Previous Competitive Grants Awarded

2020 Grant Cycle

(Grant cycle suspended in Spring 2020 because of COVID-19. Grants awarded in Fall 2020.)

Community Vibrancy

AMERICAN STAGE

American Stage’s SPOTLIGHT on: 21st Century Voices: Emerging Plays, $20,000

At the heart of American Stage’s programming is our Mainstage Series, consisting of 6 plays per season presented year-round in downtown St. Petersburg. The series is dedicated to sharing stories that build connectivity & empathy, challenge our assumptions & inspire conversation. Designed to dig deeper into the themes explored by our Mainstage productions, we offer spotlight events that include behind-the-scenes presentations, dramaturgical prologues, community conversations & the American Stage podcast.
Each season, a Mainstage play is chosen as an American Legacy production. For this program, we select timeless works, both classic & modern, that lend an enduring perspective to the human experience. This season’s selection, NEXT TO NORMAL, is a moving, intimate & ultimately hopeful look at how a ‘normal’ suburban family copes with the effects of mental illness. According to Playbill Magazine, “Mental illness might be a stealthy enemy, but its cover has been blown and the theatre has sparked a conversation happening out loud and onstage. Musical theatre, in particular, is a fitting medium to explore, normalize and de-stigmatize mental illness.”
American State shines a spotlight on the destigmatization of mental illness with NEXT TO NORMAL. Our intention with the project is to spark discussion & open up a constructive & forward-thinking dialogue about behavioral health in our community.
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FIREHOUSE CULTURAL CENTER

Arts Education for all Ages & for All Diversities, $30,000

The Firehouse Cultural Center Project, Arts Education for all Ages & all Diversities, provides accessibility & high-quality arts education opportunities to underserved families, children, youth & Seniors living in South Hillsborough.
The grant would establish new outreach partnerships; expand free offerings: i.e. Children & Teen Art Studios; Lecture Series (“Inside Journalism”, “Poetry”, “Music”, “History”); workshops & events (Draw-In; live performances); & to continue to provide scholarships to fee-based programs & summer camps. 2020 new partnerships are: 1) RCMA Wimauma Academy, provide art classes (K-5) & 2) H. B. Plant Museum to bring Tampa History Performances to South Hillsborough.
FCC serves six communities: Wimauma, Sun City Center, Ruskin, Apollo Beach, Riverview & Gibsonton. Three, Ruskin, Wimauma & Riverview are recognized by the Federal Government, HUD, as having 50% of its residents with low to moderate incomes. These demographics pose programming challenges. The majority of students attending South County Elementary Schools receive free & reduced lunches. 11% of Seniors are at the poverty level (Elder Affairs, St. of FL 2018) and with a minority rate of 66%, these demographics pose programming challenges. FCC continually reaches out to these communities by offering unique learning experiences in the arts, technology & culture, year-round. Funds will be used for program resource materials, honorariums, workshop and instructor fees.
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MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS OF ST. PETERSBURG

MFA | Youth Education: Building A Future Adult, $10,000

Education is central to the mission of the Museum of Fine Arts. (MFA). From daily tours, monthly family days, single day or week-long summer camps, and annual events that are free to the public, the MFA offers a robust schedule of inclusive and accessible age-appropriate activities that use art to encourage and master critical skills development during childhood that will support a vital, healthy and productive adulthood. 
This proposal encompasses MFA Youth Education, respectfully requests funding that will be used toward general program support for new and current offerings that include an early childhood program for ages 2-5 “Museum Minis” as well as the continuation of three primary programs for children in grades K-12 in Title I schools, and recurring or one-of programs held on site and in the community through partnerships with other arts and social service organizations such as Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, in addition to community-wide outreach events such as the annual Painting in the Park public festival.
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TAMPA BAY WATCH

Bay Grasses in Classes,  $25,000

Tampa Bay Watch requests support for Bay Grasses in Classes (BGIC), one of our founding programs which has helped to restore more than 170 acres of habitat around Tampa Bay and provided over 385,000 plugs of school-grown wetland grasses over the last 24 years. BGIC provides middle and high school students with an educational resource to learn about ecological practices while enhancing science-based curriculums at their schools and building environmental stewardship. The program involves more than 1,000 students annually and targets academically at-risk schools to participate. BGIC allows students to grow and maintain native wetland grasses at their school in a Tampa Bay Watch sponsored nursery. Students are responsible for checking salinity, pH, and monitoring the overall health of the plants. When the plants are ready to be transplanted, students harvest their school nursery and work side by side with local restoration practitioners to transplant their nursery-raised grasses at coastal restoration sites throughout Tampa Bay. We plan to expand BGIC classroom and field education activities therefore enhancing opportunities for teachers and students in the program. Another focus of the funding will be to continue to successfully diversify plant species grown to accommodate smaller niche restoration sites, increase nursery timeline flexibility, and grow partner relationships to continue to save money and make greater ecological impacts in terms of coastal resilience.
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THE WELL

WellBuilt Bikes’ Earn-A-Bike and Community Rides Program,  $11,500

The Well has identified a lack of access as a central issue that underlies the unmet needs of the materially poor in Tampa. This lack of access is often the result of a lack of transportation, a formidable barrier to community engagement, particularly in neighborhoods with little or unreliable public transportation. The Well’s social enterprise, WellBuilt Bikes, was created to address this lack of access by making bike ownership possible regardless of resources. WellBuilt Bikes is a nonprofit bike shop that sells refurbished bikes at affordable prices and invests the sales revenue into an Earn-A-Bike (EAB) program, giving those with little to no money access to a bike of their own. WellBuilt endeavors to make sure everyone, regardless of income, can own a bike and benefit from increased access, exercise, and community. Connected to EAB is WellBuilt’s weekly Community Ride, which is open to the whole community and as such creates common ground for people from different social and economic backgrounds. WellBuilt serves those experiencing materially poverty or homeless and those with mental health or substance use problems. Currently, 70% of EAB participants are men. The requests funding to expand the number and diversity of those served by WellBuilt by increasing the capacity of the shop to accommodate more EAB participants and conducting outreach to engage more women by identifying the barriers keeping them from participation in WellBuilt activities.

Economic Mobility

2020 PLAN TASKFORCE AT THE PINELLAS COUNTY URBAN LEAGUE

The Inclusive St. Pete MBE Accelerator, $19,000

More of St. Petersburg’s minority workforce is opting for self-employment and entrepreneurship versus traditional employment. The grant would support the first graduating class of the Inclusive St. Pete MBE Accelerator, a new economic mobility pathway for St. Petersburg’s fast-growing minority business sector. The Accelerator will engage 20 growth-postured entrepreneurs to help fast-track their participation in supplier diversity programs that facilitate tens of millions in contracts with small and minority-owned firms each year. The project will replicate the award-winning Accelerator program model of the Florida State Minority Supplier Development Council (FSMSDC), which will work hand-in-hand with over a dozen local partner organizations to provide an 8-week/46-hour series of training, capacity-building, coaching and matchmaking that link participants with buyers. Targeted outcomes for participants include:
1. Certification by at least 2 of 6 targeted corporate and government supplier diversity programs.
2. A combined $20 million in new contracts with targeted buyers, within 18 months of Accelerator.

