By Kathy L. Collins

The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay recently selected 10 educational programs to receive grants totaling over $125,000. Several organizations that support early learning and literacy programs for youth in the South Shore area were selected. The organizations selected share the Community Foundation’s focus on supporting literacy programs and eliminating the education gap for disadvantaged students because of their race, gender, geographic location or economic status.
The Parents and Children Advance Together (PCAT) Literacy Ministries, Inc. received $24,262 for their after-school literacy program. In the SouthShore, PCAT assists first grade students at Ruskin Elementary School. Christine Worley, PCAT’s Executive Director said, “The success of our program is due to our volunteer base of 50 tutor/mentors that work one-on-one with our students.” This grant will allow PCAT Literacy Ministries to buy additional curriculum and a part-time Assistant Program Manager.

The Kiwanis Club of SouthShore received $5,000 for its Key Clubs at East Bay High School and Lennard High School. Student members of the Key Clubs perform acts of service in their communities and learn leadership skills by running meetings and planning volunteer projects. According to Faye Groves, president of the Kiwanis Club of SouthShore, “The grant from the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay helped our chapter send 33 high school students to the Kiwanis-Key Club District Conference in Orlando.” Groves added, “The significance of the convention is that it is led entirely by high school seniors. It is an exercise in learning and conducting a large endeavor.”

Students who attend RCMA in Wimauma, who are from low income households, can participate in Berkeley Preparatory School’s Berkeley Academy, a free program that alleviates summer learning loss and helps students in achieving their dream of going to college. RCMA Wimauma Academy principal, Mark Haggett said, “RCMA opens doors to opportunities through quality child care and education from crib to high school and beyond.” Haggett added, “The programs and our relationship with Berkeley open the door even wider for our students.”

The Community Foundation, which was founded in 1990, connects donors, nonprofits, community and business leaders, professional advisors, volunteers and residents to make the maximum positive impact in the Tampa Bay region.
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