Fall 2011 Grantees Announced

The Takoma Foundation received a record number of applications (34) in its Fall 2011 grants cycle. The Foundation will distribute close to $19,000 to 16 projects, outlined below. Each of these projects demonstrates the potential for important benefits to specific groups within the community as well as the community as a whole.


African Immigrant and Refugee Foundation: Youth ArtBeat Summer Weeks
For a three-to-five-week summer enrichment program designed for young people from the African Diaspora who are now living in Takoma Park/Silver Spring. Participants will share their stories of immigration and family history through workshops with professional teaching artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts.


Art for the People: FM Radio Station
To support an engineering feasibility study to bring an FM station to Takoma Park that will emphasize local programming.

Art for the People: Youth Art Classes
To provide supplies and tuition assistance for eight art classes at the Takoma Park Community Center for 12 to 15 local teens.

Caribbean Help Center, Inc.: Referral Services
To help expand information and referral services to up to 60 new clients, a 50% increase from the number served in FY11. The Caribbean Help Center provides referrals for Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, unemployment, housing, emergency cash assistance, clothing, food, and education.

Community Bridges: Our True Colors
To support “Our True Colors,” a collaborative effort that brings together a diverse group of students, families, and community members from five middle schools to discuss issues related to peer pressure and discrimination faced by girls. The project will conclude in a production created by the girls at Takoma Park Middle School.

First Book Montgomery: Free Books
To enable First Book and the Montgomery County pre-school center CentroNia to distribute 1,000 books to children in Takoma Park-Langley Park.

Montgomery Blair High School PTSA: Field Trip
To enable low-income students studying Spanish at Blair High School to join a special field trip to Sol Azteca, a family-owned restaurant in Olney.

Old Town Business Association (OTBA): reCYCLE The Art of Tree Project
To support OTBA’s project that will select local artists to create imaginative and whimsical tree-like sculptures, made from mostly recycled materials, that will be installed along the sidewalks of Old Takoma in Spring 2012.

The Partnership for Housing Recovery and Sustainability: Financial Education
To support a financial empowerment/education program for residents of Takoma Park, Long Branch, and Silver Spring that will cover topics such as credit, financial literacy, home buying, entrepreneurship, and economic development.

Piney Branch Elementary: Making Robots
To enable approximately 155 fifth-grade students at Piney Branch Elementary to develop science and engineering skills by building and operating simple robots. Students will learn that they don’t have to buy fancy kits, but can use their imagination and readily available materials to make their own robots.

Takoma DC Neighborhood Association: Projection Equipment
To acquire portable projection equipment for the meeting room in the modernized Takoma Education Campus, which is being rebuilt after the disastrous fire in December 2011. This equipment will be used for presentations at community group meetings, parent-school meetings, and staff meetings.

Takoma Park Middle School PTA: Fleet Feet Running Club
To support “Fleet Feet,” a new weekly one-hour intramural walking and running club, designed to encourage students to remain active and fit through the school year. The goal is to train and encourage students to run in the Takoma Park 5K on May 6, 2012.

Takoma Park Presbyterian Church: Community Kitchen
To provide initial funding for the design and feasibility of a community kitchen that will be used by a wide range of community organizations and individuals for food service training and food preparation.

Takoma Park Elementary School: Books and Breakfast
To support the “Books and Breakfast” program, which increases awareness of the importance of reading as a family activity and teaches parents how to build pre-literacy skills with their children. Each “Books and Breakfast” event will include a breakfast snack, story time, and the opportunity for both children and parents to select new books in English or their home language.

YMCA Youth & Family Services: Adult Sewing Classes
To enable the YMCA Youth & Family Services program to offer two eight-week sewing classes for 15 low-income, immigrant women per class. The classes will teach the women how to make and use patterns, sew with a sewing machine, and repurpose used clothing. Takoma Foundation funds will be used purchase more sewing machines to supplement those being borrowed from Impact Silver Spring (funded under a prior Foundation grant).

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance: No Styrofoam Campaign
To support the Young Activist Club of Takoma Park in their campaign to encourage Takoma Park-based businesses to sign a pledge committing to not use polystyrene. The Club aims to get at least 25 businesses in Takoma Park to sign the pledge, display a “Polystyrene-Free” window sticker, and distribute informational bookmarks, which the Club has already developed. This grant builds on earlier work done by the Young Activist Club and supported by the Takoma Foundation.