"Nourishing all of Greenbelt's Neighborhoods"

Greenbelt Community Foundation

Spring 2019 Grant Recipients Announced

The Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) announces that two local organizations have been awarded grants in its latest funding cycle.   THE GEMZ, Inc. and Greenbelt Middle School PTA have both received grants in support of projects which contribute to the community at large.

The $5,000 grant from GCF will allow the Greenbelt Middle School PTA to promote the Positive Behavior Intervention Support program  (PBIS) through events such as dances, holiday grams, and age-appropriate incentives for the participating students.   The PBIS program is overseen by professional staff and open to all of the 1,300 students who attend this public middle school. PBIS is a program that encourages positive behavior through a variety of means emphasizing positive behavior.  Posters throughout the school encourage students to be ready to learn, to be respectful to adults and peers, and to always take responsibility for their own actions while exhibiting safe behavior.. Teachers and administrators are encouraged to demonstrate and model the desired behaviors for the students, and use several techniques to encourage positive behavior. PBIS also encourages continued participation throughout the year by using monthly activity incentives that promote good health and positive mental well-being for students.

THE GEMZ, Inc. is a non-profit organization that serves as a mentoring and leadership program for young ladies between the ages of 11 and 18 in Greenbelt. The mission of the organization is to empower these girls with life and leadership skills, help them develop a healthy self-esteem and self-confidence. This is done through monthly workshops with them, group and peer mentoring structure and partnerships with local community members.

This $3,500 grant will allow THE GEMZ to run Financial Literacy programs for their ladies and to purchase textbooks, materials, as well as promote the events to the community. This project will equip and empower participants with financial skills and knowledge they need to start making better money decisions. They will be taught how to create simple budgets, importance of saving, how to save and how to invest in stocks. GEMZ  will have partners from the Financial Sector host Financial Literacy sessions during monthly workshops.

Grant applications are carefully considered based on viability, effect on the community, and on the funding available during the given grant cycle. To help support these and future projects, Greenbelt Community Foundation encourages donations and promotion of the funded events.

The Greenbelt Community Foundation’s mission is to support worthwhile initiatives by local organizations benefiting the Greenbelt community.  GCF has two grant cycles a year; grant awards range from $500 to $5,000 and are given to Greenbelt community groups, cooperatives and non-profit organizations.

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Community Report: Fall 2016 to Spring 2018

A student puts together tiles for the Mosaic Mural for the Greenbelt Elementary School.

The mural is important to me because I was one of the 2017-2018 fourth graders who helped make it. I mostly did panels in the bottom right corner. I feel proud knowing I had the privilege of making this. The artist could have made the mural themselves yet asked us to help. I love that we got to use cement and tile cutters. I love the vibrant, shiny colors. This was the best art project I have ever done.” Abraham C. (Greenbelt Elementary School.

The above quote is from a very visible project Greenbelt Community Foundation funded in the fall of 2017, “Greenbelt Elementary Springs to Life Mosaic Mural Project: Celebrating Pollinators.” The grant was awarded to Greenbelt Association for the Visual Arts (GAVA) who organized the project.

Check out the other eleven programs we funded in the last 18 months in our 

Community Report: Fall 2016 to Spring 2018

Everything we have accomplished is due to the support of donors and volunteers, throughout all areas of Greenbelt. Thank you. 

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HOW YOU CAN SUPPORT GCF

DONATE NOW

DONATION BY CHECK
Please print out the Greenbelt Community Foundation Donation Form. Make out your check to Greenbelt Community Foundation and mail it and the form to: PO Box 234, Greenbelt, MD 20768

GIVE WHILE SHOPPING!
When you purchase products through smile.amazon.com .5% of your purchase is donated to GCF. Always check to see that Greenbelt Community Foundation is listed as your charity of choice.

PLAN A DONATION FOR THE FUTURE
Create a lasting legacy, put the Greenbelt Community Foundation in your will, or make it one of your beneficiaries of your life insurance policy. Contact us to schedule a meeting with philanthropic professional at GCF.

As a donor you are a partner helping to make a difference for countless others in Greenbelt.

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2018 GRANTS SUPPORT ARTS, FUN AND HISTORY 

by Dorrie Bates

The Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) announces that three local organizations have been awarded grants in its latest funding cycle.  The Greenbelt Archive Project, the Friends of the New Deal Café Arts and the Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival have all received grants ranging from $1,500 to $5000 in support of projects which contribute in some way to the community at large.