AMSKILLS APPRENTICESHIP FOUNDATION

AmSkills Manufacturing Entry-Level Jobs Interactive Workshop & Bootcamp, $25,000

The AmSkills Entry-Level Jobs Manufacturing Workshop & Bootcamp utilizes the AmSkills Mobile Workshop to recruit, assess and train entry-level candidates for manufacturers participating in the Tampa Bay Partnership/Works Collaboration and others. The goal is to provide training to residents within a neighborhood setting, then secure them jobs with a local manufacturer within a short distance from their homes, reducing or eliminating transportation barriers to employment. The AmSkills Mobile Workshop allows this Interactive Workshop & Bootcamp to travel to multiple low-income neighborhoods or communities throughout Tampa Bay.
The program consists of a 1-day interactive workshop followed by a two-week bootcamp that replicates a real-work environment. Candidates work side-by-side with volunteers from manufacturing companies on a team project during the 1-day workshop and are assessed on their employability skills. During the 2-week bootcamp, candidates participate in OSHA-10 Safety training and multiple other hands-on projects to expose them to a variety of skill sets needed in the manufacturing industry. Candidates tour local manufacturers to help determine the best career path for them. At the completion of the Bootcamp, manufacturers are provided with an AmSkills Candidate Assessment Portfolio. Interviews are conducted of all candidates who complete the bootcamp and many are offered jobs. The program serves ages 18 and up, veterans, persons with disabilities and the economically disadvantaged, regardless of race, ethnicity or gender.

ENTERPRISING LATINAS

Project 2025: Preparing Women for the Workforce, $42,000

Project 2025 is a Workforce Training and Entrepreneurship Education program that seeks to increase the economic prosperity of 110 low-income women residents of Wimauma and surrounding South Shore communities: Ruskin, Riverview, and Gibsonton, among others. Over the course of a year the project will offer a minimum of 8 basic education, certificate and/or state licensing courses that range from 8-15 weeks. Courses will prepare participants for entry level employment in a variety of fields of work that provide opportunities for high wage jobs. Participants in the courses will be selected based on program eligibility requirements which include: women with children ages 0-18 that have an established family support plan with personal development and economic prosperity goals. In addition, participants will need to be residents of Wimauma and/or surrounding communities. Courses and Estimated number of participants per class: Digital Literacy (20), Business Development (20), Food Service Management (20), Basic Construction Skills (12), English and Spanish Literacy (10), Certified Nursing Assistant (10), Solar Panel Installation (8), and Childcare Cooperatives Training (10).

LIGHTHOUSE OF PINELLAS

Workforce Development Program Expansion for Blind and Visually Impaired Adults, $10,000

This funding will support our efforts to improve the economic status of our adult blind and visually impaired clients by:
1. Developing and integrating a new self-paced curriculum into our existing job training program that will provide our adult clients with foundational knowledge in careers as a Customer Service Representative, Microsoft Office Specialist, or IT Help Desk Specialist;
2. Offering job skill building and practical hands-on training as either a Microsoft Office Specialist, Customer Service Representative, IT Help Desk Specialist, Environmental Services Associate (hotel and office cleaning services), or ICS 3 (Information and Computer Science) Specialist; through partnerships with St. Petersburg College, and the MacDonald Training Center;
3. Providing job placement services (conducting job searches, creating resumes and cover letters, practice using their interviewing skills), and non-cognitive skill development (i.e. team building, self-advocacy, communication) to program clients by the Lighthouse Certified Program Staff.
Upon completion of the Program, clients will earn a post-secondary credential as either a CS Representative, Microsoft Office Specialist, IT Help Desk Specialist, Environmental Specialist, or ICS3 Associate, and have the confidence & skills to apply and interview for jobs in these areas.

PASCO-HERNANDO STATE COLLEGE FOUNDATION

Pasco/Hernando – Inspiring Bright Futures for At-risk Middle and High School Students Through PHSC Concept College, $10,000

PHSC Concept College is a pre-collegiate program for students in 5th to 12th grade, who are identified as being at-risk. It is designed to connect student interests to potential career paths and build their confidence and support system so that they believe that success is possible for them. An intensive yet fun program, it provides interactions with people and programs that help them visualize themselves as college students. The program helps students transition their mindset into believing higher education is a realistic option for their future while encouraging them to graduate high school, enroll in a degree or certificate program, and lay the foundation for self-sufficiency. In partnership with Pasco and Hernando County schools, PHSC engages students in a 1- to 3-day program where they meet with college students, build awareness of degree and certificate opportunities, experience a college campus, and walk through the admissions process and financial aid. The goal is to break down perceived barriers regarding college readiness and accessibility and motivate students by surrounding them with support networks (including families). Concept College helps young people believe that they can achieve. By empowering students to envision a productive future, the entire community benefits because kids who could end up as dropouts have an increased potential for productive livelihoods and a lifetime of opportunities.
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EMPOWERING WOMEN AND GIRLS

CITRUS COUNTY EDUCATION FOUNDATION

Women Building Women, $10,000

Women building Women is a mentor program for at-risk girls in Citrus County School District Middle and High schools, as well as PACE Center for Girls. This program involves matching at-risk girls with positive female role models in our community. Mentors meet weekly with their mentee, either one-on-one or in a small group and also have the chance to participate in several field trips and service projects. Mentors receive training prior to their first meeting with their mentee and continued support throughout the school year.
The ultimate goal is to help foster the community of care that is so desperately needed for all of our children in Citrus County. The specific goals we will be addressing with this program are:
• Increase attendance rate;
• Increase promotion rate;
• Increase self-confidence & self-esteem;
• Decrease number of behavior referrals

GIRLS ON THE RUN GREATER TAMPA BAY

Program Expansion Initiative, $10,000

Girls on the Run uses running and physical activities as a platform for teaching life skills that drive transformative and lasting change in the lives of girls. The Program Expansion Initiative will ensure that girls who would not typically have access to youth programming have the opportunity to participate in Girls on the Run (3rd-5th graders) or Heart & Sole (6th-8th graders). Each research-based 10-week curriculum includes lessons that specifically target helping girls improve in Competence, Confidence, Caring, Character and Connection. Girls learn critical life skills such as how to manage emotions, help others, make intentional decisions, and resolve conflict that they use at home, at school, and with friends. As a result, girls are empowered to be the leader of their lives and to make positive contributions in their own lives and the lives of others. GOTR will use the grant to expand to at least 10 low-income Title 1 schools in the Tampa Bay area to provide at-risk girls the opportunity to participate in our life-changing program during 2020 Fall and 2021 Spring Seasons. These high need schools (as reflected by % of students receiving Free/Reduced Lunch) are currently on our wait list and eager to get started:
Jackson–96%, San Jose–95%, Knights–87%, Lopez–85%, Walden Lake–54%, Deer Park–51%

MARY & MARTHA HOUSE

Shelter Expansion Project, $40,000

Mary & Martha House is rebuilding our Emergency Shelter located in Ruskin. Through assistance from Hillsborough County and our private donors, the new Emergency Shelter will allow MMH to increase bed capacity from 23 units to 54 units. For many years, MMH has operated at full capacity, often unable to serve clients in need of assistance. MMH offers a two-tiered approach to clients. Initially, MMH provides on-site short-term shelter and support services while assessing the client’s individual needs and developing a case plan (first 90 days). As the initial crisis situation is alleviated, the client (including her children) moves into the second phase (variable time) that is designed to address the family’s longer term goals of securing full-time employment and permanent housing. MMH Case Managers work with each family member securing supports and services to recover from the trauma and move into a healthy lifestyle.
With an emphasis on health, wellness, and resiliency families are connected to their identified education, health services, legal assistance, childcare, vocational skills, support networks and other basic services. The Shelter Expansion Project will add an additional Case Manager to assist women (and her children) in their journey to wellness and long-term family success.

