FORT WASHINGTON — The Transforming Neighborhoods Initiative (TNI) Fund for Community Innovation announced that it has awarded $430,000 since 2015 to local child-serving organizations on Nov. 29.
Out of that amount, the organization has given out a total of $144,000 in grants to seven organizations serving Prince George’s County residents in 2018 alone. The fund they can provide has been able to increase every year from the $76,500 they were able to give during their first year in 2015.
“Funding is part of the TNI@School program which is funded by Prince George’s County Public Schools, but consists of a partnership with the Department of Social Services, the Office of the County Executive, and the Greater Washington Community Foundation,” said Buel Young, Department of Social Services spokesperson.
Established in 2014, the TNI was founded by former County Executive Rushern Baker III and Prince George’s County Public Schools to support communities with many economic, health, public safety and educational challenges.
Through the TNI, they are provided with general operating support, program funding and support for the school and community-based organizations that offer free and affordable programming for youth up to age 18 and their families.
The services benefit families living in Prince George’s County’s TNI communities which are East Riverdale Park and Bladensburg, Suitland, Coral Hills, Kentland and Palmer Park, Hillcrest Heights and Marlow Heights, Silver Hill, Glassmanor, Oxon Hill, Langley Park, Forestville, Woodlawn and Lanham.
“It is important to ensure that small organizations doing good work for the benefit of our children have the opportunity and support to survive and flourish here in Prince George’s County,” Baker said. “While we want to attract small businesses, including non-profit organizations to our county, it is equally important for those that already exist to stay.”
Up to $25,000 in grants were given to each of the seven organizations this year for out of school programs during the summer and after school that addresses the program objective and general operating support to organizations whose mission and programs are primarily designed to address the goals of the TNI Fund.
The Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Washington and the CM Educational Program Services, Inc. are supporting at-risk youth by providing 300 middle school youth with high-quality out-of-school learning to enhance literacy and problem-solving skills and helping families overcome recurring issues by providing Academic Financial Literacy Skills to the Suitland community.
In order to assist students at an academic level, the L.E.E.P. To College Foundation is expanding its capacity to provide developmental and supportive services in Northwestern, Oxon Hill and Suitland High Schools.
Meanwhile, the Scholastic Olympics, Inc. is expanding its visits from three to 10 Prince George’s County high schools to offer academic workshops and afterschool study sessions.Vine Corps, Inc. is providing students in Bladensburg/Riverdale, Woodlawn/Lanham and Kentland/Palmer Park with weekly study halls to include tutoring, mentoring and college and career preparation.
Strive To Tri, Inc. (STRIVE) will further their mission of empowering the youth of Prince George’s County, ages seven to 17, to adopt a healthy lifestyle through regular physical activity, participation in sports and promoting positive eating habits. The grant money will also help with the cost of equipment, uniforms, facility rentals, race entry fees and coaching services.
“It’s been rewarding to see our programs become a model for uplifting neighborhoods within Prince George’s County and the DMV region,” said Executive Director Tarus Nelson. “We look forward to remaining good stewards through this grant which will allow us to grow our committed team within STRIVE.”
Finally, Take Charge Juvenile Diversion Program, Inc. will support Just For Her girls programs and Leadership Development and Life Skills boys programs at Andrew Jackson Academy, Crossland High School and Suitland High School to help reduce juvenile delinquency and recidivism and increase academic performance and graduation rates.
The process of choosing the grant winners was facilitated by the Greater Washington Community Foundation, who provide community leadership, promote civic engagement and guide strategic philanthropy for at-risk communities.
“The TNI Fund is a clear demonstration of the value of partnerships between the public sector and community-based organizations to make a difference in the lives of youth and their families, particularly in our most vulnerable communities,” said Desiree Griffin-Moore, executive director of The Community Foundation in Prince George’s County.
“These resources help our extremely dedicated network of local nonprofits to build and sustain their effectiveness while fostering positive outcomes for Prince George’s County youth.”
Through an external review committee made up of school leaders, Community Foundation staff, experts and community stakeholders, the committee reviews applications and makes determinations about which applicants receive funding, based on minimum criteria set forth by the county and the public school system.
To have been selected, organizations must provide activities that work to improve academic achievement, to provide recreation in a safe a nurturing environment and to provide life skills activities that provide exposure to career fields or leadership development and civic engagement.
In addition, they must also have served Prince George’s County for three consecutive years, must be a part of one or more of the county’s TNI communities, have a current 501 (c)(3) designation, give service to at least one TNI community and have an operating budget of $100,000 or less.