The new Greenbelt Archive Projects received $5,000 from the foundation.

Dawn Washington ( far left) presents the Greenbelt Archive Project founders with a ceremonial $5,000 check at a recent board meeting. ( From left to right: Mary Sies, Joellen Sarff, Sandy Lange, Deanna Dawson, and Cathie Meetre.)

The Greenbelt Archive Project will use its $5,000 to ­­continue its efforts to digitize 60 years of the paper.  There are currently an estimated 25,000 pages of Greenbelt history generated between 1943 and 2002 that are in danger of destruction.  These archives need to be scanned, reviewed for quality and digitally managed in order to preserve these weekly stories of Greenbelt history. . Papers published prior to 1943 were digitized previously and are available on Chronicling America.

The Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival, a CHEARS program, will receive $2,350 to expand the 30th Annual Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival to two additional locations in Greenbelt. The original Greenbelt Pumpkin Festival was centered in Old Greenbelt, with pumpkin carving in Roosevelt Center and a walk to explore the Greenbelt Forest Preserve, but this often limited the reach of the festival. Because organizers want to include more of the community in 2018, pumpkin carving activities and a woods walk will be held in both Schrom Hills Park and Greenbelt West.  These two new locations will expand the festival for those unable to get to Greenbelt center and “… guarantee that every Greenbelt resident can enjoy and understand the importance of the woods that make up Greenbelt.”

Greenbelt Community Foundation awarded the Friends of the New Deal Café Arts (FONDCA) $1,530 to support its efforts to highlight new artists and exhibit their work in the cafe. Local artists are introduced to the public through FONDCA’s program with new shows every two months. This grant will fund advertising to attract artists to submit their work, publicity to promote the work, and materials for receptions hosted in their honor.

The Greenbelt Community Foundation’s mission is to support worthwhile initiatives by local organizations benefiting the Greenbelt community.  GCF has two grant cycles a year; grant awards range from $500 to $5,000 and are given to Greenbelt community groups, cooperatives and non-profit organizations.

 

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GCF EXPANDS ITS FUNDING FOCUS

The door is noticeably wider this spring for community organizations interested in applying for a grant from Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) to fund their activities.

Groups with existing programs and services are now eligible to apply, provided they meet the foundation’s criteria. Previously, GCF grants were limited to organizations starting new projects, but the foundation board recently decided to expand eligibility to ensure it serves all organizations, particularly small organizations that may not have the capacity to start a new program.

The Foundation now allows organizations to apply for funding to enhance their current programs or services or to secure funding as a bridge from one funding source to another. GCF will continue to provide one-year grant awards because its role is to support organizations as one of their funding sources, not to become the main and/or ongoing funder.

The GCF grants can range from $500 to $5,000 and the upcoming application deadline is midnight April 15. A week before that, on Sunday, April 8, there will be a free application tutoring session at 3:00 pm at the Greenbelt Police Station.

The foundation is interested in funding programs and services that enhance the cultural, artistic, recreational, social, or environmental vitality of Greenbelt, and that impact residents in all parts of the city.

To be eligible for funding, organizations should have IRS tax exempt [501(c)(3)] or find a qualifying organization to act as its fiscal agent. This agent should have its 501(c)(3), willing to act as a financial sponsor and whose mission is similar. Organizations eligible include nonprofits, cooperatives, religious groups, schools and associations.

Often a good community program is not funded due to a poorly written grant application. All areas of the application require proficiency and clarity. Here are the criteria GCF uses to determine whether to support a program: value to greenbelt, clarity of plan, feasibility of approach, qualifications of service providers and administrators, likelihood of success, appropriateness for GCF support, and sustainability.

To help organizations improve their grant applications, GCF is providing volunteers to review applications prior to submission on Sunday, April 8 at 3:00 pm at the Greenbelt Police Station. Organizations should bring a completed application for review. These volunteers can give recommendations, but this in no way ensures funding.

Please register for this workshop by Friday, March 30 by emailing the name of the person attending, his or her contact info and the name of the organization to info@greenbeltfoundation.org.

Click here for more information about the application process and to get an application

 

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Inter-generational Performance February 4

alight dance theater Performs in Greenbelt Community Center’s
Artful Afternoon: Page 115: Playing With Words
Sunday, February 4, 2018   3:00 pm
All Ages Welcome

This is a free, family-friendly performance of movement & words generated in community-building workshops supported by a grant from The Greenbelt Community Foundation.