PACE CENTER FOR GIRLS

PaceWorks, $12,475

PaceWorks is an enrichment program within the Pace Center for Girls Hillsborough framework designed to help Pace girls to attain career goals, vocational skills and higher education for a brighter future. PaceWorks has grown from a weekly group format to a daily credit bearing course. All students completing 18 weeks of PaceWorks earn 0.5 elective credits with the Hillsborough County School District. A certified teacher is responsible for the delivery of the instruction portion of the career and vocational curriculum. The PaceWorks Coordinator facilitates quarterly educational and vocational explorations, as well as all other programmatic activities and continuing programming with transitioned girls. A significant portion of the program is dependent upon strong collaboration with community volunteers made up of individual and corporate organizations that serve to educate the girls on various community resources including volunteer/employment opportunities and educational opportunities. These community volunteers also serve as ambassadors of their respective places of employment while they participate in the annual Career Day Fair and college month programming and comprehensive work site tours. Additionally, volunteers participate in supplemental programming including mock-interviews, resume preparation, academic mentoring, study skills, job-shadowing and employment maintenance.

THE CENTRE FOR WOMEN

Empowering and Elevating Women & Girls, $20,000

We request support for our Empowering and Elevating Women & Girls programs that help area women recognize their potential and excel in work that leads to economic independence, and gender-specific programs for girls 5-14 that promote self-esteem and confidence. Founded in 1977, The Centre is one of Tampa Bay’s most venerable nonprofits, serving more than 4,000 women, girls, families and seniors annually who are in need or at-risk in varying degrees, to succeed personally and professionally. By empowering women & girls we empower the community.
Our Programs:
• The Tampa Bay Women’s Business Centre (WBC): Part of a national network to help female entrepreneurs to launch/grow their own businesses. It is the only SBA-designated WBC on the west coast of FL. We train women in entrepreneurial readiness, business planning and access to capital.
• Tampa Bay Works for Women: Our innovative workforce development program provides counseling and essential-skills training. Our Women Building Futures is an accredited program to help women to learn the construction trades.
• The Centre for Girls: An afterschool enrichment program which offers year-round S.T.E.M. plus art programming for girls 5-14.
• Construction Services: Helps low-income seniors with emergency repairs/retrofits to make it possible for them to stay in their homes.

THE JUNIOR LEAGUE OF TAMPA

Girl Power!, $8,000

The Girl Power project consists of 10 events each year that promote literacy, scholarship, nutrition and positive self-image of girls ages 10-15 through mentorship by trained Junior League volunteers. Girl Power was developed to partner with The Centre for Girls, an enrichment and education center focused on the needs of Tampa Bay’s girls and their families. Girl Power is focused on teaching positive self-expression and empowering girls of the Tampa Bay Community, approximately 25% of girls enrolled in the program live in homes below the poverty line or qualify to receive free or reduced lunch. Through monthly interactive events, our volunteer leaders mentor, motivate, and empower the next generation of female leaders. Themes range from Self-Esteem, which include education of social media dangers to Self-Care, Personal Hygiene and Finances. The Girl Power project requests funding to cover expenses of these 10 events including qualified guest speakers and community partners, supplies for activities which girls and their mentors complete together and take home materials to extend and reinforce the lessons. Girl Power is a program of The Junior League of Tampa, a volunteer based non-profit organization. There are no administrative costs associated with this program, all funding from Community Foundation of Tampa Bay will go toward event components for the anticipated 240 children and caregivers who participate.

Mental Well-being

CHAMPIONS FOR CHILDREN

Kids on the Block – South Shore Schools, $10,000

Kids on the Block (KOTB) is a troupe of educational puppets that perform personal safety education shows for Hillsborough County public and private elementary school students. The shows provide children with knowledge to recognize and report abuse and other mistreatment, and to seek help, ultimately de-stigmatizing victimhood and preventing traumas with lifelong impacts on mental well-being. In the Child Abuse Prevention Performance, our highly trained puppeteers teach Kindergarten and 3rd grade audiences how to safely recognize and report child abuse and neglect when it happens to them or a friend. Listening to the puppet characters’ age-appropriate stories, students learn that abuse is never their fault and to use the NO, GO and TELL safety message.
For 4th Grade students, KOTB presents the Bullying and Stereotyping Prevention Performance to create an awareness of what constitutes bullying and to encourage empathy for the victims. Respect of physical, developmental, and cultural differences is also addressed. Students learn to “Recognize, Refuse, and Report” bullying to promote school safety. Due to the overwhelmingly Spanish-speaking population in parts of the South Shore area, we proudly offer the option to present shows and answer questions in Spanish.
The request would support bringing these important shows to nine schools in the South Shore region. We anticipate serving more than 1,800 children at these schools alone, and over 24,000 countywide.
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Creative Clay

Creative Care Workshops for Women: A Therapeutic Arts Program for Female Military Personnel and Veterans, $10,000

Creative Clay is requesting partial funding for a therapeutic arts program for female military personnel and veterans. The Creative Care Workshops for Women program will provide tailored arts experiences intended to reduce the effects of post-traumatic stress and depression symptoms often associated with the unique experience of women in the military. A professional art therapist and an assistant will facilitate 32 3-hour workshops throughout the year. A maximum of 12 women will be accepted into each workshop and participants may be eligible to attend more than one workshop. In addition to experiential art activities, attendees will have an opportunity to create and display their own artwork at partnering venues within the community and attend monthly receptions to celebrate their accomplishments with fellow participants. Each attendee will complete a brief PTSD and Depression questionnaire before and after completing the workshop(s).

GOOD SAMARITAN HEALTH CLINIC OF PASCO

Implementing Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy To Improve Patients’ Mental Well-Being, $6,500

Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco (GSHC) is a non-profit free clinic that provides primary care, some specialty care, and pharmacy services to the medically underserved, uninsured residents of Pasco County. We developed a program, Group Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Improve Patients’ Mental Well-Being, to be offered to those in need of mental health care. We would contribute to Tampa Bay area leaders’ collective vision to help alleviate the Mental Health Crisis in the region. It is the result of a shortage of Behavioral Health Professionals available to address the increased demand for treatment. With the help of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, our Lead Nurse Practitioner would be trained in: a) Mental Health First Aid to identify and respond appropriately to mental illness, suicidal tendencies, and substance abuse issues, and b) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), an evidence-based treatment that would be offered to groups. It would provide useful tools for individuals to identify and manage the difficult, often overwhelming challenges of life when suffering from mental illness. These measures would help to alleviate some barriers of access to mental health treatment. The patients would then be referred to treatment by a Psychologist or Licensed Therapist with our partner, BayCare Behavioral Health.

