The Madison Community Foundation is issuing its largest grant ever at $1.1 million to support the community schools initiative in the Madison Metropolitan School District. The Foundation for Madison’s Public Schools will be matching the grant one-to-one through fundraising efforts and donations over the five-year grant period. “We’ve been talking for decades about how to improve the schools, we’ve put a lot of funding directly in schools. What I think is different about this is that it’s the whole community coming together...maybe we can really make a difference,” said Tom Linfield, the Vice President of Community Impact with the Madison Community Foundation
Hawthorne Elementary and Lake View Elementary will both be designated as community schools for the 2018-19 school year, joining Mendota Elementary and Leopold Elementary, which have been community schools since the 2016-2017 school year. Hawthorne and Lake View were selected because of their dedication to family engagement, potential community partners, and support from parents, staff and the administration, explained Community Schools Manager Aronn Peterson in a written interview.
On Monday, the Madison Food Policy Council (MFPC) gathered at the Central Library to meet individually with the 2018 SEED Grant finalists. Each finalist was granted 15 minutes to present their projects on how to increase healthy food access or education for City of Madison residents. This year, the SEED Grant program received 23 applications requesting a total of over $180,000 in funding. The MPFC winnowed the list down to 13 finalists, but the grant can only allocate up to $50,000 in funding with a maximum of $10,000 for a single grant. George Reistad, food policy coordinator, says the funding is limited but there is no set amount in terms of how many organizations receive grant funding.
The City of Madison’s Neighborhood Grant Program, which awards a total of $25,000 to neighborhood projects every year, is currently accepting applications through Feb. 19. Grant money will be awarded to small groups of neighborhood volunteers, neighborhood associations or business organizations that are involved with community building or civic engagement. The program supports projects that seek to build community engagement and improve its neighborhoods. “Strong and healthy neighborhoods make a strong and healthy city,” Linda Horvath from the City Planning Division said.
United Way of Dane County announced this fall a $25,000 investment grant to be divided between seven local organizations working in areas of social equity, community organizing and civic engagement. Positive Women for Change, the Northside Planning Council and the Community Immigration Law Center are among the seven awarded organizations, who received grants ranging from $1,200 to $5,000. The grant renews United Way of Dane County’s support for groups that build leadership capacities in disadvantaged communities, and especially among communities of color. “As our communities face increasingly uncertain futures, it’s more important than ever to keep social justice and equity as two of our topmost priorities,” said Nolan Brown, Co-Chair of United Way’s Community Engagement Capacity Building Team. Another grantee, The Middleton Outreach Ministry received $1,200 to support their work with local business, schools, and religious communities.