2015 Spring Grants

Spring Grants Connect with 18 Projects

The Takoma Foundation awarded 18 grants in its spring cycle, providing more than $28,700 to support a range of local projects for youth and their parents, seniors, and community cultural activities. $10,000 of the funds came from the City of Takoma Park under an agreement put in place this year where the Foundation manages the city's small grants program.

The projects represent a range of diverse interests and backgrounds that is remarkable for a small geographic area (Takoma Park, Takoma DC, Langley Park and inner Silver Spring). And they represent a deep commitment by residents and activists to expand opportunities and bring people together.


We have already seen the impact of our funds, as many of the projects have been fully implemented or are underway. Here’s how your financial support has helped the Takoma Foundation make a difference in our community:

African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation
Summer week Youth ArtBeat, sponsored by AIRF and Carpe Diem Youth ArtBeat, provided an arts enrichment summer program for 3rd-8th grade youth from the African diaspora. Professional teaching artists helped participants share their stories of immigration and family history through hands-on activities and performance.

The Barker Adoption Foundation
Teachers and staff this fall at Takoma Park Middle School will receive adoption competency training – learning how to address teens’ questions about adoption and foster care.

CREATE Arts Center
The smARTkids Afterschool Art Program at Takoma Park Elementary School will meet for 8 weeks this fall. Working in small groups, instructors and the school’s reading specialist will encourage students to collaborate and solve problems through working on projects.

Crittenton Services of Greater Washington
Pregnant and parenting teens at Blair High School will receive instruction on many issues that will help them gain self-sufficiency. The PEARLS program at Blair this fall will be supported with a bilingual (Spanish language) teacher, thanks to the Takoma Foundation grant.

Crossroads Community Food Network
The Crossroads Farmers Market hired one young adult employee this spring to conduct community outreach about the market, and then to work at it since June. Among the key tasks has been distributing Fresh Checks, which are vouchers to increase visitors’ buying power.

Dance Exchange
On July 18, Dance Exchange showcased a unique performance, “Still Crossing,” to celebrate the people and activities along New Hampshire Ave. in Takoma Park and Langley Park. “Still Crossing” is a dance program that raised themes of immigration, transition and home.

Difference Makers Inc and City of Takoma Park’s Lifelong Takoma Program
Lifelong Takoma and Difference Makers Intergenerational Community have been working together for a year to facilitate intergenerational relationships between students and seniors. Teens have performed service projects, such as snow removal, yard work and social activities.

Eastern Middle School PTSA
Gayle Danley, award-winning Baltimore slam poet, recited from her works and led poetry workshops for 8th graders at Eastern Middle School. This program has grown in the last few years to be one of the highlights of the academic year at Eastern.

Free Minds Book Club and Writing Workshop
Takoma Write Night Free Minds is a bi-monthly “Write Night” that creates a bridge of understanding between Takoma Park residents and youth incarcerated in the DC Jail.

Let's Play America, LTD
With grant funds, Let’s Play Takoma will organize two events: the annual Takoma Park Play Day and the Mid-Winter Play Day. These provide free opportunities for residents to play, learn new skills and meet new people.

Long Branch Sligo Citizens Association
The Long Branch Sligo Citizen Association’s landscaped a traffic median with native plants at the intersection of Sligo Creek Parkway and Flower Avenues. Under the direction from a professional landscape architect, this project was completed with volunteer labor from community members.

Making a New United People (M.A.N.U.P.)
M.A.N.U.P. continues to make great strides in developing mentoring programs for local youth., and it hired its first full-time employee this year.

Montgomery Blair PTSA
Blair’s After Prom celebration is the largest in Montgomery County. It’s a free, safe way for Blair seniors to extend their prom adventures into the wee hours of the evening --- supported by more than 150 parent volunteers.

Montgomery Blair High School
The Minority Scholars Program (MSP) is a county-wide, student-driven initiative aimed at reducing the achievement gap by expanding the number of African-American and Latino students in honors and Advanced Placement courses. With this funding, Blair’s newly formed MSP chapter will hope to duplicate the successes at other schools, which have seen the number of minorities enrolled in AP and honors classes increasing by 1/3 or more.

Takoma Park Elementary School
Two book-oriented programs provide opportunities four times a year for pre-K and kindergarten students and their families to share positive learning experiences around books and reading. Each session consists of a continental breakfast or snack, story time, a literacy game, and an opportunity for families to receive a free book.

Takoma Park JazzFest
One of the city’s best-attended cultural events, the JazzFest celebrated its 20th anniversary in June with an exciting array of regional talent and a large audience on a hot, stormy day.

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church
The church is the site of the Shared-Use Community Commercial Kitchen that has been under development for several years. Project design is complete and a work permit was approved in the spring. Construction is underway.

Village of Takoma Park
A seminar series, “Seniors And Those Who Care for Them,” has been developed to address three needs for seniors and people with disabilities: maintaining social contacts and personal support for older adults; delivering essential information and connection to resources; and generating feedback for future services older residents need.