FITCHBURG – United Way of North Central Massachusetts recently distributed $398,800 in funding to 18 local agencies to support after-school and after-school programs for children in pre-K through 12th grade.
The grants will fund a variety of initiatives, including project-based learning activities, enrichment programs, and comprehensive student support services.
The grant funds were made available through a $4.5 million grant from the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to a regional United Ways effort located in Central, North Central and Central southern Massachusetts. The grant will be spread over two years with the goal of helping after-school and out-of-school programs rebound and strengthen the quality of services from the impacts of COVID-19.
The UWNCM has so far distributed two rounds of grants to support 22 programs run in the spring and summer at 18 local agencies, including nonprofits, public school systems, and cities and towns. Supported programs range from an adventure-based curriculum for youth, to music therapy and art therapy, to enrichment activities for children with disabilities, and multiple STEM and STEAM-based initiatives.
The Hispanic American Center in Leominster received grants to support two programs, including their comprehensive Cross-Roads Afterschool program.
“Each day we witness the significance of Cross-Roads, SCA continues to be a beacon of hope and blessing to our children and youth,” said SCA Chief Executive Neddy Latimer. “We are very proud of our positive results and have seen results that change lives, increase confidence and self-esteem and give hope to children. Thanks to Centraide for the generosity of the grant, especially in these difficult times. »
The grants represent a new area of impact for UWNCM and have given it the ability to support new populations and grant recipients, including the public school systems of Ashburnham and Westminster. The UWNCM will open the next round of grant applications for the 2022-23 school year programs in early June.
“We look forward to working with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education and our United Way colleagues to support youth opportunities in our region,” said UWNCM President Kory Eng. “These grants will fund a range of youth programs and services, from STEM education to mental health and academic support during this critical time for growth and development.”