UPPER MARLBORO – Nine nonprofits serving Prince George’s County are a little better prepared to serve the county after receiving grants from the county’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) Fund for Community Innovation. On July 12, County Executive Rushern Baker III, Kevin Maxwell, chief executive officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), and members of […]
UPPER MARLBORO – Nine nonprofits serving Prince George’s County are a little better prepared to serve the county after receiving grants from the county’s Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) Fund for Community Innovation.
On July 12, County Executive Rushern Baker III, Kevin Maxwell, chief executive officer for Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), and members of The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County came together to present $142,000 in grants to nonprofits across the county.
Baker created the TNI Fund in 2014 as part of an overall initiative to improve the county through increasing funds, programs and resources in the areas of Prince George’s County with the most needs. The fund, specifically, provides general operating and program funding as well as building support to nonprofits and programs that serve the TNI communities through “free and/or affordable out-of-school programming for youth and families.”
Those communities included in TNI are Langley Park, East Riverdale, Bladensburg, Kentland, Palmer Park, Suitland, Coral Hills, Hillcrest Heights, Marlow Heights, Glassmanor and Oxon Hill.
“At the center of the success of the (TNI) are the relationships developed between the government, community-based organizations and community members. We understand that in order to successfully address the needs of our communities requires a partnership between the government and community-based organizations,” Baker said. “These organizations will receive various support needed to allow them to continue and expand the services and programs they provide to strengthen our communities.”
Some of the various groups that have received funds over the past two years include 100 Black Men of Prince George’s County, Girls Excelling in Math and Science of Prince George’s County, the Suitland High School Parent Teacher Association and Vine Corps.
This year, Strive 2 Tri, who hosts a summer program to help train youth for a triathlon, Men of Valor and Purpose, who will host a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) sports camp in Temple Hills, the L.E.E.P to College Foundation, who will expand college readiness programs at three high schools, and the Empowerment Center were added to the list of grant recipients.
Baker said the TNI grants are all about “everybody getting out of their silos” and coming together to find solutions.
“Not saying it’s a school issue. Not saying it’s the health department or the social services or the libraries, but it’s all of ours,” Baker said.
The overall goal of the TNI Fund is to support nonprofits and organizations committed to helping and guiding the youth in the county by supporting education in the forms of “literacy, early learning, college and career readiness and other enrichment activities that promote and assist in improving academic achievement.” That could also include programs encouraging the improvement of recreational activities, encourage wellness, conflict resolution, violence prevention, and family engagement as well as life skill activities that provide exposure to career opportunities.
“These resources also allow our extremely dedicated nonprofit organizations to build and sustain their effectiveness while fostering positive outcomes for Prince George’s County youth,” said Desiree Griffin-Moore, executive director of The Community Foundation for Prince George’s County.
Maxwell, who said PGCPS is a large partner in TNI, expressed how incredibly proud to be serving the same community he grew up in.
“It is a great feeling to be able to be in the place I call home, to be able to do this kind of work for children who are not a lot different than I was when I was a student in this school district,” he said.
Maxwell called the TNI partnership “groundbreaking” and said the world should take notice of the working partnership. He said working with each department of government and coming together on projects is difficult, but irreplaceable and incredibly important, as the school district or the county government cannot do the work alone.
“It is important for academic success and achievement that the lessons taught in the classroom are reinforced at home and in the community,” he said. “Our nonprofits and community partners help us expand and strengthen the lessons taught in the classroom. I am pleased that through the TNI Fund, these nine organizations will be able to continue to provide services and programs for the youth and families in the community.”