Archive for the ‘Sudbury Foundation News’ Category

Sept. is Hunger Action Month

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Children and adults face hunger in every community across the country. Your neighbor, child’s classmate or even coworker may be struggling to get enough to eat.

Every day, they are faced with some tough choices. Should I buy food or medicine? Buy food or pay my rent? Buy food or repair my car so I can get work?

Food pantries are doing great work in our communities, providing a valuable resource and safety net for these individuals and families. Are there ways your nonprofit can promote, support and work together with local pantries to serve your constituents?

For your reference, here’s a list of Local Food Pantries.  Why not get in touch?

Posted on September 20, 2017

The Most Patriotic Zip Code in the Nation

Monday, July 10th, 2017

WCVB Channel 5’s Chronicle did a great profile of Sudbury for its July 5, 2017 episode.

Among the many highlights: Longfellow’s Wayside Inn, the Sudbury Historical Society, Sudbury’s Ancient Fyfe and Drum Company, and Sudbury Valley Trustees – all Foundation grant recipients. Also featured: Town Manager Melissa Murphy-Rodrigues, Duck Soup, Protect Sudbury, Laurel Grove, Cavicchio Greenhouses, Dotti Bisson and Nobscot Boy Scout Reservation.

We also loved seeing our home at the Grange Hall in Sudbury Town Center show up in a variety of clips.

Missed the show? It’s worth taking a look: http://www.wcvb.com/article/chronicle-sudbury-01776/10268541

Posted on July 11, 2017

 

 

 

Mentoring Matters

Monday, June 26th, 2017

Mentoring — whether formal or informal — is a powerful tool to keep young people on the right track, particularly kids who are disconnected from their community.

Highlights and insights from the 2015 report The Mentoring Effect: Young People’s Perspectives on the Outcomes and Availability of Mentoring, are worth repeating.

Youth with mentors are more likely to report positive behaviors and less likely to report negative ones.

  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to aspire to enroll in and graduate from college than those who did not have a mentor (76 percent versus 56 percent).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to be enrolled in college than those who did not have a mentor (45 percent versus 29 percent).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to report participating regularly in sports or extracurricular activities than those who did not have a mentor (67 percent versus 37 percent).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to hold a leadership position in a club, sports team, school council, or another group than those who did not have a mentor (51 percent versus 22).
  • At-risk young adults who had a mentor are more likely to volunteer regularly in their communities than those who did not have a mentor (48 percent versus 27).

Young people believe mentoring provides them with support and guidance to lead productive lives.

  • Youth report that formal mentoring programs provide a variety of benefits, and most commonly offer that they receive advice about school, get help with school issues and/or schoolwork. They also make reference to receiving help to address life problems, assistance in getting a job, choosing a career and getting into college – though these benefits were less commonly reported.
  • Youth in informal mentoring relationships commonly offer that their mentors provided developmental, more than academic, support. These mentors conveyed advice and encouragement to help them make good decisions, taught young adults how to make the right decisions and follow the right path and become motivated.
  • Nearly nine in ten respondents who were mentored report they are interested in becoming mentors. In addition to confirming the value of mentoring, this desire to become a mentor also strengthens the earlier finding that mentoring is linked with higher rates of leadership and volunteering and offers a pool of future mentors to be activated.

The field of mentoring has grown significantly but a mentoring gap exists.

  • One in three young people overall (34 percent) and even more at-risk youth (37 percent) report they never had an adult mentor of any kind (naturally occurring or structured) while they were growing up.
  • Nationwide, that means today approximately 16 million youth, including 9 million at-risk youth, will reach age 19 without ever having a mentor.
  • Youth who struggled with attendance, behavior, and course performance are 10 percentage points less likely to have an informal mentor than those without these risks (57 percent versus 67 percent). Four in five (79 percent) youth with these off-track indicators do not have a structured mentor.
  • On a positive note, an estimated 4.5 million at-risk young people will have a structured mentoring relationship while growing up.

Locally, there are lots of mentoring opportunities – both formal and informal – that support at-risk youth. But are there enough? Probably not. Is your agency doing it all can to foster meaningful relationships between youth and caring adults? January is National Mentoring Month, a good time assess programs and services through a mentoring lens.

