
Betsy Ross Cooperative Nursery School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $800
Bridges ... A Community Support System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $500
Meriden Children First Initiative. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750
Mitchell College Children?s Learning Center. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750
New Britain Museum of American Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Rock Hill School Parent Teacher Organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $750
The Riverfront Children?s Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $555
Total - $5,855
2003 Membership Grants
Connecticut Council for Philanthropy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,400
Council on Foundations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$11,340
Family Support America . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$100
Grantmakers for Children, Youth & Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Grantmakers for Education . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$750
Grantmakers for Effective Organizations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Independent Sector . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$3,923
New York Regional Association of Grantmakers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$4,160
Rockefeller Family Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
The Foundation Center . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,500
The Philanthropy Roundtable . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
United Way of Greater New Haven . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$25
Total - $35,198
50
2003 Director?s Discretionary Grants
Alliance for Children & Families . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
AMISTAD America/Achievement First . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
ASPIRA . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Bell School Reform Network . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Bridgeport Child Advocacy Coalition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Center for Children?s Advocacy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Child Care Action Campaign . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$150
Concepts for Adaptive Learning . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Connecticut Association of
Boards of Education Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Connecticut Association of
Boards of Education/Leadership Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Connecticut Bicycle Coalition/
Safe Routes to School Program . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Connecticut Public Television/
Looking Though My Lens...Kids on Diversity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Fight Crime: Invest In Kids . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . $1,000
Greater Hartford Interfaith Coalition
for Equity and Justice/Public Education Project . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Greater New England Alliance of
Black School Educators Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Greater Worcester Community Foundation/
Executive Transition Services Tri-state System . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Hartford Area Child Care Collaborative/Training . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Hartford Community Partnership Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Independent Sector Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
International Festival of Arts and Ideas/
Youth Engagement Programs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$5,000
Martin Luther King School Parent Conference . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$500
Music and Arts Center for Humanity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
New Haven Family Alliance/
Lifting Voices, Quilting Lives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$2,000
New York Regional Association of Grantmakers/
Leadership Transition Fund . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .$1,000
Norwalk Public Schools/After


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