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$225,000 In New Grants Announced

Thursday, February 1, 2018

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February 1, 2018

United Way of Greater Waterbury Announces $225,000 in Community Impact Grants

CI Grant Photo

Photo L-R:
Renee Young, United Way / Liz Brown, United Way Volunteer / Victor Lopez, Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury / Karen Mello, United Way / Tom Abbot, United Way Volunteer / Tiffany P. Hall, M.Ed., Catholic Charities / JoAnn Reynolds-Balanda, United Way / Meghan Blomberg, Reach Out & Read Connecticut and Massachusetts / Brian Amero, United Way / Kara Summa, United Way Volunteer / Rebecca Williams, United Way / Kristen Jacoby, United Way

WATERBURY, CT - United Way of Greater Waterbury is pleased to announce $225,000 in grant funding to be invested across three partner agencies: Catholic Charities, Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury and Reach Out and Read Connecticut. The primary purpose of this investment is to assist United Way in achieving its strategic goals by implementation of specific priority strategies within the targeted impact areas of Education, Basic Needs and Financial Stability.
Each partner will receive $25,000 per year over a three year period, 2018/2019, 2019/2020 and 2020/2021 for innovative proposals, based on promising practices that address specific community needs and gaps in services.

The Catholic Charities project addresses the barriers that prevent families from reaching economic self-sufficiency. It supports United Way's Financial Stability work to ensure ease of access to resources for both the displaced worker and the under or unemployed.

The two-generation approach will involve both parents and children, guiding parents to resources in education, training, and sustainable employment while providing their children with the support they need to be ready for school success.

Director of Child and Family Development Programs for Catholic Charities, Tiffany P. Hall, M.Ed, said, "With generous support from the United Way, Catholic Charities' dynamic two-generation program will meet the needs of children and the adults in their lives together to help both have a brighter future."

The Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury will offer a meaningful and culturally appropriate vocational English as a Second Language (ESL) program to an underserved Hispanic population, with a supportive case management component. The ESL program places participants and their families on the pathway from poverty to prosperity. Completers of the ESL class will be placed into appropriate vocational education training in either a proprietary school or program of higher education. All tuition costs will be paid by the project. This work supports United Way's Financial Stability efforts that focus on access to education and training needed to develop successful career paths and secure good jobs.

Executive Director of the Hispanic Coalition of Greater Waterbury, Victor Lopez, explained, "Community impact starts by empowering one person at a time. It's cyclical and holistic and no one does this better than the United Way."

Reach Out and Read leverages two extraordinary forces to improve early literacy and educational outcomes: the power of parents and the influence of pediatricians. Reach Out and Read will establish new program sites at pediatric offices across United Way's 10-town region, serving a projected 1,500 additional children and families over the three-year grant period.

Reach Out and Read's model is delivered during routine pediatric checkups, where a trained medical provider discusses the importance of reading aloud together, shares practical tips to promote early literacy, and offers each child a new book for their home library. The two-generational approach educates and empowers parents to be their child's first and best teachers and inspires children to enjoy reading. This work supports United Way's Education impact area which focuses on increasing opportunities for school readiness through early literacy.

Regional Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Connecticut and Massachusetts, Christine Garber, shared, "We are looking forward to deepening our partnership with the United Way of Greater Waterbury as we further expand our reach in their service area. This grant is a true investment in the future of the children of Greater Waterbury."

United Way Board Chair and President of Post University, Dr. Donald Mroz, expressed, "The amazing success of our 75th anniversary campaign last year provided this opportunity to go above and beyond in carrying out our mission - to make the biggest impacts with the best outcomes to help our community thrive. The collective impact of this investment will have a long-term positive effect on our community. I will also say, that I and the members of the Board are so proud of these agencies and the work they are doing for our Community. Congratulations to these three organizations!"

To learn more about United Way of Greater Waterbury, visit unitedwaygw.org.

About United Way of Greater Waterbury
We mobilize financial and volunteer resources and convene partners to address the needs of our community and to invest in approaches that measurably improve the community conditions for all. The United Way of Greater Waterbury service area includes Bethlehem, Cheshire, Middlebury, Prospect, Southbury, Thomaston, Waterbury, Watertown, Wolcott, and Woodbury. For more information please visit: www.unitedwaygw.org.

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