SOUTHEASTERN GUIDE DOGS

Enhanced Support for our Military Veteran Clients with Working Dogs to Mitigate PTSD in the Tampa Bay Area, $30,000

In 2009, Southeastern Guide Dogs introduced our Veterans Program to provide highly trained dogs to veterans with PTSD. Since its inception, we have placed over 125 of our dogs with veterans in need. Our dogs and all the training to make the human/canine teams effective are offered to our clients at no cost, but, up to now, the clients have been responsible for the ongoing care of their dogs including food and veterinary visits. In January 2020, we are introducing an innovative enhanced support program for our clients to help offset the costs of dog ownership for the lifetime of the working team. We are proud that we will be the first working dog school in North America to offer every client the ability to purchase dog food, flea and tick preventatives, and annual veterinary visits for the lifetime of the working team. Your support for the “Enhanced Support for our Military Veteran Clients with Working Dogs to Mitigate PTSD in the Tampa Bay Area” project will make a huge impact in the lives of the 32 veterans partnered with one of our dogs in the Tampa Bay area by relieving them of the financial stress of dog ownership. Veteran Christopher Stephens says of his service dog, Eddie, “Since I’ve been with Eddie, I feel normal. He calms me down and keeps me centered; he hugs me even when I don’t ask him to. Eddie is more than a dog. He’s my partner. He’s the best friend I’ve ever had, and I wouldn’t trade him for the world. This dog is giving me my life back.”
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Positive Education

Champions for Children

Talking is Teaching TALK READ SING Community Campaign, $25,000

Champions for Children (CFC) is proposing partnering with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay in a broad early childhood initiative educating our Hillsborough County community about the positive, lifelong effects of intentional, positive parent/caregiver interactions with children at the earliest ages of life. Talking, reading and singing to an infant from the moment of birth builds brain architecture, increases language acquisition, promotes attachment and, thus, protection. Using the nationally proven “Talking is Teaching: Talk Read Sing” (TRS) model, this strategic initiative will equip parents and caregivers with knowledge, tools and supports that will enable their young children to be ready to learn and succeed in school and life. This request would implement an extensive TALK READ SING Community Campaign, which will bring critical TRS messages to a minimum of 1200 parents with infants and very young children and to the Hillsborough County community at large. Funds will be used to provide CFC leadership and coordination of the Campaign and support of community partners; training and oversight of Trusted Messengers; Book Corners in family-accessed sites and facilities, materials & supplies; and ongoing reinforcement of TRS messages. Foundation support also will fund Community Prompts in family-friendly accessible locations and via TRS Collaborative Partners Networks.

Frameworks of Tampa Bay

POSITIVE IMPACT: Expanding Frameworks’ Teens In Action Service Learning and Leadership Development Program, $15,000

We’ve all heard the refrain about schoolwork, “When am I ever going to use this?” The vast majority of teens (70%, according to one study) feel that what they are learning in school has nothing to do with “real life.” Service-learning programs like Frameworks’ Teens In Action (TIA) make learning relevant and can contribute to improved academic performance and higher graduation rates.
TIA combines social and emotional learning (SEL), civic engagement, and leadership training to help youth develop the skills they need to prepare for personal, academic and career success. The 23 students in this year’s TIA cohort join more than 350 teens served since the program’s inception in 2010. In addition, weekly, purposeful volunteerism increases social interaction and helps build a support system based on common interests, both of which have been shown to decrease depression. A meta-analysis of 40 research studies on the impact of volunteering on physical and mental health found that volunteering had a favorable effect on depression and well-being (Jenkinson et al., BMC Public Health, 2013).

Inner Explorer

Expanding on Success –‘Hillsborough -Readiness to Learn and Ability to Achieve’ 2020, $27,000

The proposal builds on the momentum of the 2019 grant, which included funding from the district as well as from CFTB. In 2019, we implemented Inner Explorer in 41 schools in HCPS to reduce student stress, improve their focus and regulate their emotions. Since the audio-guided, 5-10 minute a day intervention is a “low-lift” for teachers and a “high-impact” for students, academic performance increased significantly and behavior issues were reduced. The 2020 project aims to implement Inner Explorer in 50 Achievement schools, to train on-site champions, and to leverage the recommendations made by the experts in the recently released Brain Futures Policy Report (www.brainfutures.org/brainfitnessinschools/). Inner Explorer was chosen as a Top 10 Brain Futures Program because it improves children’s executive functioning (EF). The authors state: “The power to take action and support the health, well-being, and intellectual development of our youth is within the reach of every school in the nation…The evidence is clear: every school in the U.S. should adopt an executive function program.” This proposed project supports the Positive Education movement by reducing stress and improving executive functioning (EF) as the foundation for academic excellence. It will provide a multi-year assessment of program impact on key academic measures including test scores, attendance and discipline. Costs will be share between the district and CFTB.

PARENTS AND CHILDREN ADVANCE TOGETHER (PCAT) LITERACY MINISTRIES

PCAT Positive Education Initiative, $15,000

PCAT Family Literacy provides after-school educational programming to a total of 60 children in both Kindergarten and first grade attending Ruskin Elementary. Since its inception in 2003, PCAT has assisted almost 3,000 students with improving their reading and reading comprehension. Program services have incorporated some elements of positive education including engaging volunteer mentors who have positive relationships with students and encourage accomplishment and a sense of masterly. Additionally, the program has incorporated literacy through music. However, it has not incorporated all elements of this approach, and it proposes to evaluate and implement improvements to ensure that all elements support the positive education through books utilized, parenting education, and teaching strategies used by mentors and staff.

SENIORS IN SERVICE OF TAMPA BAY

Foster Grandparent Program SEL Enhancement, $32,386

We are seeking to fund our Foster Grandparent Program SEL (Social Emotional Learning) Enhancement to equip over 3,000 children with social/emotional skills critical for success in school, career & life. Our Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) is a long-standing evidence-based program that helps impoverished children overcome life obstacles to succeed in school & beyond. We engage highly trained volunteers to tutor/mentor at-risk students in Hillsborough & Pinellas public schools. We impact 3,000+ children/year in PreK-3rd grade, with over 94% success in improving academic performance of the MOST challenged students (evaluated by the teacher, NOT by Seniors in Service). But improving academic performance isn’t enough. We serve children whose lives are encumbered by poverty and many other life challenges. We will infuse FGP with proven SEL tools/methods to proactively help challenged kids face adversity in productive ways, building critical foundations for both academic learning & for long-term personal and professional success.

UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA ST PETERSBURG

PLAY: Partners in Literacy Advocacy for Youth, $10,084

The University of South Florida St. Petersburg and Police Athletic League are collaborating to implement an innovative project in our South St Petersburg Community. Our project, PLAY: Partners in Literacy Advocacy for Youth, will focus on strengthening social emotional learning (growth mindset) and reading comprehension of children, in Kindergarten through third grade, through literature circles and multicultural children’s literature. Literacy professors at USFSP will work with volunteers from the Kiwanis Club of St. Petersburg and PwC of Tampa to serve the children at the PAL centers. Over 95 percent of these children come from economically disadvantaged homes, and 80 percent are reading below their current grade level. PLAY will implement a researched-based literature circles program, an intervention specifically designed to maximize the potential to foster academic and socioemotional learning. We plan to train volunteers to engage in 5 literature circles a week. The expected results of this new program are: 1) an increase in reading achievement and engagement, and (2) an increase in social and emotional learning. The funds will provide resources, materials, books, and training for volunteers to effectively implement this program.

