FLINT, Michigan, Nov. 27, 2017 – In response to residents who asked for affordable childcare and other assistance for north Flint parents, the Ruth Mott Foundation has awarded nearly $200,000 in new grants for programs that offer parental supports.

The awards are included among more than $1 million in grants that were recently approved by the Ruth Mott Foundation Board of Trustees. Overall, the 14 grants will fund a variety of programs ranging from youth development and blight removal to bottled water delivery and a neighborhood center — all in the Foundation’s focus area of north Flint.

The recently awarded grants bring the total number of grants awarded in 2017 to 53. Of those, 22 were new proposals that had never before received Ruth Mott Foundation funding.

All Ruth Mott Foundation grants are awarded based on the concerns and priorities identified by hundreds of north Flint residents who participated in the Foundation’s community forums.

“Youth is the Ruth Mott Foundation’s number one priority based on what we heard from north Flint residents, and supporting our youth has to include making sure that parents also have a variety of supports to raise their families,” said Ruth Mott Foundation President Handy Lindsey. “Research shows that increased parental involvement leads to students’ higher academic achievement and social competence, and these newly funded programs will help remove some of the barriers that north Flint parents experience.”

InvolvedDad, awarded $75,000, was founded by Shon Hart in 2014 with a mission to empower and promote men to become actively engaged fathers in the lives of their children. The Ruth Mott Foundation grant will support the IMPACT-Father Engagement program, which will provide parenting education classes, facilitated father-and-youth sessions to address relationship issues and assistance with overdue child support.

Hart, of Flint, got his start teaching parenting classes to male inmates within the Michigan prison system, and has over 10 years of experience with workshops that help fathers strengthen the paternal bond.

“This program provides fathers with the right tools and environment needed to reconnect with their children, build parenting skills and develop healthy relationships,” Hart said. “Helping children interact with their fathers in positive ways will ultimately help them gain a greater sense of self-worth and self-identity.”

Other Ruth Mott Foundation grants for parenting support include $60,000 awarded to Child Care Network for the Family Support Program, which will provide child care scholarships to at least 24 low-income, north Flint families. Affordable child care was identified by north Flint residents as a vital support for parents.

Metro Community Development will also receive $50,600 for The NYANSAPO Project, which provides an intergenerational computer-based literacy program for north Flint fathers and father figures; and $10,000 for The Mothers of Joy University Project, which provides parenting education workshops. Research has also shown that students perform better in school when families are able to create home environments that encourage learning; express high, realistic expectations for achievement; and become involved in students’ education at school and in the community.

In all, 14 grants funding a range of strategies were approved by the Board of Trustees:

Organization Project/Program Name (if applicable) Amount
Genesee County Land Bank Authority Clean and Green 2018 $267,400
SIPI, Inc. North Flint Capacity Building $120,000
Asbury Community Development Corp. General Operating Support 2017 $75,000
Community Foundation of Greater Flint Neighborhood Small Grants Program 2017 $75,000
InvolvedDad IMPACT – Father Engagement $75,000
United Way of Genesee County R.L. Jones Community Outreach Center – General Operating Support $75,000
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Flint and Genesee County Out of School Time Mentoring Program $70,000
Child Care Network Washtenaw Regional 4C Family Support Program $60,000
Greater Flint Arts Council Shop Floor Theatre Company 2017-18 Creative Learning Program $53,190
Metro Community Development, Inc. The NYANSAPO Project $50,600
Michigan Organizing Project North Flint Community Organizing Project $31,882
Delta Research and Educational Foundation Delta Sigma Theta Sorority – Youth Expansion Project $24,000
El Ballet Folklórico Estudiantil Music and Dance Project for Richfield Public School Academy $14,500
Metro Community Development, Inc. The Mothers of Joy University Project $10,000
TOTAL $1,001,572

The Ruth Mott Foundation is nearing the end of the second year of its north Flint strategy, and the Foundation will be holding two community forums in December to check in with north Flint residents, present some of its grantmaking results so far and collect feedback.

The forums will be held 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 2, at Asbury United Methodist Church, 1653 Davison Road; and from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 7, at Flint Development Center, 4121 Martin Luther King Ave.

RSVP information can be found here.