On Tuesday, April 5, the Charlestown Neighborhood Council (CNC) presented the results of this year’s Spaulding-CNC Community Partnership Fund at a public meeting.
These funds were made available through the Department of Public Health Determination of Needs (DON) process as part of the construction of the new Spaulding Hospital in 2013. The Spaulding-CNC Community Partnership Fund is for grant applications of up to $5,000 annually, for a total of $100,000 annually, for projects that enhance the quality of life in Charlestown, strengthen the capacity of Charlestown residents to meet health and human service needs, and is aligned with one of the goals identified through the Community Health Needs Assessments undertaken by the community and led by MGH and Spaulding in 2012 and 2015.
Community input and education took place over the course of 2015, with the first grant applications submitted in January 2016.
Those needs are:
- Education – Goal: All Charlestown residents throughout the lifespan will have equal access to formal and informal educational opportunities to achieve their goals. The committee was particularly interested in promoting parental involvement in Charlestown schools.
- Substance Abuse – Goal: Prevent and reduce substance abuse across generations in Charlestown. This may include positive alternative activities for youth.
- Cancer & Health Issues – Goal: Reduce cancer morbidity and mortality rates through an increase in healthy living, including prevention, screening, and access to treatment. This could include reducing hunger, promoting walking or other clubs or access to fresh foods.
- Access to Health Care – Goal: Develop a comprehensive system of health care services for all Charlestown residents, especially individuals with disabilities (mental, physical, and learning) and their families who do not have equal access to care.
“As a public body, the CNC has made a good faith effort to comply with open meetings as we understand it, including public notification of all tutorials and applicant presentations,” read a statement from the CNC. “Individuals involved in the reviewing process were required to sign a conflict of interest agreement, disclose conflicts with any of the applicants, and recuse themselves from scoring applications that had a financial interest for themselves or their immediate family.”
This year 17 organizations submitted applications and presented their programs at a series of public meetings in early February to the members of the CNC and representatives from Spaulding. Funding at a maximum of $5,000 was awarded according to their project requests, and in some cases a second $5,000 has been awarded making a total of 22 awards.
The awards are as follows:
- Artists’ Group of Charlestown, $5,000, Hold Creative Workshop for youths and adults involved with substance abuse and/or recovery with a final exhibit of works on display at the Stove Factory Gallery for the whole community.
- Boys & Girls Club of Boston, $5,000, Conduct education and prevention program for teens and pre-teens with workshops on mindfulness, healthy relationships, healthy cooking/eating, stress management, and exercise/fitness.
- Charlestown Lacrosse & Learning Center, $10,000, Continue to enrich the children of Charlestown through athletics, academics and community service, and increase our diversity of students, athletes and volunteers. In addition, we will expand our ISEE prep-class to 18 and provide free classes for a minimum of 4 students in financial need.
- Charlestown Little League, $5,000, Continue to expand the teen umpiring program by inviting 6-8 additional teens to take the training and to provide refresher training for the 9 returning teens.
- Charlestown Soccer, $5,000, Ensure that players benefit from strong coaching at all levels by recruiting a Coaching Coordinator to develop plans, oversee coaches and mentor new coaches.
- Charlestown Sprouts, $1,290, Improve garden accessibility by resurfacing the pathways with wood chips and provide interpretation services to facilitate 3 educational community meetings to improve gardening practices.
- Charlestown Working Theater, $5,000, Support and enhance our two annual, youth theater productions, and also our Instructional Chess and Animations classes.
- Charlestown YMCA, $4,983, Increase participation by young women in our sports, employment, and college readiness programs for local teenagers, including confidence building sports by providing positive female role models.
- Charlestown Youth Football & Cheerleading, $8,003, Perform the required calibration of football helmets, purchase new uniforms, and provide transportation to away games. In addition, we will cover insurance costs, provide safety training for coaches and staff, and support fees for referees and EMTs at games along with medical supplies.
- Charlestown Youth Hockey, $5,000, Develop specific age-related programs through Micro Hockey & Friday Night Ice, to provide an environment for safe, healthy, and fun activities for building mental and physical well-being.
- Courageous Sailing, $4,850, Provide families, whose members participate in Adaptive Sailing Days or in our Swim, Sail, Science Program, the opportunity to sail together with an instructor.
- Gardens for Charlestown, $900, Install raised gardening beds dedicated to teaching where classes can be held and the community may observe and learn about healthy resources available in urban green spaces.
- Harvest on the Vine, $9,974, Run a special event for over 400 families in the food pantry to receive a ham dinner. In addition, we will purchase a refrigerator/freezer to fit our space and therefore be able to hold perishable items for distribution such as eggs, dairy products and meat.
- Kennedy Center, $10,000, Help fund staff providing educational parenting skills training so that parents become their children’s first teachers through the Book Nook, Ages & Stages evaluations, Read & Rise & Read, and Coffee Time for coping skills. In addition, we will increase the parent staff hours and hire a consultant.
- Special Townies, $10,000, Keep the clubhouse running (insurance, utilities, phone/internet) with the environment needed for socialization of special needs children, and guidance for parents. In addition, we will provide safety equipment for swim days, Social Saturdays for families, and trips to Sky Zone Trampoline Park.
- Town Track Club, $5,000, Support the successful growth of Town Track’s Urban XC/Track after school project that’s serves primarily Charlestown middle school kids for free.
- Turn It Around, $5,000, Improve the quality of our education on substance abuse & the benefits of alternate activities using our Basketball Tournament, Sept Recovery Month BBQ, and to invite a guest speaker to discuss recovery.