MUSKEGON, Mich. — Access to early childhood education, countywide literacy, business and community resources: these are some of the projects and programs funded by the Community Foundation’s Strategic Leadership Grants.
Following a strategic planning initiative in 2019, the Community Foundation for Muskegon County designed Strategic Leadership Grants to support projects and programs related to their three strategic focus areas: education; community and economic development; and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
“This was our first time inviting open applications by the nonprofit community for work related to our strategic goals, and we were impressed by the quantity and quality of the applications,” said Janelle Mair, vice president of community investment. “Many of our investments in 2020 focused on COVID-19 relief and community and economic development. As we move out of the pandemic, investments have shifted to focusing on education for learners of all ages, with an emphasis on systemic changes that create lifelong impact.”
Through their vital work, the following nonprofits are helping to address challenges and opportunities in Muskegon County:
• Preschool for All (PK4ALL): To give more children access to high-quality early education, this pilot program will open four free preschool/daycare classrooms through a partnership between Muskegon Public Schools, Muskegon Heights Schools, and the YMCA/Goodwill.
• Early Literacy Coaching: Through this effort, the MAISD will place a literacy coach in every public school district to help ensure that children in our county can enjoy all things that result from becoming confident, lifelong readers and writers.
• Read Muskegon Literacy Collaborative: Focused on addressing the root causes of illiteracy, this program helps families and neighborhoods work together to reduce poverty and build advocacy, employability, and leadership skills.
• Muskegon Community College’s Office of Diversity: This office will serve as a hub of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion resources for local groups and businesses seeking DEI training, staff development, shared workshops and seminars, and other opportunities.
“We are very fortunate to be working with these great organizations,” added Todd Jacobs, president and CEO of the Community Foundation. “Because of their efforts, and the donors who have trusted the Community Foundation to steward these funds, important strides are being made to improve education and provide opportunities for Muskegon County residents to succeed.”
These are only some of the grants awarded this round. To learn more about these programs and the other programs supported with grant dollars, click here.