Four Community-based Organizations awarded Youth Services Improvement Grants

The William T. Grant Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded four community-based organizations in New York City $25,000 grants to improve the quality of their youth programs.

The Foundation’s Youth Services Improvement Grants program supports medium-sized organizations that have demonstrated success but have also identified an area that if improved would enhance the quality of services.

The newest grantees are:

Arab-American Family Support Center

Toolkit of Trauma-Sensitive Classroom Strategies

This grant will support the creation and implementation of a trauma-sensitive aide that will help staff better respond to students’ mental health needs. The Arab-American Family Support Center (AAFSC)—the first and largest Arabic-speaking, trauma-informed social service agency in New York City— provides English language academic support, homework help, college access and SAT preparation to Arab, Middle-Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian immigrant youth through its Brooklyn Youth Program. Many participants have experienced harassment and bullying, resulting in trauma, toxic stress, and behavioral and developmental challenges. As part of its improvement plan, AAFSC will consult with the National Council of Behavioral Health to create a trauma-sensitive, school-adapted, classroom strategies toolkit that will enable staff to adapt the learning environment and respond to students’ mental health needs.

Korean American Family Service Center

YCPT Curriculum Development Project

This grant will support the development of a culturally-relevant, youth-led curriculum. The Korean American Family Service Center is dedicated to helping Korean victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in NYC. Its Youth Community Project Team engages immigrant Asian students in group activities that raise awareness of topics related to dating and domestic violence in their community. To strengthen its programming and make its activities more culturally relevant, the organization will work with a consultant to develop a youth-led curriculum and codify concrete values, goals, activities, and measurement tools.

Fresh Youth Initiatives

Bridge Curricula

This grant will support the development of curricula and training activities for frontline staff. Fresh Youth Initiatives (FYI) provides arts, literacy, recreation, and service-learning activities to middle-school students in upper-Manhattan. To improve these services, FYI will work with a consultant to identify published curricula and adapt them to the needs of program participants and frontline staff, particularly in the areas of literacy, teen development, and STEM. As part of its improvement plan, the organization will work with external consultants to provide staff with professional development opportunities that will help them engage with the new curricula and learn how best to implement them.

The Opportunity Network

Equity and Inclusion Training, Curriculum, and Communication

This grant will support the development of an equity and inclusion toolkit and training activities to prepare participants for college and careers. Through its Fellows program, the Opportunity Network (OppNet) offers college and career preparation, professional skills building, SAT/ACT prep, and internships to students of color from 11th grade through college completion. In order to better prepare Fellows to navigate the daily inequity, exclusion, and discrimination they face when placed in predominantly white institutions, OppNet will develop a toolkit, lead program staff in equity and inclusion training, create skills-based lessons for students, and update its career fluency curriculum and guidance materials.