The Princeton Area Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls (FWG) has awarded $187,000 in grants to 14 local nonprofits, the largest in the fund’s 20-year history.
“All of these organizations are doing impressive work to care for the most vulnerable amongst us,’’ Carolyn Sanderson, FWG chair, said. “It is thanks to the generosity of our members that we are able to support this work, which is vital to the wellbeing of children and their caregivers in our region.”
Nonprofit representatives gave short presentations to the Princeton Area Community Foundation about their programs, which either support young children ages 0 to 5, or provide support, leadership and mentoring opportunities for women and girls. Fund members then voted to determine how to distribute the grants.
- The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF) received a 3-year grant, totaling $75,000, for FUTURO, a youth mentoring program for first- and second-generation immigrant students in Princeton and Trenton. It plans to add 30 new students to the program that includes academic support, group mentoring and volunteer opportunities.
Three other organizations were awarded 1-year grants of $25,000 each:
- Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Mercer & Burlington Counties will use the grant to serve 25 more Mercer County children between the ages of 0 and 5. In the last year, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young children entering the foster care system, and they are among the most vulnerable because they are not yet part of the school-based safety net. CASA tracks overall changes in the children’s stability.
- Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton plans to use the grant for Well Babies through Well Moms, its new initiative designed to provide maternal postpartum depression screening to the hundreds of women whose infants are treated in the HJAHC pediatric departments. If a mom screens positive, she can be seen immediately by a behavioral health counselor.
- Mercer Street Friends (MSF), based in Trenton, will use the grant to add 15 more families to its Parents as Teachers Home Visiting Program (PAT), which serves low- income, new mothers and their families through pregnancy until the child enters kindergarten. It provides in-home visits from certified Parent Educators, group meetings, developmental, health, hearing and vision screenings and links families with community resources.
Two other organizations received grants of $2,500 each:
- Better Beginnings Child Development Center provides high-quality, affordable, culturally competent childcare and pre-school education in Hightstown. Most of the students are from low-income working families, and 90 percent are ready for kindergarten after completing two years of the program.
- The Puerto Rican Community Center’s Presente program provides bilingual (English and Spanish) case management services, early intervention and parent education/support through a partnership with Jewish Family and Children’s Services.
Millhill Child and Family Development Corp. received $25,000 as the last installment of the grant it was awarded in 2016 for its Female Trenton PEERS Empowerment and Education Program.
Seven other nonprofits received grants of $1,000 each:
- Children’s Home Society of New Jersey, based in Trenton
- HomeFront, based in Ewing
- Princeton Nursery School
- RISE, based in Hightstown
- Trenton Music Makers
- Trinity Counseling Service in Princeton
- Young Wonders Child Development Center in Hamilton, a program of the Princeton YMCA