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CNY Community Foundation Targets Student Education Support in Latest Round of $683K in Grants

John Smith/WAER News

Syracuse City School Students are scoring big with the latest round of more than $680,000 in grants from The Central New York Community Foundation that will benefit education and non-profits in Onondaga and Madison Counties. Four projects made the grade on providing student supports and learning opportunities. WCNY’s Enterprise America Program will acquaint students with 14 businesses to get them thinking about current and future career opportunities in Central New  York through a simulated ‘city experience.’ Community Foundation President and CEO Peter Dunn says the board awarded projects that can begin in the classroom and take kids out into the community.

“Like many, it’s a field trip with a purpose… getting kids out of the classroom and doing work outside of the classroom that is also based on curriculum and the Common Core. So a lot of these things, they’re designed to be supportive of student learning experiences and we thought they were notable and definitely worth support.”

Once the Start-up programs are implemented and proven to be effective, Dunn says he’s seen them often become budgeted by school districts. 

 “It’s proving up a notion that then can be sustained in the future and that kind of funding is hard to come by and it’s one of the reasons why we can be a flexible supporter of all sorts of different things and then create the conditions for them to be sustained over time.”

Dunn calls it a holistic approach that combines work in the classroom, activities outside of school  and organizations working to support students either with families or the city school district. He says the Girl Scouts received a nearly $27,000 grant to establish the BFF or Be A Friend First program.

“…which addresses attempts to combat bullying with girls. Well, the Girl Scouts have really wanted to increase their impact in the city for a long time to diversify the students who are within the Girl Scouts program to grow their program and their effectiveness… and to be a support network for girls and their families. So this is a great example of, you know, it’s not within the classroom, but it’s helping to supplement the lives of kids and supplement the student experience, as well.”

The current round of grants was determined by the Community Foundation’s Board who reviewed applications.

  • WCNY ($26,708) Enterprise America.
  • 100 Black Men of Syracuse ($10,000) - Saturday academy mentoring program for concepts of math, science and language arts.
  • Hillside Work-Scholarship Connection ($25,543) Soaring Eagles at Phoenix Center Provides an educational experience outside of school to demonstrate that success can be achieved as contributing members of society.
  • Girl Scouts of NY-PENN Pathways ($26,917)
  • Audubon New York ($30,00) to hire Local Coordinator to oversee Onondaga Lake Conservation Corps' environmental education and community engagement activities.
  • Syracuse Habitat for Humanity ($35,000) to hire Rehabilitation Construction Manager to oversee a new program to rehabilitate vacant properties in the City of Syracuse.
  • Willow Field Elementary PTO ($7,000) to install a new children's playground to be open to the general public upon completion.
  • Aurora of CNY ($30,000) to train specialized job readiness coach and deaf interpreter to work with refugees who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • contact Community Services ($30,000) to update existing manual and support materials used by its crisis hotline volunteers and to add crisis chat volunteer training.
  • CNY Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals CNYSPCA ($50,000) to renovate its large dog kennels to protect the safety of the dogs and visitors.
  • Fair Housing council of CNY ($5,000) to increase awareness of its services in Madison County by conducting training and distributing marketing materials.
  • Interfaith Works of CNY ($100,000) towards renovations and build-out of the agency's new facility, which will house its refugee resettlement and support services under one roof.
  • MOST ($40,000) to renovate its Science Shop, which is a main contributor of keeping admission prices to the educational museum affordable.
  • Move Along ($5,886) to promote available options for individuals with disabilities to engage in adaptive sports that can improve social skills, self-confidence and independence.
  • Northern Onondaga Public Library ($5,000) to upgrade and make more accessible its Library-Farm; a portion of which provides food to North Syracuse food pantries.
  • Oneida Public Library ($100,ooo) towards the construction of a new facility to better accommodate space for improved technology and automation.
  • Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation ($50,000) towards the development of the Ska-nonh Great law of Peace Center at the Sainte Marie Among the Iroquois Museum.
  • Pet Partners of Syracuse ($1,303) to recruit additional volunteer pet therapy teams through the use of community presentations and promotions.
  • St. David's Episcopal church received ($4,000) to facilitate diverse, community-wide conversations leading up to its Celebration of the Arts performance of Ragtime, which highlights issues of race, class immigration and violence.
  • The Samaritan Center ($100,000) towards the build-out of a family dining area at its new location in the former St. John's Church on State Street.
John Smith has been waking up WAER listeners for a long time as our Local Co-Host of Morning Edition with timely news and information, working alongside student Sportscasters from the Newhouse School.