Mentoring Resources:

The Power of a Mentor to Change a Young Life

Mass Mentoring Partnership
http://www.massmentors.org/

Mentoring: National Mentoring Partnership
http://www.mentoring.org/

The Search Institute
http://www.search-institute.org/content/what-kids-need

Updated June 26, 2017

New Grant Awards

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

Children, Youth and Families (CY&F) Program Grants

ACCEPT Education Collaborative, Natick, MA, $19,200
For a marketing/communications consultation.

Bethany Hill Place, Framingham, MA, $5,000
For a strategic planning consultation.

Doc Wayne Youth Services, Boston, MA, $25,000
For a program evaluation consultation.

Family Promise Metrowest, Natick, MA, $10,000
For a strategic planning consultation.

Hoops and Homework, Framingham, MA, $16,500
For board develop and strategic planning consultations.

Jeff’s Place, Framingham, MA, $20,500
For a board development consultation.

Jewish Family Service of Metrowest, Framingham, MA, $8,500
For a board development consultation.

Wayside Youth & Family Support Network, Framingham, MA, $9,665
For staff development.

CY&F Invitation & Discretionary Grants:
Lovelane Special Needs Horseback Riding Program, Lincoln, MA, $18,200
To strategize and pilot a new way of managing herd transition.

MetroWest Legal Services, Framingham, MA, $25,000
To provide legal representation to 30-40 undocumented immigrant youth in Framingham schools to assist them in applying for and obtaining legal status and to conduct “Know Your Rights” presentations and trainings.

Sudbury Program

Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, Sudbury, MA, $7,500
Faculty stipends to pilot the Hub for Innovation.

Town of Sudbury/Goodnow Library, Sudbury, MA, $31,250
To purchase equipment and provide staff training as part of an extensive renovation to the Library’s second floor.

MetroWest Free Medical Program, Sudbury, MA, $1,200
To purchase equipment to create an additional exam room at the Sudbury location.

Organization for the Assabet, Sudbury & Concord Rivers, Concord, MA, $5,000
To create a report card on the health status of the Assabet, Sudbury and Concord rivers.

Sudbury United Methodist Church, Sudbury, MA, $25,000
In support of a capital campaign.

SWEET, Inc., Sudbury, MA, $545
A series of small projects to help eradicate invasive species in Sudbury.

Sudbury Historical Society, Sudbury, MA, $200,000 matching grant
Toward a capital campaign to renovate the Loring Parsonage to create a Town History Center. 

Farm & Local Food Initiative

Mass. Dept. of Transitional Assistance Healthy Incentives Program (HIP), $25,000
To support a state-level evaluation of the HIP project which enables SNAP participants to use their benefits at farmers markets, farms stands, mobile markets and CSAs.

Franklin County CDC/Fiscal Agent for the  Mass. Food System Collaborative, Greenfield, MA, $25,000
General support for the Collaborative’s work supporting the recommendations of the Mass. Local Food Action Plan.

Conservation Law Foundation/Legal Food Hub, Boston, MA, $100,000 over three years
General support for the Massachusetts work of the Legal Food Hub which provides pro bono legal assistance to farmers and food purveyors.

Community Program

Massachusetts Business Alliance for Education, Boston, MA, $10,000
Honorariam recognizing former trustee Sharon Driscolls’s many years of service to the Foundation.

Posted on June 15, 2017

Working with Consultants

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

Brain power

Most of our capacity building grants involve working with a consultant. There’s considerable value from such collaborations including gaining a fresh perspective or specific expertise. It can be especially helpful when previous efforts have stalled or stakeholders have wildly differing points of view.

But there are an equal number of headaches as well — from the resistance of staff or board members who shun interference from outsiders to the considerable added time it takes to bring the consultant up to speed about your organization.

Is it worth it?

Yes… IF you’ve thought it through, planned ahead, allotted enough time, gotten all your stakeholders on board and, most importantly, found the consultant who “gets” your organization and has the temperament to shepherd the project and your agency’s varied personalities through the process.

That’s a lot of “ifs”  – it does make your head spin — but it’s also a realistic view of what you should be thinking about before you jump in and hire a consultant.

One thing is for sure, the consultant doesn’t do all the work. In fact, most times you and your colleagues are the ones doing the deep thinking and heavy lifting. The truth is you’re the ones with the answers. You just don’t know it yet. Consultants facilitate the process and keep you moving forward. They steer you in the right direction and make sure no one is left behind. They help you get to the heart of what you need to do and to recognize how you’re going to get there.

When the stars align, the results of working with a consultant can be quite remarkable.

