Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading

In April 1998, the Board of Directors of Berks County Community Foundation approved the creation of a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) in order to give interested Berks County youth a hands-on experience in philanthropy. Berks County Community Foundation strongly believes that young people should be able to participate in community decisions that affect them and their peers. Members of YAC had the annual responsibility of making decisions about the distribution of $15,000 in grants from Berks County Community Foundation’s Youth and Philanthropy Fund to programs and projects that serve Berks County teens.

In 2019, YAC merged with another program to become the Youth Advisory Board, a program of Berks County Community Foundation and the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. Grants are now distributed from the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation through the Youth Advisory Board, which is run by VOiCEup Berks.

The new Youth Advisory Board program combines the grant-awarding component of YAC with the service-learning component of the Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading. The Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading is an affiliate of a national program. VOiCEup Berks runs the local affiliate.

From 1998 to 2020, the Youth and Philanthropy Fund of Berks County Community Foundation distributed 110 grants totaling $343,258.

Youth Volunteer Corps of Reading

During the 2019-2020 school year, about 30 members of the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) participated in service-learning projects to address student-chosen issues, including the environment, which became a focus of YAB for the year. One of the projects was to assess the chemical and biological health of local streams.

Grants awarded 1998-2020:
(Organization: Dollar amount: Program)

  • Abilities in Motion: $4,250.00: Teens Taking Flight
  • Abilities in Motion: $3,000.00: STARS (Students Transitioning to Achieve Realistic Success)
  • Abilities in Motion: $500.00: Empowering Me
  • Alvernia College: $2,000.00: South Reading Youth Initiative
  • Barrio Alegria: $3,500: The OJOS: Eye of the Beholder
  • BCTV: $2,500.00: “Losers Win!”
  • BCTV: $3,000.00: Film Camp
  • Bechtelsville Comunity Park: $3,000.00: The Skate Park
  • Berks Area Youth Recreation: $1,000.00: My Pop And Me
  • Berks Arts Council: $2,500.00: Arts tool kit
  • Berks Community Television (BCTV): $2,000.00: Film Camp 2004
  • Berks Connections/Pretrial Services: $3,000.00: Mother’s Voice Program
  • Berks Counseling Center: $3,500.00: Daily Living program
  • Berks County Conservancy: $5,750.00: Bug Community Gardening Program – “Junior Bugs”
  • Berks County Conservancy: $11,000.00: Excel in Agriculture – A Community Gardening Pro
  • Berks County Intermediate Unit 14: $5,000.00: Youth Leadership Training – Berks County Transit
  • Berks County Prison Society, Inc.: $1,000.00: The Mother’s Voice Project
  • Berks County Prison Society, Inc.: $2,500.00: FUNdamentals
  • Berks County Youth Center: $2,000.00: Conflict Resolution
  • Berks Nature: $5,900.00: Planting 100 trees in 2020 in honor of the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day
  • Berks Visiting Nurse Association: $2,000.00: Immunization program
  • Berks Women in Crisis: $8,000.00: CAMPpeaceworks Theater Project
  • Best Buddies Pennsylvania: $4,000.00: Best Buddies Middle School Friendship program
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Berks County: $1,000.00: TEEN program
  • BIG Vision Foundation: $1,000.00: Day of fun and physical activity for youth who are disadvantaged or disabled
  • Brandywine Heights Community Task Force: $3,000.00: After school program
  • Brandywine Heights Intermediate School: $550.00: Become A Brandywine Heights Bucket Filler
  • Building a Better Boyertown: $1,000.00: Natural Talent and Majesty at Studio B
  • Building a Better Boyertown: $1,500.00: Studio B – A Family Affair
  • Building a Better Boyertown: $2,000.00: FreeB at the B
  • Building a Better Boyertown: $2,000.00: Free to Be Me 2.0 at Studio B
  • Building a Better Boyertown: $2,200.00: Happy to Be Me 3.0 at Studio B
  • Camp Fire USA – Adahi Council: $3,000.00 Teen Suicide:  Silence Is Not Golden
  • Caron Treatment Centers: $8,000.00: Peer Leadership Summit
  • Center City Youth Organization: $1,000.00: C.C.Y.O.
  • Children’s Home of Reading: $6,000.00: Summer Therapeutic Recreation Program
  • Christ Lutheran Church (Glenside): $5,240.00: Glenside Peer Bank
  • Clay on Main: $600.00: John Paul II Students at Clay on Main
  • Coalition of Community Foundations for Youth: $400.00: Four separate grants for general support in different years
  • CARE: $3,500.00: Y.E.S. Program
  • Community Alliance and Reinvestment Endeavor: $1,190.00: Youth Ending Substance Abuse – 2003
  • Community Prevention Partnership of Berks: $2,500.00: Youth Behind the Camera
  • Community Prevention Partnership of Berks: $5,000.00: Reading Youth Leadership Initiative
  • Council on Chemical Abuse: $1,000.00: Healthy School – Healthy Youth Mural Project
  • Cumru Township Police Department: $3,167.00: AED
  • Delaware Riverkeeper Network: $5,000: Collecting water quality data on stream health in Berks County
  • Driven Ministries, Inc.: $6,750.00: Momentum
  • Easter Seals Eastern Pennsylvania: $3,750.00: Funding for Camp Lily
  • First Tee of Lehigh Valley at Reading/Berks: $2,000.00: First Tee Affiliate Program at Reading/Berks
  • First Tee of Lehigh Valley and Berks: $2,500.00: First Tee Lehigh Valley Program at Reading/Berks
  • Embrace Your Dreams: $2,000.00: First Tee Lehigh Valley at Berks program
  • Girls on the Run of Berks County: $3,000.00: Girls on the Run
  • Girls on the Run of Berks County: $2,100.00: Girls on the Run
  • Girls on the Run of Berks County: $2,065.00: Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run of Berks County