Page 115: Playing with Words

Children and adults enjoy creating an inter-generational performance at the Greenbelt library.

Page 115: Playing With Words is an ongoing series of literature and movement-based performances. In this iteration of the show, the alight artistic team of Matina Phillips, Artistic Director, and Eleni Grove, associate artistic director, worked directly with inter-generational community members of Greenbelt, MD to generate movement and word phrases.

On February 4th, in the Greenbelt Community Center’s Artful Afternoon series, alight will present the powerful final installment of these community movement and storytelling workshops.

The workshops – hosted in 2017 at Springhill Lake Recreation Center, Greenbelt Community Center’s Explorations Unlimited program, and the Greenbelt Library – were an active collaboration with tots, kids, teens, and adults using words, shapes, sentences, and movements to playfully rearrange stories, and create new ideas and unique vignettes. The alight artistic team aimed to showcase the value in thinking beyond the words on the page, as well as the power of play.

As part of the Artful Afternoon series, this performance is the culmination of the Greenbelt community-generated art. Audience members will see and hear contributions from workshop participants woven together into a 30-minute professional presentation – performed by Phillips and Grove, and longtime alight dancer Erica Chamblee.

For more information go to City of Greenbelt website and look for Artful Afternoon February 4
You can RSVP on alight’s Facebook page event

This presentation will be performed again later this spring for Greenbelt Elementary School students.

About alight dance theater:
Alight dance theater strives to generate and strengthen community through storytelling – interweaving a movement-based art rooted in collaboration that spans cultures and generations to entertain, illuminate, and educate.

Through the lens of innovation, we strive to create dialogue, explore expression, and communicate the heart of one another’s story.

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All In With GCF

All In With the Greenbelt Community Foundation

By Lois Rosado and Dorrie Bates

Guests attending the Annual Meeting of the Greenbelt Community Foundation(GCF) on Sunday, November 12th , were greeted by members of GEMZ, a faith-based mentoring and leadership program open to all young ladies between the ages of 11 and 18 residing in Greenelt.   GEMZ was awarded a grant this year, and the young hostesses were very polished and helpful.

As they mingled,  guests were entertained on guitar by Talon Hall, a student from Eleanor Roosevelt High School.  GCF has awarded several grants to the ERHS Music Department over the years; the department continues to share their talented music students with the Foundation and with the community.

Melissa Ehrenreich, the outgoing Chair, presided over this event, reviewed the organization’s balance sheet and introduced the incoming officers: Carol Shaw, Chair; Carolyn Lambright-Davis, Vice-Chair; Anthony Borges, Treasurer.  Joanie Cohen-Mitchell, Program Committee Chair; and Melissa Ehrenreich, Resource Development Chair.  Carol Shaw also chairs the Outreach Committee.

Melissa shared some of the 2016-17 highlights, beginning with GCF’s signature Anniversary campaign, Explore Your Greenbelt.  .   Throughout the year, Greenbelters attended events in different parts of the City, and becoming informed about the abundance of talent here. GCF was able to spotlight many of the funded projects over the 10 years of its year’s existence.

In an effort to offer grantees continuing support, GCF has initiated a Grantee Liaison Program, where a board member or a committee member is assigned to a grantee to monitor its progress, collect photos and stories and assist as needed.  Carolyn Lambright-Davis is coordinating this effort.

Looking ahead, Melissa unveiled GCF‘s 2018 theme:  “Roots and Shoots”.  ” In order for GCF to continue and grow, we need to engage youth in philanthropic experiences.” she said.   By providing workshops, media services, and mentoring GCF can steer young people into developing projects and learning how to secure grant funding.

A new GCF media effort is headed by Rev. Ray Raysor, a member of the Outreach Committee. The goal is to continue the theme of Explore Your Greenbelt by highlighting the projects funded by GCF.  Making a video, interviewing participants and sharing them on GATE television to help enlighten the community about how their donations to GCF are being used to help enhance life in our City.

One of this year’s grantees is The Center for Dynamic Community Governance.  Aileen Kroll, who heads the organization, gave an overview of the project, a partnership with the Old Greenbelt Theatre to expand its volunteer program and get people involved and excited about what is happening close to home. This project is another way to get young people to be more engaged.

Kim Kash and Kim Rush Lynch of the Greenbelt Farmer’s Market spoke about the importance of gaining seed money from the Greenbelt Community Foundation to start the Farmer’s Market.  Both speakers stated that the Market would not have happened without the Funding received from GCF. Many Greenbelters have benefited from the market and enjoy purchasing fresh produce.   The GCF’s signage grant in particular enabled the Farmer’s Market to expand their outreach to the surrounding area.

