CONCERN – Professional Services for Children, Youth, and Families, $15,000: To enhance its Intensive Family Reunification Services Program to Better Empower Working Mothers. This program focuses primarily on helping single mothers finish their education, become a productive member of the workforce, lessen their dependence on public assistance, and reunite with their children who have been living in out-of-home placement.
VOiCEup Berks, $12,800: For its Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading In-School Leadership and Service Program. The program, which is part of the school day, provides weekly opportunities for middle school girls in Reading to be involved in service learning and leadership development. Service learning combines educational efforts with community service projects. The program demonstrates to students their capacity to change their lives and their community through their choices and actions. Projects the program has previously completed include a school-wide anti-drug meme contest, a school-wide PSA on teen suicide, and “Bags of Hope” assembled for girls at a local shelter.
YMCA of Reading and Berks County, $7,500: For a program that enables women in transitional housing, and who would otherwise be homeless, to quickly obtain employment and educational opportunities by paying for child care and transportation. The program also provides the women with opportunities to engage in creative experiences.
Freedom and Restoration for Everyone Enslaved (F.R.E.E.), $2,770: To help establish a F.R.E.E. Drop‐In Center at a location in Berks County to provide relief for women who are experiencing sexual exploitation. The group fights human trafficking in Berks County.
Barrio Alegria, $2,770: For its “Storytelling through Dance” program. The program uses the arts as a platform to shift community residents’ perceptions of themselves and their communities by embedding leadership- and self-confidence-building activities in theatrical productions that explore difficult social themes. While several performances will be produced to engage the community, the productions aren’t the goal. The goal is to increase empowerment, leadership and community-building.
Clare of Assisi House, $2,360: To enhance programs that include money management and GED attainment as part of its transitional residential living and life-skills training to women in Reading.
Girls on the Run of Berks County (GOTR), $1,800: To launch a new one-week program, Camp GOTR, to provide elementary-school-age girls with opportunities for physical activity and social and emotional development during non-school times. GOTR inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.