  • GoggleWorks Center for the Arts: $8,000.00: ArtsBridge: Enhancing Well-Being Through Creativity
  • Goodwill Keystone Area: $5,000.00: GoodGuides Youth Mentoring Program
  • Greater Berks Food Bank: $3,000.00: Produce for Kids
  • Growing Center, Inc.: $2,000.00: Horticultural Therapy for Alternative Ed Student
  • Growing Center, Inc.: $3,500.00: Horticultural Therapy
  • Growing Center, Inc.: $1,000.00: Horticultural Therapy Programs
  • Growing Center, Inc.: $2,450.00: Horticultural therapy
  • Herd By A Horse: $5,500.00: Connecting Youth and Families Through Equine Therapy

Herd by a Horse

  • Hispanic Center of Reading and Berks: $2,000.00: Proyecto Raices
  • I-Lead Inc.: $1,500: Salsa, Song and Food Festival
  • J.K. Boyer Community Library: $2,000.00: How to Parent a Preschooler
  • Junior Achievement of Berks County: $7,000.00: Project Challenge
  • Junior Achievement of Berks County, Inc.: $2,000.00: Program costs for 2 of the 5 programs to be piloted
  • Junior Achievement of Greater Reading: $2,000.00: Our Families
  • Kutztown Community Partnership/Kutztown: $1,500.00: Speakers to address substance abuse issues
  • Lauer’s Park School: $2,960.00: Lunch Crunch
  • Life-Line Center: $1,562.00: Life-Line Center Summer Program
  • Life-Line Center: $1,500.00: Get Up N Go
  • Mary’s Shelter: $4,000.00: Healthy Starts
  • Mary’s Shelter: $3,500.00: Education & Employment Initiative
  • Mifflin Community Library: $4,000.00: Mindfulness for Youth program
  • Muhlenberg Township Police Department: $3,274.00: AED
  • Multicultural And Literacy Institute: $5,000.00: LGBT App – Teen Corner Youth Mentoring & Empower
  • Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading: $2,500.00: PAL Unit 2005 Mural Project
  • Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading: $5,000.00: Center for the Arts for LGBT
  • Olivet Boys and Girls Club of Reading: $5,500.00: Berks PRIDE Mentoring Program
  • Opportunity House: $5,645.00: Stress Less at Second Street
  • Planned Parenthood Of Northeast: $3,000.00: The SPECTRUM
  • Police Athletic League of Greater Reading: $3,000.00: Mural Project
  • Prospectus Berco: $1,500.00: Healthy Living Program
  • Puerto Rican Latin Assn.: $3,590.00: Summer Youth Tech Institute
  • Reading Berks Emergency Shelter: $4,000.00: Second Street Learning Center Summer Experience
  • Reading Community Players: $6,000.00: Summer production of FAME
  • Reading Community Players: $605.00: Stressless with Reading Community Players
  • Reading Musical Foundation: $2,500.00: Koncert for Kids
  • Reading Musical Foundation: $5,000.00: YAC Summer Music Camp Leadership Program (three separate grants in different years)
  • Reading Musical Foundation: $3,000.00 Total Immersion Summer Music Camp Program
  • Reading Musical Foundation: $1,000.00: RMF Music Programs at Olivet Boys & Girls Club
  • Reading Recreation Commission: $2,000.00: Girls Leadership Program
YAC grants

Reading Recreation Commission’s Girls Leadership Program

  • Reading Specialists Educational Association: $2,000.00: Transitioning Youth Apprenticeship Program
  • Reading Specialists Educational Association: $5,000.00: Transitioning Youth Apprenticeship Program
  • RIZE: $5,000.00: RIZE Above Bars
  • Rock Hollow Woods Environmental Learning Center: $4,100.00: Barn renovation project
  • Rudden Family Foundation: $1,000.00: Program that gives disadvantaged students desks and computers
  • Set Point Tennis: $3,000.00: Community Life Skills Grant
  • Set Point Tennis: $1,000.00: Lifeskill Tennis Crime/Substance Abuse Clinic
  • South Mountain YMCA: $2,000.00: Reading-Berks Emergency Shelter Family Retreat
  • Spring Township Library: $500.00: Stay Healthy With Miss Maggie
  • Spring Township Library: $135.00 Choose: Kind at the Spring Township Library
  • Taijiquan Club: $5,750.00: Pacem In Vita
  • Togliatti Community Foundation: $1,875.00: Russian Youth Exchange
  • Twin Valley Middle School: $2,000.00: Raider Pride Unity Day
  • VOiCEup Berks: $5,000: Summer of Service
  • West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation: $2,150.00: Mural project
  • Wyomissing Public Library: $1,750.00: Program to reduce stress
  • YMCA of Reading & Berks County: $5,000.00: Friends Always
  • YMCA of Reading & Berks County: $1,500.00: YMCA – Summer Camp Cooking Club
  • Youth Fund of Berks County Community Foundation: $3,000.00: To support the BCCF youth trip to Russia
  • Zion Gates Christian Ministry: $3,000.00: Can Anything Good Initiative (CAGI)
  • Zion’s United Church of Christ: $2,500.00: The Soul-ed Out Student Cafe

TOTAL: $343,258.00