Princeton Area Community Foundation Fund for Women and Girls awards $187,000 to 14 local nonprofits

Carolyn Sanderson, chair of the Fund for Women and Girls, with grantees. Attendees at the grantmaking dinner brought travel-size personal care items to the event to be donated to HomeFront.

The Princeton Area Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls has awarded $187,000 in grants to 14 local nonprofits, the largest amount in the fund’s 20-year history.

“All of these organizations are doing impressive work to care for the most vulnerable among us,’’ said Carolyn Sanderson, chair of the Fund for Women and Girls. “It is thanks to the generosity of our members that we are able to support this work, which is vital to the well-being of children and their caregivers in our region.”

Grants were awarded to local nonprofits that support young children ages 0 to 5, or provide support, leadership, and mentoring opportunities to women and girls.

The Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund received a three-year grant totaling $75,000 for FUTURO, a youth mentoring program for first- and second-generation immigrant students in Princeton and Trenton. The LALDEF plans to add 30 new students to the program that includes academic support, group mentoring and volunteer opportunities.

Three other organizations were awarded one-year grants of $25,000 each:

Court Appointed Special Advocates of Mercer & Burlington Counties – CASA will use the grant to serve 25 more Mercer County children between the ages of 0 and 5. In the last year, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of young children entering the foster care system, and they are among the most vulnerable because they are not yet part of the school-based safety net. The organization tracks overall changes in the children’s stability.

The Henry J. Austin Health Center in Trenton – The health center plans to use the grant for Well Babies through Well Moms, its new initiative designed to provide maternal postpartum depression screening to the hundreds of women whose infants are treated in the center’s pediatric departments. If a mom screens positive, she can be seen immediately by a behavioral health counselor.

Mercer Street Friends – Mercer Street Friends, based in Trenton, will use the grant to add 15 more families to its Parents as Teachers Home Visiting Program, which serves low- income, new mothers and their families through pregnancy until the child enters kindergarten. The program provides in-home visits from certified Parent Educators, group meetings, developmental, health, hearing and vision screenings and links families with community resources.

Two other organizations received grants of $2,500 each:

Better Beginnings Child Development Center – The center provides high-quality, affordable, culturally competent childcare and pre-school education in Hightstown. Most of the students are from low-income working families, and 90 percent of the children are ready for kindergarten after completing two years of the program.

The Puerto Rican Community Center – The center’s Presente program provides bilingual case management services, early intervention and parent education and support through a partnership with Jewish Family and Children’s Services.

Millhill Child and Family Development Corp. – The organization received $25,000 as the last installment of the grant it was awarded in 2016 for its Female Trenton PEERS Empowerment and Education Program.

Seven other nonprofits received grants of $1,000 each:

·         Children’s Home Society of New Jersey in Trenton

·         HomeFront in Ewing

·         The Princeton Nursery School

·         RISE in Hightstown

·         Trenton Music Makers

·         Trinity Counseling Service in Princeton

·         Young Wonders Child Development Center in Hamilton, a program of the Princeton YMCA

The Princeton Area Community Foundation’s Fund for Women and Girls supports the economic security of women and girls in central New Jersey. Funding priorities are based on the research-based needs of women and girls in the region.