Spring 2019 Grant Cycle

Health and Human Services

ALPHA House of Pinellas County

ALPHA House of Pinellas Residential Program,  $20,000

AHP offers the only residential maternity housing in Pinellas County that serves women ages 14-41 and offers an extended length of stay after the baby is born. Women who are homeless or at high risk of homelessness are accepted into the program while pregnant or with a child under nine months. Half are foster teens who are homeless when referred by their caseworker and are admitted on an emergency basis. Most have a history of academic failure and lack sufficient skills to care for themselves and to parent and nurture their babies. Typically, they are victims of intergenerational abuse and violence. Many suffer from depression and low self-esteem, lack coping skills, and are distrustful and penniless. The multidisciplinary, comprehensive residential program includes housing, food and supplies; therapeutic counseling; case management; life skills education; and vocational education.

Clearwater Free Clinic, Inc.

Behavioral Health Program, $16,000

The Clearwater Free Clinic serves low-income, uninsured residents of Pinellas County younger than 65. In July of 2018, a new initiative required each patient to complete and submit for assessment annually a depression screening worksheet to determine their eligibility for the Behavioral Health Program. The results revealed that many patients not currently enrolled in the Behavioral Health Program did in fact have needs in this clinical area, i.e. symptoms of depression. Ultimately, the addition of the depression screening has generated the need for more flexibility with appointment scheduling for the Behavioral Health Nurse Practitioner, the first step when patient need is identified. More availability of appointments is needed so that patients do not have to wait long periods of time to receive services. Currently, they may have to wait 4-6 weeks for an appointment. This need will continue to progress with about 50-60 new patients per month, eventually stabilizing once all current patients have been screened for depression.

Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco, Inc.

Integrating Behavioral Health into Primary Care,  $5,000

Good Samaritan Health Clinic of Pasco is implementing a program to integrate behavioral health into primary care services offered to the low income, uninsured adults in our community. We strive to address patient care from the perspective of total health and well-being. It would require our practitioners to identify patients with mental health or psycho-social issues. Our lead Nurse Practitioner would treat the condition until they could be referred to our community partner, BayCare Behavioral Health Center. The waiting period for treatment at their facility could be six to eight months. We have a Limited Licensed Pharmacy that provides free medications to our patients. We would acquire a very specific formulary of medications to treat these conditions and reduce the barriers for individuals in the community to receive treatment.

Good Samaritan Services Sun City Center

Good Samaritan Services Sun City Center,  $15,000

The Sun City Center Rides program provides transportation for medical services and coordinates Meals on Wheels. The organization has 6 cars that provide transportation to doctor appointments and hospitals in Brandon, Tampa and elsewhere within a 50-minute radius. In addition, 2 cars provide transportation for daily living activities. There are 524 active clients who needed 7,412 rides from January to November 2018. The self-supporting organization coordinated 8,248 meals last year and also provides up to 50 hours per year of respite care for Alzheimer’s caregivers and patients.

Gulf Coast Jewish Family and Community Services

SHE CAN,  $18,000

The Virginia and David Baldwin Women’s Residence at St. Petersburg Free Clinic provides a safe place to stay and offers support services to single homeless women as they work toward self- sufficiency. Of the 50 women residing at the Clinic in December, at least 75% were experiencing a mental health disorder. Many come from the streets, jail, or unhealthy or abusive relationships. Mental health and substance abuse services options are slim. The three local providers all have a waiting list of three months or more. SHE CAN will ensure that residents can gain immediate access to the support they need. Based on a successful pilot program in 2018, we propose to offer two complementary six-week group counseling courses tailored to residents’ needs, such as PTSD, substance abuse, and related challenges. In total, SHE CAN will provide 60 sessions of group therapy and life skills building facilitated by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. The two-part curriculum will be offered five times over 12-14 months. With expected group participation to range from

Lighthouse of Pinellas, Inc.

Children’s Program and Summer Life Skills Camp for Blind and Visually Impaired Youth,  $10,000

Operating throughout the school year and 3 weeks during the summer, this program provides blind and visually impaired children, ages 6-13, with the critical knowledge, concepts, and skills to prepare them for the successes and challenges of school, work, and everyday life. Based on the Expanded Core Curriculum – a set of nine foundational skills that are geared specifically towards students with visual impairments – our Children’s Program empowers kids to explore and practice competencies essential to learning and thriving in school and in the real world. From learning how to safely and responsibly access and use assistive technology; to career exploration, traveling independently, taking care of themselves, and effectively interacting with others, our program helps children succeed academically and pursue their goals and dreams. Without this expanded curriculum taught in our Children’s Program, blind and visually impaired kids in Pinellas County run the risk of not reaching their full potential.

PACE Center for Girls, Inc.

Spirited Girl Program,  $30,000

The Spirited Girls!® Program addresses barriers such as teen pregnancy, substance abuse, dropping out of school, detention or incarceration and long term economic dependency that can prevent a girl from achieving success. PACE’s gender-responsive focus, comprehensive set of services and multiple goals of self-efficacy makes the program unique in the nation. PACE has been utilizing our Spirited Girls! curriculum for many years. We have learned that it is important to group the girls according to developmental level and life experience, as this allows for the discussions in Spirited Girls! to be real and more robust. Spirited Girls! also requires an out of classroom, ‘in the real world’ component that helps to bring lessons learned into clearer focus and makes them more relatable. More than any other program that we offer, Spirited Girls! must also be able to create a safe space where peer conflicts and issues of trust must be addressed and resolved quickly or they disrupt the group dynamic and process.

Quantum Leap Farm, Inc.

Warrior Mission: At Ease Retreat,  $25,000

Our goal is to address the gap in Veteran treatment services and help reduce the suicide rate as well as provide an outlet for positive results. Veterans are quite eager to participate in equine-assisted therapies. Mental and behavioral health treatments through equine-assisted therapy programs attach no negative stigma and are generally considered to be personal and professional development sessions, therapeutic recreation, and/or exercise therapies. Our five-day retreats utilize highly effective holistic approaches proven to relieve PTSD symptoms, alleviate pain, calm hypervigilance, and reduce anxiety and depression.

Ready for Life

Ready for Life – Operational Expense,  $15,000

Ready for Life, Inc. (RFL) is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) which serves Pinellas County youth 15 – 25 years old that are in foster care or have already transitioned out and are on their own. The youth RFL serves exit the foster care system regardless of their housing situation, support system or knowing that they have what they need to be successful. For example, most of these young people are still in high school or trying to obtain their GED, have limited life skills, no clear plan for housing or employment yet they are expected to be independent. Ready for Life provides support, resources, and guidance that former foster care youth need to transition to adulthood.

