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The Evanston Community Foundation has announced $200,500 in grants to 28 organizations and projects, with a major emphasis on programs for children.

It’s a record high gift total for the group’s Responsive Grants program, which dates to 1987.

The winners, announced Thursday, were selected from 64 proposals. They are:

  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago, $7,500 to expand its Evanston Community-Based Mentoring Program to serve an additional eight youth in Evanston.
  • Center for Independent Futures,  $15,000 for the Full Life Futures Program to offer students in special education at ETHS who are the most at-risk an opportunity to develop independent life skills and supportive relationships.
  • Warren W. Cherry Preschool,  $5,750 for Getting At-Risk Children to the Kindergarten Starting Line Together with Their Peers, continuing community outreach efforts to ensure at-risk children receive a quality early childhood education.
  • Child Care Center of Evanston, $7,082 to expand its preschool program to add another two-year-old classroom due to increased need.
  • Childcare Network of Evanston, $7,500 for the Communitywide Scholarship Fund for Families in Crisis to provide financial assistance to Evanston low income working parents who are ineligible for child care.
  • Children’s Home + Aid, $6,000 for the Rice Child + Family Center: Evanston Foster Care Outreach Project to build awareness of and support for foster children served at the center.
  • Connections, $13,750 for the Next Steps Top 20 Project targeting clients most at risk of mortality due to homelessness and helping them transition to stable housing.
  • Erie Family Health Center, Inc., $13,500 for the Erie Evanston Health Center: Community Health Education and Outreach to provide health education and outreach activities in the Evanston and Skokie area.
  • Evanston History Center, $5,000 for a 150th Anniversary Project Coordinator to coordinate the Center’s community partnerships for Evanston’s 150th anniversary.
  • Evanston In-School Music Association, $3,000 for Concerts for Kids to present live, educational concerts in a broad range of musical styles in Evanston schools.
  • Evanston School Children’s Clothing Association, $3,000 to Purchase Children’s Footwear supplying new gym shoes and winter boots for free distribution to District 65 students.
  • Evanston/Skokie School District 65 School Age Child Care, $1,280 for Creative Dance at Oakton to teach students in the after school program the joy of fully engaging their bodies and minds in self-expression.
  • Evanston Symphony Orchestra Association, $3,000 for Music In Your World to bring a music education program to the McGaw YMCA pre-school, using music to teach important pre-reading and math skills and provide cultural enrichment to a diverse group of children.
  • The Family Room, $10,000 for New Mothers Support Programs to provide support groups in three areas: low-income mothers, uninsured mothers, and mothers experiencing perinatal depression.
  • Grandmother Park Initiative, $3,800 for Grandmother Park Initiative Community Outreach, marketing and advocacy efforts to establish a tot lot in Evanston’s 5th Ward.
  • The Harbour, $5,000 for Safe Harbour Emergency Shelter providing emergency shelter, crisis intervention, and comprehensive services for homeless and runaway girls ages 12-21.
  • Jumpstart for Young Children, Inc., $7,780 for Book Buddies Pre-K Program supporting a weekly program with the Evanston Public Library to develop the language and literacy skills of Evanston’s preschool children.
  • LIFT-Evanston, $8,000 for an Online Social Service Directory expanding an existing housing website to include all social services for Evanston residents.
  • James B. Moran Center for Youth Advocacy, $5,000 for the Ask a Lawyer Program to support a monthly, walk-in legal clinic providing hundreds of low-income Evanston residents access to legal advice and referrals on a variety of matters.
  • Northlight Theatre, $5,150 for Northlight On Campus – Speak Up! At Evanston Township High School to supplement current theatre programming while maintaining the high artistic standard set by ETHS.
  • North Shore Senior Center, $5,600 for Outreach to Identify and Provide Support to Older Adults with Vision Loss, expanding outreach, education and social services to seniors with visual impairment.
  • Open Studio Project, $5,200 to provide video art making workshops to disadvantaged middle school and high school boys, culminating in a public screening/exhibit.
  • PEER Services, Inc., $7,200 for Reducing the Spread of HIV Through Support and Risk-Reduction Education to assist individuals living with HIV/AIDS to maximize their health and reduce the spread of HIV by providing education and support services.
  • Rebuilding Together North Suburban Chicago, $5,000 for Home Repair Services to repair and rehab homes for homeowners in need.
  • Youth Job Center of Evanston, $8,150 for WILL: Women Invested in Learning and Livelihoods to help young, working women, ages 18-25, advance from “working poor” jobs to living wage positions with advancement potential.
  • Y.O.U. (Youth Organizations Umbrella), $8,265 for Service Learning for Y.O.U.th to address the community’s “civic engagement gap” by involving youth in meaningful service learning activities.
  • YWCA Evanston/North Shore, $9,000 for Job-Readiness and Economic Life Skills Coaching to provide job-readiness workshops and comprehensive follow up with an Economic Life Skills Coach to help women move toward self-sufficiency
  • Communityworks: Every Child Ready for Kindergarten, Every Youth Ready for Work,  $16,000 for Family Support through Home Visiting, which supplements funds drawn from the Foundation’s Communityworks Fund and other sources toward 2011 program expenditures of $213,200. Key partners: Infant Welfare Society of Evanston and Evanston/Skokie School District 65.

Above: The Evanston Public Library’s Rick Kinnebrew conducts a play-literacy workshop at the Child Care Center of Evanston, on of the ECF grant recipients. Photo by Bill Burlingham.

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