The Takoma Foundation awarded 13 grants in its Fall 2015 cycle, ranging from $300 to $2,000 per project. In total, nearly $22,000 was awarded.
The innovative programs are highly focused on youth-related activities, from encouraging entrepreneurship, to peer mentoring, to making documentaries, to gardening.
A complete list is follows:
Blair High School PTSA: Iron Sharpens Iron-Bolting for Success Mentoring Program. This mentoring program works with students who have self-identified as members of a gang and have exhibited one or more risk factors for dropping out of high school. The mentoring program will surround them with academic and social support coordinated within the school day and with after-school programming.
CHEER: Youth Collaborative. The Takoma Park Youth Collaborative is one of the biggest projects organized by CHEER (Community Health and Empowerment Through Education and Research). Working with volunteers, business and government partners, and other community stakeholders, the Youth Collaborative helps youth transition toward employment and adulthood.
Community Bridges: Girls Mentoring Program. This ongoing program incorporates the Big Sister, Little Sister Program (through which high school participants mentor middle school and elementary school girls) and the Community Bridges Women’s Mentoring Program (through which women mentor high school girls).
Docs In Progress: Community Stories Documentary Project. These video documentaries will tell stories of people and institutions who make up the fabric of life in Takoma Park and nearby, with a particular focus on stories from "The New Avenue" along New Hampshire Ave. The films will be showcased at a free community film festival.
East Silver Spring Elementary PTA: Bring the World. This school will organize a series of cultural events to celebrate the multi-cultural backgrounds of the students through dance, poetry, music, and theater.
East Silver Spring Elementary PTA: Edible Garden. Students and volunteers will build four raised beds for growing edibles in a courtyard garden. The project will also include an herb spiral, sensory plants, and plants that will attract butterflies and their larva.
Essex House Apartments Tenants Association: Parent Advocacy and Support Training. An experienced trainer will present six sessions for parents of school-aged children in grades pre-K to Grade 5. Outreach will be particularly focused on immigrant parents who are unfamiliar with the American-style educational journey.
Gandhi Brigade: Documentary Of Conviction Summer. This summer program empowers teens to conceive, plan and produce a documentary on a newsworthy and topical issue. Guest speakers—including media specialists and content experts—meet with participants and assist with the researching, producing, filming and editing processes.
Girl Scout Troop 6754: Cady Lee Garden Work Day. With the funds provided, the Girl Scouts will purchase plants and annuals that they will plant at the historic Cady-Lee Mansion, as well as conduct other landscaping projects at the Cady-Lee.
Identity, Inc.: The Takoma Park Youth Development Collaborative Youth Entrepreneurship Program. This program will teach up to 35 high school students the principles of entrepreneurship and give them practical experience starting a business.
Piney Branch Elementary School: Science Engineering Technology and Math (STEM) Assembly. The STEM assembly will include a day-time presentation for students from the Maryland Science Museum and an evening event of activities for students and families.
St. Camillus: Help Us to Help Others Ministry. This food pantry provides emergency food distribution to Takoma Park, Silver Spring and Langley Park residents on Friday afternoons and Saturday mornings.
Takoma Park JazzFest. One of Takoma Park’s signature events, the JazzFest will return in June.