Starting Right, Now

2019 Capacity Increase,  $60,000

Starting Right, Now (SRN) ends homelessness for youth through one-on-one mentoring, providing a stable home, obtaining employment, teaching financial literacy/life skills and promoting educational achievement. Our holistic, health and human services program creates a serious solution to an urgent national problem – youth homelessness and its associated traumas. In addition to basic needs, students access a wealth of life-changing resources, attend after-school enrichment classes, and encounter positive role models, all of which equip them to meet novel academic and social demands. SRN removes students from these hazardous situations and places them in a safe environment, giving them hope, unconditional love, and the chance to finally focus on financial stability and their future. We are not just a temporary bed or food. Without skills and knowledge of our holistic curriculum, funding is wasted and the homeless youth lands back on the street or in jail. SRN forges to the root of the problem, breaking cycles and teaching life-long lessons to enable true systemic and long-term changes for this homeless population.

Feeding Tampa Bay

Support for South Shore Food Banks

Feeding Tampa Bay’s vision is a hunger-free Tampa Bay and our programs feed people in need. This is proposal is for the second year of a project to assist local food pantries in the South Shore area. The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay had originally received requests from seven separate food pantries. To assist them and extended their individual buying power, a credit model was established with Feeding Tampa Bay.

Environment and Animal Welfare

Humane Society of Tampa Bay

Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return,  $10,000

The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will provide Trap/Neuter/Vaccinate/Return (TNVR) services to neighborhoods in the South Shore community at no cost for feral and free-roaming cats. There is a great over-population of cats in Hillsborough County. A large part of this is due to outside and community cats having unwanted litters. Many times, the caregivers for these cats are unable to afford the spay/neuter surgeries for the cats. The caregivers often times do not have transportation to take the cats to a local animal hospital. The Humane Society of Tampa Bay will trap the cats, transport them to our animal hospital, perform the spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinate the cats, and return them to their neighborhoods. This will help to reduce the overpopulation of cats in the South Shore area. This will also increase the overall save rate for Hillsborough County.

The Florida Aquarium

Watershed Investigations,  $15,553

Providing hands-on exploration, Watershed Investigations introduces students to watersheds, environmental change and the role students play in protecting resources while highlighting careers and providing inspiration for future workforce choices. Students will have an immersive experience that shows how they can each take part in saving our blue planet. Students will gather data to capture a snapshot of conditions at the Florida Center for Technology and Conservation (FCTC), a partnership of The Florida Aquarium, Tampa Electric Company (TECO), and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). This Apollo Beach site features diverse habitats that students will study to use STEM critical thinking skills (science, technology, engineering, math) to predict how the region might change over time. Curricula will align with state science standards.

The Greener Side Haven, Inc

Seniors Helping Seniors Forever Foster Program,  $7,000

Many senior pets are being relinquished to shelters due to age and/or illness, and many senior citizens – often living in isolation, on a fixed income – are unable to afford a pet but would love to have one. This new program will match senior citizens who want to become “Forever Foster” parents to one of our rehabilitated senior pets. The expected results of this new program are: (1) A marked increase in our capacity to rescue and rehabilitate special needs pets at risk of abandonment or already relinquished to shelters, and a corollary decrease in euthanasia of “unadoptable” pets at shelters with whom we have collaborative ventures; (2) The ability to match economically challenged and often isolated senior citizens with a rehabilitated senior pet from our sanctuary who will love them unconditionally; and (3) An increase in the number of rescue organizations with which we collaborate to further our mission of bringing an end to pet abandonment.

Education

Inner Explorer

Readiness to Learn and Achieve

The Inner Explorer daily mindfulness program will reduce stress and improve the social, emotional, academic and well-being outcomes for approximately 30,000 Hillsborough County students and 1500 teachers in the Achievement Zone schools. Mindfulness— defined as the capacity to pay attention to the present moment with curiosity and kindness— is a daily practice analogous to teeth brushing. It is preventative against the ravages of chronic stress, poverty, trauma, and technology overload. The practice is foundational for students to learn and engage in education in a deep and generative manner.
Inner Explorer brings mindfulness into classrooms each day through a series of audio-guided practices that are easy to implement and have proven results. Any teacher, even a substitute teacher, can run the program after viewing a 5-minute online orientation and then logging in to InnerExplorer.org and pressing ‘play’. Each practice is 5-10 minutes long and fits into the school day without changing curriculum or requiring coordination with an outside trainer. The simple, cost-effective design provides continuity as students move through the age-appropriate modules from preschool through high school.
IE’s mindfulness programs in schools can break the cycle of poverty and despair by reducing stress, enhancing brain function and school performance while increasing compassionate action. Students discover within themselves ways to reduce impulsivity and make more thoughtful decisions in order to align with their potential and purpose.

Fall 2018 Grant Cycle

Arts and Culture

David A. Straz, Jr. Center for the Performing Arts

2018-2019 Straz Center Arts Education Partnerships Program,  $20,000

The Straz Center’s 2018-2019 Arts Education Partnerships Program will deliver high-quality arts learning experiences to more than 3,500 disadvantaged K-12 children in Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Manatee counties. Program activities will be tailored to the needs of more than 50 partnering schools, after-school programs, and service agencies, and will be delivered throughout the 2018-2019 school year.

Services will be delivered at no cost to all 52 partnering Title I schools and service agencies, including the Firehouse Cultural Center and RCMA Wimauma/Leadership Academy. Several partners also serve special-needs children, adults, and seniors.

Florida Home Partnership

Bayou Pass Village Community Mural,  $10,000

Florida Home Partnership provides opportunity, education, upward mobility, and stability by meeting the housing needs of low to moderate income individuals and families. In Bayou Pass Village 4, the back of a maintenance building is blank and faces a busy intersection. A community art project to paint a mural there will enable adults and children to engage in their community, and offer visually compelling community art for passers-by. FHP has a history of engaging its families in focus groups and playground installations to give them a voice and hands-on activities in the development of their communities. The project would be led by professional artist and muralist Michael Parker of Ruskin, who has a successful career in leading groups to conceptualize and paint large-scale murals. We are confident that Mr. Parker will help create a compelling image fitting for a self-help housing community.

Florida Museum of Photographic Arts

FMoPA Community Gallery,  $5,000

The FMoPA Community Gallery gives a voice to the artists in our community who do not have access to gallery shows or exhibition opportunities. We aim to represent minorities in our community, veterans as well as local and emerging artists. Every show that is hung in the Community Gallery supports local artists or causes that are relevant to the museum’s audience.

FMoPA hosts several calls for entry throughout the year to give emerging photographers a platform to exhibit their work in a museum setting. The goal is to support local artists and help them build their skills and resumes so that they can continue to make art.
The gallery also features shows that are culturally relevant to visitors such as Faces of Alzheimer’s (portraits of patients), Our Living Past (blues and soul jazz musicians for Black History Month), and Underwater Photography (conservationist photography of beautiful underwater creatures and their habitats).

Friends of Library-Hillsborough County, Inc.

SouthShore Regional Library John Crawford Art Education Studio Art Classes,  $4,000

The John Crawford Art Education Studio at the SouthShore Regional Library in Ruskin serves a diverse and growing community in the South Shore area, and the residents turn to their local library for access to resources and cultural experiences that may not otherwise be available to them. There are many residents of this rural area who cannot afford to pay for art classes or do not have transportation to seek art instruction outside of their community, and the library is able to provide professional art instruction to them for free.

Thanks to the generous support of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and the Friends of the SouthShore Regional Library, the local community has become accustomed to a robust offering of quality art classes at the library, even during the extended vacancy of the library’s art coordinator position. We are asking for funding to continue to provide free art classes for ages pre-K through adult.

