Community

Foundation receives much-valued grants | NOTABLE

Family support specialist Marilynn Norby recently met with Walt Blackford, community services manager for Puget Sound Energy, to acknowledge a $3,000 grant from the company in support of the Families in Transition program on Whidbey and Camano islands. - Photo courtesy of the Readiness to Learn Foundation
Family support specialist Marilynn Norby recently met with Walt Blackford, community services manager for Puget Sound Energy, to acknowledge a $3,000 grant from the company in support of the Families in Transition program on Whidbey and Camano islands.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of the Readiness to Learn Foundation

The Readiness to Learn Foundation has received three gifts totaling $18,000 in the past month.

Officials with the nonprofit said the donations will support the Families in Transition program and will provide needed services to homeless children and families in Island County.

According to a foundation estimate, there are nearly 1,000 homeless children in the county who need improved access to available educational resources.

The foundation received a $3,000 grant from Puget Sound Energy,  a $5,000 gift from the Charis Foundation, and a $10,000 grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation.

Families in Transition, a grassroots program, last year helped 453 homeless students whose families were experiencing “homeless circumstances,” said foundation executive director Gail LaVassar.

“With the help of grants such as these, the Families in Transition program helped students make strides in attendance, homework completion, academic scores and graduation rates,” LaVassar said.

“This new infusion of funds will go a long way toward ensuring that Families in Transition continues its important work.”

LaVassar said evaluators found that the students in supported families not only improved their school work, but that 80 percent of the homeless high school seniors in the program graduated in 2011.

Founded in 1998, the Readiness to Learn Foundation initiates and manages outreach programs that support Island County children and families in need. Programs also include the Back to School Project and Holiday House.

 

Community Events, April 2014

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