There’s much more to think and read about here:

Posted on December 21, 2016

Poverty Beyond City Limits

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

poverty-clip-art-071510-vector-clip-art-free-clipart-images-UlGIVg-clipart copyMetroWest Funders and others: Please join us for a follow up conversation with Steve Pratt from Impact Catalysts (formerly with Root Cause) on poverty in the suburbs.

While still invisible to many, poverty in suburban communities is on the rise, including our communities in MetroWest.

Steve will share findings from his most recent work based in the Greater Washington DC area.  He will compare this geography with MetroWest’s, highlight some key catalysts for change and discuss potential action steps we as funders and donors can take to reduce poverty in our local communities.

Presenter: Steve Pratt, Impact Catalysts
Date: January 11, 2017
Time: Noon to 2:00 pm
Location: The Sudbury Foundation/Grange Hall, 326 Concord Road, Sudbury, MA
Sponsor: Associated Grant Makers

To register, click here.

Posted November 30, 2016

 

Sudbury Nonprofit Coffee 10/27

Monday, September 19th, 2016

coffee cup,jpgPlease join your Sudbury nonprofit colleagues for coffee & conversation on Thursday, October 27 at 9:30 a.m. at our meeting space on the second floor of the Grange Hall.

We’ve been hosting this gathering twice a year since 2013. It’s a chance to update us on what your nonprofit or community group has been up to, to hear what others are doing, to learn and to share. We look forward to seeing you. New organizations always welcome!

Please RSVP by Oct. 24: brunner@sudburyfoundation.org.

Posted on September 19, 2016

MA and its Farms Need Rain

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

drought-11740Massachusetts is experiencing its worst drought in more than a decade, with little reprieve in sight for dry rivers, thirsty crops, and water bans across the state. Farmers are trying to be creative, despite the heat. You can read up on it here:

Baker tours farms impacted by drought-filled summer

How This Summer’s ‘Severe’ Drought Is Affecting Mass. Farmers And Their Crops

Did the overnight rainfall help with the drought?

Posted on August 23, 2016

Off to College: A Momentous Change for Mom & Dad

Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016

beckhamBeverly Beckham’s wonderful 2006 Boston Globe essay on sending a child off to college remains true and heartfelt today. The Globe reprints it around this time every year. If you’re a parent who has just dropped your Freshman off at school, pull out your hankie. It’s worth reading: http://bit.ly/2bsy8St

Posted on August 23, 2016

Brainstorming: Thinking about Kids

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Brainstorming

Early Learners

How investing in Preschool Beats the Stock Market, Hands Down. Nobel laureate James Heckman, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development, makes a strong argument to support early education programs in his paper, The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program.

11 Parenting Podcasts Worth Checking Out. Parenting: It’s the most important job of all and there’s no roadmap for how to do it best. Some good resources provided in this Washington Post article.

Read Aloud 15 Minutes. In an era of high-stakes testing and education reforms and revolutions, research has repeatedly proved that one simple parenting technique is among the most effective. Children who are read aloud to by parents get a head start in language and literacy skills and go to school better prepared.

The Joyful, Illiterate Kindergartners of Finland.  While American youngsters learn how to read, Kindergarten students in Finland play. Notes one researcher: “There isn’t any solid evidence that shows that children who are taught to read in kindergarten have any long-term benefit from it.” Food for thought.

Run-down schools trigger low test scores. Common sense says it’s so. (We’ve been saying it for years.) Now Cornell social scientists show why it’s true.

Teens & Young Adults

The Value of Mentoring. Whether formal or informal — mentoring is a powerful tool to keep young people on the right track, particularly kids who are disconnected from their community

Today’s College Students May Be Emotionally Unprepared. Findings confirm what we all know is happening. A survey of more than 123,000 students at 153 colleges by the American College Health Association in 2013 found that more than half experienced overwhelming anxiety and about a third felt deep depression during the academic year, as reported in the New York Times. Here’s one program that’s helping high school teens cope: Students returning to school after a serious mental health issue get the care they need thru “BRYT

The Real Reason College Tuition Costs So Much. Interesting findings reported in the New York Times. It’s not due to cuts in public funding but an increase in enrollment and administrative personnel.

The Cost of An Overdose. Facing the opiod-heroin crisis in MetroWest. In 2015 emergency personnel statewide responded to 11,884 opioid-related incidents, up from 6,315 in 2013.

Posted on July 25, 2016