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Neighborhood Partnership Program awards grants to Akron organizations

6/20/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

DOWNTOWN AKRON — The city of Akron and Akron Community Foundation have announced matching grants totaling $219,461 to 56 community-based programs through the Neighborhood Partnership Program.

Now in its 17th year, the Neighborhood Partnership Program is a collaboration between the city of Akron and Akron Community Foundation that provides grants to small, neighborhood-based organizations throughout Akron working to beautify, unify and revitalize their community through innovative, citizen-led projects. Organizations must match the grants they receive through in-kind and volunteer services, as well as cash donations.

“The city of Akron and the Akron Community Foundation continue their commitment to improving Akron neighborhoods through the Neighborhood Partnership Program,” said Mayor Don Plusquellic in a press release. “These grants help residents and neighborhood-based organizations improve our city by providing funds to small but effective programs for vacant lot cleanups, tutoring and after-school programs for children and neighborhood events for residents of all ages.”

Every year, the community foundation commits $100,000, as well as grant-making assistance to the program, which is an initiative of the city’s Department of Planning and Urban Development. Akron City Council chooses the recipients from dozens of applications, which include beautification, community gardens, festival and events, and youth projects.

Grants were awarded to these groups affecting the West Side Leader coverage area:

Beautification initiatives

  • Braewick Drive Club, for beautification efforts at Braewick Circle Community Park in West Akron, $2,500
  • Centenary United Methodist Church, for Operation Springboard, a beautification project for vacant inner-city homes and land, $1,500
  • Downtown Akron Partnership, for flower planters and baskets, $3,000
  • Downtown Akron Partnership, for Green and Clean Day 2013, $3,000

Community gardens

  • Brookshire Garden Group, to establish a community garden in West Akron, $4,000
  • Crestland Park Neighborhood, for a rain garden in the West Akron neighborhood, $3,000
  • Edgewood Village Resident Council, for a community garden in the inner-city Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority development, $1,500

Community-building initiatives

  • United Way of Summit County, to cultivate skilled neighborhood leaders throughout Akron through the Neighborhood Leadership Institute, $7,500
  • West Hill Neighborhood Organization, for a neighborhood beautification project, two community events and a newsletter, $5,000
  • Williams Challenge, for the Man2Man Program, a fatherhood initiative in West Akron that promotes male responsibility to their family, $2,500

Festivals and events

  • Akron African-American Cultural Association, for the 33rd Annual African-American Cultural Festival, $7,500
  • Akron Community Service Center and the Akron Urban League, for Elegant Evenings, a dinner-dance for senior citizens that spotlights assistance programs in the community, $3,000
  • Caring and Miracles Ministry, for a community outreach parade and festival at Hawkins Ball Park in West Akron, $3,000
  • Hereford/Highland Block Watch, for a newsletter and community-building events in the Highland Square neighborhood, $3,000
  • NEO Jazz Orchestra, for a jazz music education and performance series in West Akron, $2,000
  • Truly Reaching You Ministries, for the Night out Against Crime event in Highland Square, $2,000

Youth programs

  • Alchemy Inc., for school/after-school programming and Summer Mentoring Camp at inner-city schools, $3,000
  • Case Elementary School Parent Teacher Association, to provide after-school special programs for kindergartners through fifth-graders, including special needs children, $2,000
  • Christian Fellowship Basketball League, for a community youth basketball program in Kenmore and West Akron, $5,000
  • College for Kids, to introduce inner-city youth in fourth through sixth grades to career curriculum and professionals from diverse fields, $6,000
  • First Presbyterian Church of Akron, for AMPLife Sports Camp, a sports day camp for inner-city children ages 8-13, $3,000
  • Litchfield Middle School, for the Dancing Classrooms program for eighth-graders, $3,000
  • Pearl Foundation, for the Akron Kids Achieving tutoring program at Schumacher Community Learning Center in West Akron, $2,000
  • Project GRAD Akron, for the 2013 Expo for Success event and Snacks and Educational Fun With Santa, a program in West Akron to strengthen connections between home and school, $6,750
  • West Akron Little League, for the 2013 baseball season, $2,000
  • Woodland United Methodist Church, for the iStrive after-school program in West Akron, $7,500.
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