Governor’s Consortium presents Hispanic community needs grants

DCF’s Arsht-Cannon Fund & Partners Award $96,642 in Grants for Programs to Help Hispanic Delawareans Learn English

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Wilmington, DE – The Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs presented $96,642 in grants to support five community-based programs that help Hispanic families learn the English language or include an educational focus on family literacy, health literacy and/or financial literacy at a reception on October 12, 2010 at the Delaware Public Archives in Dover. More than 50 were in attendance as the representatives from the nonprofit organizations receiving the grants were recognized by Lt. Governor Matt Denn representing Governor Jack Markell, Vivian Rapposelli, chair of the Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs and Cabinet Secretary, Department of Services for Children, Youth and their Families, and members of the Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs.

“Congratulations and thanks to the five organizations recognized today for their efforts to improve literacy and education in our community,” said Governor Markell. “Literacy is the foundation of economic success. By expanding opportunity for more people, programs like these help move Delaware forward.”

According to the Delaware Hispanic Needs Assessment, a study commissioned by the Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs in 2008, over half of Hispanic Delawareans are Spanish-dominant and almost all share the desire to learn English. In addition, needs for family literacy, health literacy and financial literacy are integral to improving the quality of life for the state’s Hispanic population. This series of grants, supported by the Arsht-Cannon Fund of the Delaware Community Foundation and partners, will address these educational needs and interests.

The five programs selected include:

Capital School District in Kent County will receive $25,000 to expand their Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) Family Literacy Program that helps parents gain the literacy and parenting skills they need to become full partners in the education of their young children, and to assist those children in reaching their full potential as learners.

Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults/Northern Delaware Inc. in New Castle County will receive $8,000 to support an English Language Literacy program for Bear-area Hispanic learners to gain the English language skills they need to be active, informed citizens, productive workers, responsible community members and engaged, involved parents.

Lutheran Church of Our Savior in eastern Sussex County will receive $25,000 to expand their ESL programs for mothers with young children; adding an accelerated ESL course for advanced students, converting their babysitting effort to pre-school and after-school programs that include academic, language, arts and crafts and physical activity components and improving their mentor training programs.

People’s Place II, Inc. a statewide organization based in Milford will receive $13,642 to support Abriendo Puertas, a shelter and advocacy program for Spanish speaking women who have been exposed to domestic violence, providing for computer-aided English learning tools, transportation assistance and childcare to attend ESL classes or workshops on parenting and health care.

Sussex Technical Adult Divisions Even Start Family Literacy Program will receive $25,000 to expand the number of Sussex Country low income Hispanic families who are eligible for the Even Start program designed to empower families with adult education opportunities, assistance for parents to fulfill their role as their child’s first teacher, early childhood education and interactive parent and child literacy activities. The Delaware State Housing Authority at Laverty Lane and Phillis Wheatley Middle School will provide classroom space and other resources.

About the Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs

The Governor’s Consortium on Hispanic Affairs was created by Executive Order in 2006 for the purpose of supporting the most important needs of Delaware’s rapidly growing Hispanic families. The generous start-up funding provided by the Arsht-Cannon Fund along with collaborations of community, business and government leaders appointed to the Consortium, the Delaware Community Foundation, and Hispanic-serving nonprofit community organizations are improving the lives of many Hispanic Delawareans. In order to identify and address needs associated with our state’s increasing diversity, the Consortium has been involved with assessing the characteristics, contributions, needs and issues of Hispanic Delawareans, setting goals and funding priorities, conducting grant application and review processes, and partnering with public and private foundations and institutions to provide funding support. The Consortium includes leaders in the community, business, education, health, and government, who meet monthly.

About the Arsht-Cannon Fund

The Arsht-Cannon Fund of the Delaware Community Foundation was established by the late Honorable Roxana Cannon and Samuel Arsht to preserve support, protect and defend the best interests of a civil society. Roxana, the first woman judge in the State of Delaware, and Sam, a well-respected corporate lawyer, dedicated their lifes work and wealth to Delaware. Since 2003, the Arsht-Cannon Fund has provided nearly $4 million in grants to support nonprofit organizations serving Delawareans. The mission of the Arsht-Cannon Fund is to enhance the quality of life for Delawareans with a focus on the Hispanic population through the assessment of issues, assets and opportunities; awareness and advocacy; collaboration and partnerships with community members and leaders; and the organized funding of programs with the greatest potential for sustainability and significant impact. For more information about the Arsht-Cannon Fund, please contact Dr. Christine Cannon by calling 302.544.0077 or cc@arsht.com.