Over 200 community service leaders, non-profit organizations, and local governmental leaders attended the Foundations Community Partnership ( www.fcpartnership.org) "Partnership in Youth Services" luncheon ceremony held at the Doylestown Country Club in Doylestown on October 24. This year the event honored 12 non-profit community programs in Bucks County that are making a difference in the lives of local children and their families with monetary grants of $3,000 each.
The event's keynote speaker was Nancy Lublin, Founder and CEO of Crisis Text Line. In 1995, she founded Dress for Success and is the author of "Do Something: A Handbook for Young Activists". Nancy was named Fortune Magazine's "World's 50 Greatest Leaders" alongside the Pope and Dalai Lama.
"There is a lot of pain out there, especially among young people," Lublin said during her remarks. "As non-profit leaders, we have a wonderful opportunity to promote kindness, diversity of thought and new ideas that will help drive policy change."
Foundations Executive Director Ron Bernstein, Nancy Lublin, Bucks County Diane Ellis-Marseglia, Bucks County Commissioner, and Foundations Board Member Dr. Nancy Miller presented plaques and checks to the 12 local non-profit organizations. Among the community programs receiving grants were:
Acting Naturally's "Acting Can Teach" program in Middletown Township provides theatre training for at-risk youth living in the community and will use the grant to grow their initiative to reach students in need from schools throughout Bucks County. The Acting Can Teach program includes a place to learn the craft of acting and culminates in the production of a full show. 20 students will participate in inclusive after-school and/or weekend programming.
BARC Developmental Services Preschool Music Experience in Buckingham Township will use the grant to offer a Music Program for up to 50 preschool special needs children ages 3 to 5. The program will provide weekly music sessions, allowing the children to improve their attention, participation, and socialization. The experience also raises awareness and understanding the impact of music on childhood development among school staff and parents.
Bucks County Audubon Society at Honey Hollow's Full STEAM Ahead After School Program for Girls in Solebury Township provides high-quality science education to young girls in the hope of sparking a lifelong interest in science. This after-school program teaches students creative ways to blend science discovery, exploration and knowledge with artistic interests. The program works with schools in low-income areas (Title I), specifically in the Centennial and Neshaminy School Districts and is expected to serve 40 students.
The Bucks County Chapter of The Links, based in Doylestown, hosts and sponsors a Teen Leadership Institute conference annually. Members of The Links Youth Council participate in leadership exercises throughout the year, culminating in the "Keepin' it Real, Teens Talk" conference. The program focuses on youth in public service, promoting behavioral health and community engagement. 300 students are expected to participate.
Bucks County Playhouse's Girlspeak, based in New Hope, is an educational program for young women between the ages of 13 and 18 that provides the opportunity and a safe space to discuss and explore issues that teenage girls face today, such as body image, bullying, social media pressure, familial, and peer relations. The culmination of the program is a public performance and it serves as a way to further the discussion on the issues teenagers face as they grow, and also where their aspirations and self-awareness may lead them. The show will also be toured to local high schools, and 100 students are expected to participate.
Camp Cranium's Transition to Adulthood program serves children with a brain injury in Bucks County, helping them foster independence and goal setting. The grant will help expand programming to provide a transition program to teens and young adults ages 14-21 during the school year through an interactive/adaptive ski & learn retreat. Due to the limited number of services to support this particular age group, there is a need to educate these young adults and their families in their transition options to facilitate growth, development, and independence after graduation, and set them up for success. The transition program will serve 20 participants.
James A. Michener Art Museum "Art Has No Borders" program will provide 45 first generation Latino students from the International Learning Program in Doylestown with the opportunity for Saturday afternoon art classes at the Michener Art Museum where they will create artwork using a variety of media. They will also engage in an arts curriculum integrating Bucks County and regional American art with a celebration of Latino ancestry, identity, traditions, and culture. A bilingual Michener instructor certified in arts education will help students and parents improve their English language skills through conversation and ongoing interactions with the museum. The program will help develop International Learning students form lasting relationships with the Michener and foster their assimilation into the Bucks County community.
Minding Your Mind, based in Ardmore, will use the grant to fund the "Young Adult Speaker Program, 10 mental health education programs that will be presented to schools in Bucks County by dynamic young adults who have struggled with behavioral health problems. The presentations, which are free of charge to the schools, address issues such as mood disorders, suicide ideation, eating disorders, addictive behavior, self-harm, and bullying. The grant will allow them to deliver mental health education to over 3,500 Bucks County middle school and high school students.
National Alliance on Mental Illness of PA, Bucks County Chapter's "Ending the Silence Program" based in Warminster, is a mental health education program delivered to middle and high school students in Bucks County. Serving more than 5,000 participants, these presentations involve a presenter who has experience with a mental illness. Presenters share their personal stories, coping mechanisms and varying treatment modalities. Exercises include mindfulness activity, music therapy, online resources and shared information about support groups offered by NAMI.
Snipes Farm & Education Center's Seed-to-Fork High School Farm Education in Morrisville is an ongoing farm and nutrition education program for Morrisville High School students. The initiative fosters youth development, leadership, and career skills. High school students work alongside farmers to learn the basics of sustainable farming practices, global issues related to farming, and environmental stewardship. The program helps students learn the positive life skills of team building, good communication, goal setting, and entrepreneurship. Students cook with fresh ingredients each day and explore whole foods, basic culinary arts and food preservation through nutrition lessons. 25 students participate in the program.
Type One Parent Project (TOPP Foundation) Camp Scholarship Program, based in Furlong, provides financial assistance to families who would like to send their children with Type 1 Diabetes to a specialized summer camp. These children often have to forego camp due to the fact that their disease requires 24-hour attention, however, there are specially designed camps for children living with this disease. The TOPP Camp Scholarships will enable children from financially challenged families to enjoy a summer camp experience while also learning the skills necessary to live long, healthy and successful lives with Type 1 Diabetes. The program will provide scholarships for 8 children.
Upper Bucks YMCA in Quakertown will use the grant to create a Red Cross Babysitting training program with curriculum and certification developed by the American Red Cross and taught by Red Cross Certified trainers on staff. The program covers the basics of child development, care of children of various ages, responsibility of caregivers, skill development, and resume building knowledge. Partipants may also have the option to receive a basic First Aid and CPR certification. 90 students are expected to participate in this education program.
In addition to the grant awards, the Morris M. Davis Award is an award and $1,500 scholarship given annually to a student intern whose contributions to the community are judged to be an outstanding example. The award was presented to Sarah Devlin from Upper Holland, PA. She is enrolled in the School of Nursing at University of Pennsylvania at and worked at Libertae in Bensalem through Foundations Community Partnership's Summer Youth Corps.
"Foundations is proud to offer community grants for the 19th year in a row through our Partnership in Youth Services Program and with the support of our sponsors," said Bernstein. "These grants help Bucks County non-profits make a significant impact on the lives of young people and their families, and continue to enrich the community."
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