Connections hosts its Winter Gala and announces 2014 grants

January 28, 2014

The mission of the Connections Fund of the Richland County Foundation is to give back to the community. The 2014 grant recipients were announced during Connections’ Winter Gala held January 24 at the Mansfield Art Center. This year the Connections Fund awarded five grants focusing on youth that totaled more than $6,200.

Big Brothers & Big Sisters of North Central Ohio, Free Bowling Fun Day

Big Brothers and Big Sisters is the oldest and largest mentoring program in the nation with a mission of making a difference in the lives of youth. The bowling fun day is a way to match potential big brothers and sisters with “littles” on a waiting list. It serves the “littles” that don’t yet have a “big” and is an effective recruitment tool.    

Mansfield Area YMCA Spanish Learning Program

The Explorer Spanish Learning Program will allow instructors at YMCA Child Care Centers throughout Richland County implement Spanish units in their classrooms. Research indicates that Spanish/English dual language programs make significant gains in early literacy skills when compared to English only programs.

Mansfield Senior High School Tygers Robotics Club

The Tygers Robotics Club encourages students to pursue engineering as a career. Club members compete in competitive robotics events January through June. The grant money will help provide robotics design system starter kits, competition field equipment, registration and transportation fees.

Mansfield Integrated Learning Center, Mansfield City Schools, Keys to Success

The Keys to Success program helps students who lack the economic resources to take driver’s education classes and obtain a driver’s license. The goal of the Keys to Success Program is to remove barriers so students can connnect with higher education and employment within six months of graduation.

John Sherman Elementary School, Pedaling for Your Future

Pedaling for Your Future is a five-week bicycle skills and safety program incorporated into the school’s physicial education curriculum. The program includes bicycle riding skills, comprehensive safe riding, helmet use, traffic signs, bicycle rodeo and an outing on the Richland B&O Bike Trail. The grant will buy bicycle helmets so each student will have a bike helmet for the duration of the class.

Each year between $2,000 and $11,000 is granted to local non-profit organizations. Since 2005 Connections has awarded over $53,831 through 47 grants to 34 organizations.

Individuals can join Connections with a $150 donation and couples for $250.

For more information on how to get involved with Connections or the Richland County Foundation visit www.rcfoundation.org or call 419-525-3020.

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January 28, 2014

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