Seven community programs were approved for $1 million in new three-year investments for the Small Grants Fund, created to improve equity of access for organizations that have not received Levy funding in the past.
The three-year grants will begin in January 2021 and include four mentoring programs, two after-school programs and one hunger relief program. They are:
Afterschool program for East African youth with disabilities. Tutoring, sports, and nature-based field trips led by Cultural Navigators. Occupational Therapist supports student needs in afterschool program.
STEAMED education and nature-based camps for youth K-5 and 6-8, and a program for teens that provides leadership training, as well as the opportunity to become Camp Guides and teach the younger kids.
Long-term afterschool program with academic, fitness, social-emotional components. Year-round activities including afterschool and summer camp activities.
Mentoring offered to non-white girls and non-binary femmes 7-17. Create a youth board to plan curriculum and conduct program evaluation and monitoring activities
Black and Latinx culturally specific youth mentoring in Parkrose. Emphasis on post-secondary education. In-school character building curriculum offered and afterschool activities with Teacher Mentors.
Mentoring for newly arrived refugee youth from Ethiopia & Eritrea. The youth in this program have been in the country 1-3 years. Individual mentoring (socially distanced when possible) and groups online. Families receive wraparound support.
Food is gleaned and distributed to families. Additional food purchased from local farmers. Foods prepared for families in need. Distribution sites located in high poverty, high BIPOC areas. Millions of pounds of food diverted from landfills.
"These extraordinary, community-based organizations, and new PCL partners, will provide hope and resiliency to the next generation by serving children, youth and families from marginalized communities, individuals with intersectional identities, and those with disabilities,'' said Levy Allocation Committee Chair and City Commissioner Dan Ryan. "We are pleased to support their work and their missions. Congratulations all."
The Small Grants Fund process began last spring and was spearheaded by Levy Small Grants Fund Manager Arika Bridgeman-Bunyoli. The process included guidance from a six-member volunteer Design Team, included multiple community conversations with small organizations, and culminated in funding recommendations made by a 12-member review team.
The Allocation Committee unanimously voted Nov. 30th, 2020 to approve the review team recommendations. The Portland City Council approved the Allocation Committee decisions at its meeting a month later in December.