Great Explorations Inc. 

Great Explorations’ Outreach Program,  $10,000

Great Explorations’ Outreach program is run by a team of educators known as the STEAM Team that takes learning on the road, directly into at-risk neighborhoods and schools. The Outreach team sets up mobile learning stations to explore STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, Math) concepts where children, teachers, and families can conduct experiments, watch engaging staff-led shows, create original pieces of art utilizing nontraditional tools, and more.

The goal is to engage 9,500 children from underrepresented and vulnerable populations to take an active interest in their education by providing innovative ways to interpret the world around them through hands-on learning during free Outreaches at schools or in their neighborhoods.

SouthShore Arts Council

South Shore High School Art Exhibit,  $4,700

The annual juried High School art exhibit is displayed at Hillsborough Community College (HCC), South Shore Campus in Ruskin. The partnership with HCC provides a great exhibit space and increases the level of enthusiasm and inspiration. A local arts professional judges the submissions. The exhibit gives the students an opportunity to experience what it is like to exhibit their work in the community and also helps the school’s art department promote students dedicated to creating art. This will be the 9th year the all-volunteer SAC Board has sponsored and facilitated this Community Foundation-inspired event. This is the only event of its kind in the South Shore community.

The Florida Orchestra

Community Concerts,  $7,500

The Florida Orchestra is committed to ensuring that people of all ages and backgrounds have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of and engagement in music. Numerous studies have affirmed the benefits of the arts on cognitive, academic, social and personal development. Through its outreach efforts, TFO aims to set up our local youth for success by providing high-quality arts enrichment experiences, educational resources, and other support. Our outreach programming aims to eliminate social and economic barriers to participation.

Through free outdoor performances and opportunities for community participation – as well as community engagement programming throughout the year – TFO works to cultivate an appreciation for orchestral music among people of all ages and backgrounds. These programs develop new audiences for live music and help sustain TFO as a cultural resource for all of Tampa Bay’s residents.

The Studio@620

The Studio@620 Artist Support,  $5,000

The Studio@620 engages more than 300 visual and performing artists in over 100 programs each year in all creative disciplines, providing meaningful income to artists. The Studio@620 has supported many emerging artists who have gone on to full-fledged careers and provides the tools to help them broadcast their work to a larger audience. The result is a community that is enriched economically as well as culturally by having a thriving pool of talented artists among its citizens.

This grant would support programming that provides opportunities for emerging artists to showcase their work and that brings people from diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences together as artists, audiences and volunteers.

 

Education

AMIkids Y.E.S.

AMIkids Y.E.S,  $25,000

Students come from communities with high to severe concentration of poverty, single parent households, low academic achievement, teen parenthood and other risk factors that contribute to violent and delinquent behaviors. The cornerstone of AMIkids programs is its Personal Growth Model, which provides support for growth through education, counseling, and behavior changes.

The Personal Growth Model has been recognized by the U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention as a promising model for improving the academic achievement of troubled youth and preventing delinquency. The boys at AMIkids Y.E.S. also work toward a high school diploma or GED and have a clear plan for school or work when they turn 18. AMIkids Y.E.S. also provides vocational education programs in food service and construction because we understand that to obtain and sustain a productive, crime-free life our kids must succeed in the classroom and acquire the skills needed to obtain employment after graduation.

AmSkills

Adult Pre-Apprenticeship Program,  $3,000

Recruiting and hiring qualified manufacturing employees in Florida and the Tampa Bay area is a growing problem. Our unique Tampa Bay Regional program started operations in 2015 to address the economic development workforce needs and to support the needs of manufacturers in our region.

AmSkills provides an alternative for people who are unemployed/underemployed and looking to increase their skills, career opportunities and wages. The AmSkills Pre-Apprenticeship Program is the first step to launching a career in manufacturing or other industries. It provides foundational skills training, manufacturing job exploration through hands-on projects, manufacturer tours and job placement at local companies, with on-going coaching and Apprentice training. In addition, AmSkills Pre-Apprenticeship Program is the perfect skills training program to assist veterans in transitioning to civilian careers.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Tampa Bay

Town & Country Initiative; Morgan Woods Elementary,  $20,000

A Boys & Girls Club presence was established with Town & Country Elementary in 2010. In 2014 a more robust on-site program was initiated where the school allowed BGCTB programming in classroom space and were encouraged to engage the students during the school year as mentors. In 2018, the new Hasham BGC opened on the school property, increasing number of youth. Collaborating on a pilot program with Champions for Children and the Hillsborough County School District, BGCTB is part of a cradle-to-12th grade pipeline in the Town & Country area schools.

This grant request includes the support of Morgan Woods Elementary as an on-site location. Originally intended to provide programming to 30 youth, the administration and parents pleaded with our agency to expand the program, as no other on-site after school program was available. Instead of the 30 budgeted, we have 124 youth, requiring additional part-time staff to augment the full-time person at Morgan Woods.

Boys & Girls Clubs of the Suncoast

Power Hour,  $10,000

The goal of Power Hour is to help young people develop academic, behavioral and social skills through homework completion, high-yield learning activities and tutoring. The program model is designed to create a climate of academic success in the Clubs during out of school time hours. In addition to conducting homework help for members in elementary, middle, and high school, the program implements fun and beneficial learning activities intended to instill a life-long love of learning.

Power Hour takes place for at least one hour a day during out of school time hours at all six Club locations across Pinellas County. This includes after-school hours and school breaks. It is also run during the summer using curriculum and tutors provided by United Way Suncoast and St. Petersburg College.

Champions for Children

Kids on the Block,  $10,000

Kids on the Block’s (KOTB) expertly trained puppeteers teach and interact with children via the puppets. The puppeteers elicit conversations with the children and answer their questions. The letters the students write to the puppets after each show are reviewed by the guidance counselors. If there is any indication that a child may be in a dangerous situation, the guidance counselor follows up appropriately with the child and, if necessary, with a report to Florida’s Child Abuse Hotline. Last school year (2017-2018), KOTB reached 25,487 students and parents with 360 performances and addressed 468 student concerns resulting in 13 bullying reports and 44 abuse disclosures.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

Education about Economic Crimes Targeting Seniors,  $10,000

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay conducted a needs assessment for the Sun City Center Community last year, which determined a need for more education about financial and economic frauds that target seniors for the Sun City Center Community. Residents of Sun City Center Community will be notified of the presentations through a community-wide mailing. In addition, the funding will be used to support economic crime training for a Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office deputy. This is the second year of this program. Over 500 Sun City Center Community residents attended last year’s program.

Hillsborough Community College Foundation 

Food 2 Finish,  $19,500

The objective of the Food 2 Finish program is to remove a significant barrier to college completion for many students: hunger. A taskforce created by HCC to take on this issue on our campuses has partnered with Feeding Tampa Bay. The taskforce has also consulted with experts at the University of South Florida and at our local hunger groups, including the Tampa Bay Network to End Hunger and the Hunger Action Alliance, to research available resources and discover best practices.

Support will help implement one of the immediate solutions, food pantries, and increase completion by helping our deserving, determined students stay fed and focused. The HCC Foundation requests support to stock food pantries at our Dale Mabry, Ybor and Brandon campuses at $6,500 per year per pantry.