Several speakers reinforced the idea that donating to the Greenbelt Community Foundation is making an investment in Greenbelt’s nonprofit community based organizations,  supporting extra special programs and projects that all Greenbelters enjoy.

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GCF Awards Six Grants

GCF Awards Six Grants  Full Article By Matt Arbach

The Greenbelt Community Foundation (GCF) has awarded grants to six organizations serving the Greenbelt community. These organizations are implementing exciting new programs designed to empower and enrich Greenbelt residents of all ages.  Check them out:

Alight Dance Theater   Playing with Words “Playing 115:” is a new project devised by Alight Dance Theater.  The finale of the project will be a performance at the Greenbelt Arts Center as an Artful Afternoon showcase.This will be the culmination of seven workshops, in partnership with the Greenbelt Recreation Department, designed to engage participants of all ages. The project’s focus is to use a “creative process to make new stories from existing stories, through both words and movement,” according to Matina Phillips, Artistic Director. Alight Dance Theater mission is to create“ performance events that celebrate the power of story…blending dance, physical theater and spoken word.”

The Better Place, Inc.  has created the Project Tutor: Guardians of Greenbelt initiative to further its goals of spreading “self-control and self-determination principles” to “youth, schools and families,” leading to a community strong in “productivity, effectiveness, success and prosperity,” says CEO, Cortland Jones.  The group began its work at Greenbelt Middle School but looks to expand to the rest of Prince George’s County, if not farther.  The project will “train students, 6th-12th grade, to be tutors to K-5th grade students at Springhill Lake Elementary School.” The eventual goal is for the participants to become true “guardians of their community.”

Center for Dynamic Community Governance  is maximizing volunteer program effectiveness, particularly in a situation where there is paid and volunteer staff, is the focus of the Center for Dynamic Community Governance funded project. CDCG’s goal is to use one organization to develop a program that can be replicated by other Greenbelt organizations. Due to the Old Greenbelt Theater’s (OGT) developing role as a gathering point for the East, West and Center Greenbelt Community, CDCG chose it as a staging ground for this project.  They look to create a process that ensures volunteer voices are heard; creates conditions for exciting teamwork; develops a committed base and create strong working relationships between volunteers, staff and the board. CDCG will facilitate regular meetings of volunteers and OGT staff to determine or modify policies for their assignments and, using a process of consent based decision making, will elect fellow volunteers for special tasks and responsibilities.“We are looking to create a blueprint at OGT for their volunteer program that can be adapted for use in other community based organizations throughout Greenbelt.” Says Aileen Kroll, CDCG board member.

Eleanor Roosevelt High School Band Program is creating a music library to properly organize, access and protect the scores used by its four concert bands and smaller, specialized groups.  Specifically, they look to purchase seven storage units that hold 250 pieces of music each.  This will also “maximize space” allowing “room for smaller ensembles to rehearse” and increasing “the ability to host guest performers,” says Rachel Zephir, band teacher. The ERHS band performs at many Greenbelt events like the Festival of Lights Arts and Crafts Fair and even commemorated the opening of the new Greenbelt Music and Arts.

The GEMZ, Inc  focuses on young women between 11 and 18 and looks to “help build self esteem and self-confidence” as well as inspire “the spirit of excellence,” says Adeola Ariyo, Executive Director.  Through outreach to area schools, churches and organizations and through print and media marketing, The GCF grant award is to help The GEMZ increase enrollment, provide subsidized membership fee for Greenbelt residents and five enrollment scholarships based on need, and “attract an increase in volunteers from the Greenbelt community.”  For the past four years, The GEMZ has achieved 100% college enrollment and was invited to the White House in October 2016, among other accomplishments.

 

Greenbelt Arts Center (GAC) project “will install a fully code-compliant theatrical lighting and power system which will provide a safer environment for the audience, actors and crews,” says Winard Britt, Treasurer.  Four new power packs will be moved to the rear of the theater.  100 ceiling outlets will be installed.  The entire system will be run through a new lighting panel, “allowing needed flexibility in the use of the outlets.” GAC’s mission “is to provide a dedicated and sustainable entertainment and educational hub for fine and performing arts” in the greater Greenbelt area with an ingoing goal “to continue improving the quality of our productions,” sustain strong community connections, and develop a strong and “local stable of production and technical staff.”

 

 

 

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