Kiwanis of SouthShore

Key Club Leadership Training and Conference,  $6,000

This grant will be used toward sending 30 student leaders and five adult advisers from Lennard and East Bay high schools to The Kiwanis District Convention in Orlando, April 4-7, 2019. The cost to attend the 3-day leadership conference is approximately $12,250, or $350 per person. Additional funds needed (NOT covered by this grant) for this leadership training will be covered by student led fundraisers ($3,000), and work projects at Florida Historical Train Museum ($3,250).

The students will learn what hard work, teamwork, school spirit and giving back to the community involves — as this leadership training is totally run by seasoned Key Club leaders from all over the State of Florida. Our 30 students will come away equipped with better leadership skills and the inspiration to become leaders in their community.

Parents and Children Advance Together (PCAT) Literacy Ministries, Inc.

PCAT Literacy Program,  $21,383

The program is serving Wimauma and Ruskin Elementary Schools, both are on the state’s list of 300 lowest performing schools in 2017-2018. At Ruskin Elementary 84.6% of the students are minorities and 93% are economically disadvantaged. At Wimauma Elementary, 90.8% students are minorities and 97.3 are economically disadvantaged. At both schools, 34-35% of students are reading at grade level, compared to 53% for the county.

Expanding the programs at Ruskin and Wimauma elementaries created a need for more volunteers. A partnership with Encore Tampa Bay and Seniors in Service has helped, but additional resources are needed to engage and train more volunteers. PCAT proposes to hire a part-time contracted Volunteer Coordinator.

Pasco Education Foundation

The Investing in Teaching and Leading Excellence for Greater Student Achievement Project,  $40,000

During the 2014-15 school year, Pasco County Schools underwent a complete instructional diagnosis that confirmed a number of areas in need of improvement, particularly teacher and leader development. Resources and professional development aimed at elevating high academic standards are critical to the success of students, yet state funding for professional development is extremely limited, and federal funds typically used for teacher and leader development are at risk of deep cut and elimination.

Since 2014-15, Pasco County Schools has leveraged every opportunity available to make needed improvements, and we have seen promising gains, including a reduction in the number of schools considered “failing” (from 23 in 16-17 to 2 in 17-18). The significant gains in student achievement were due in large part to the partnership Pasco County Schools has with a consortium of Florida School Districts, the Pilot Florida Implementation Network (PFIN) through The New Teacher Project (TNTP). We are looking for ways to make these promising practices sustainable.

Pasco-Hernando State College Foundation

Concept College readiness program,  $10,000

Pasco-Hernando State College Concept College is a pre-collegiate program for students in 5th to 12th grade who are identified as being at-risk. The goal of Concept College is to increase interest in, and enrollment of at-risk high school students into college programs. In 2017-18, the program expanded from a high school program to a modified program for middle schoolers and some 5th graders. Both programs are designed to connect the interests of students with career paths and build their confidence that success is possible for them.

An intensive, yet fun program, it provides interaction with people and programs that help them visualize themselves as college students. More than four in five (83%) Concept College participants report that the program increased their interest in attending college. The long-term community outcome is certificate or degree program attainment and greater workforce participation in living-wage careers.

Pinellas Education Foundation

Operational Expenses,  $6,809

The Pinellas Education Foundation is a coalition of business and community leaders who collaborate to improve the quality of public education. Together, advocating for public education achievement, creating programs to improve student and teacher performance and raising funds for scholarships, grants and teacher recognition. The Pinellas Education Foundation collaborates with the school district to create greater opportunities for the next generation. From scholarships to career education, our initiatives directly impact more than 100,000 lives annually, and countless more are touched by our efforts.

In 1986, Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Dr. Gus A. Stavros, started a local, economic education impact program for Pinellas County Schools called Enterprise Village. In the years since, the Pinellas Education Foundation has grown and championed many innovative programs in support of this initiative, including Youth Connect, Take Stock in Children Scholarship Program, Future Plans, Enterprise Village and Finance Park. Efforts have raised more than $140 million to support the students and teachers of Pinellas County Schools, and the Foundation is consistently ranked among some of the top public school education foundations in the United States.

Redlands Christian Migrant Association

Graduate Support Coordinator,  $22,000

Only 70% of the students who graduated from Redlands Christian Migrant Association, Inc.(RCMA) in 2013 graduated high school in 2017. The high school environment is a contrast to the small, nurturing school community that characterizes RCMA schools. A strong majority of our students are from farm-working families. Homes are often overcrowded, poorly lit and ventilated and absent of educational materials including books and access to technology. The Graduate Support Coordinator, based at the Wimauma Leadership Academy, will know students’ family and academic histories and will facilitate adjustment into the new school environment. This assistance will be as important for the families as for the students. The goal is for 95 percent of participating students to complete high school. To sustain the position, RCMA expects to do fundraising and diverting funds from other sources and expects the success of the position to attract future funders.

Seniors in Service of Tampa Bay

Retired and Senior Volunteer Program,  $25,504

The program will continue to address the decline in volunteerism in Sun City Center and the South Shore community, which follow a national trend among all volunteers and volunteers ages 55 and older. Through the generous support of the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, Seniors in Service and Encore Tampa Bay have made gains in 2018. From January through July, we invested in learning about the Sun City Center community, the leadership of the community, understanding their challenges as the community sees them, giving our time, energy, support, and encouragement whenever possible and ultimately being accepted and embraced by the community. This strong foundation will serve us well towards our goals for 2019 in creating a sustaining campaign for change in how volunteers are recruited, engaged, and appreciated.

Sun City Center Chapter 226 of The Military Order of the World Wars

MOWW Tallahassee Youth Leadership Conference,  $7,000

The Military Order of the World Wars serves America’s youth by hosting Youth Leadership Conference programs throughout the United States at no cost to the high school students attending. MOWW also sponsors awards programs for ROTC and Junior ROTC cadets, the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA.

This chapter sponsors 45 students to attend the three-day conference. The request would fund about 18 of those students.

The Cypress Initiative

S.P.A.R.K. Mentoring Program,  $37,500

The Cypress Initiative developed The Spark Mentoring Program in 2010 to promote well-being in the lives of the community’s most vulnerable, at-risk students attending Hillsborough County Public Schools. Through SPARK, students begin to take personal responsibility in their education, relationships, and face life/situation with a greater sense of purpose and confidence.

The request is to fund 5 South Shore area middle/ high schools during the second half of the 2018-2019 school year and the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year: 25 students per class and up to 3 classes per school. However, we could use partial funding for fewer classes. It costs $2,500 per class.

University of South Florida Foundation

Bedside Optical Monitoring of Stroke,  $22,988

Strokes and Traumatic Brain Injuries are the leading cause of long-term disability in the U.S. In the ICU, neurologists can reverse injuries caused by reduced blood flow to the brain with drugs and/or surgical procedures. However, they lack the technology to continuously monitor a patient’s cerebral blood flow and must wait until a patient’s condition deteriorates before modifying the treatment plan. As a result, the brain health of up to one in four patients worsens in the first two days at the hospital, often leading to secondary injuries, disabilities, and even death.

This research project has the potential to dramatically improve the care received by patients with acute strokes, through quantitative bedside monitoring of their cerebral tissue health.