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Community – Community Grants

Community – Community Grants

Junior League of Sarasota Awards Community Grants

2019-2020 Community Grants have been awarded at the October General Membership Meeting. Congratulations to our recipients.

  1. The Florida Center for Early Childhood is receiving a $4,000 grant for their program, Expanding Abilities Through Outdoor Play. The mission of The Florida Center for Early Childhood is to help build and foster strong families and expand the potential of young children. Funds from the Junior League of Sarasota grant will provide support children with developmental disabilities who attend the organization’s Starfish Academy Preschool or receive out-patient therapy. This request will impact approximately 500 children under age nine who receive services at the agency’s Sarasota and North Port locations The funds will be used to improve the outdoor play environment through the purchase of equipment specially selected for children with developmental delays and/or disabilities.
  2. Our next grant recipient is Florida Studio Theatre We are awarding a $4,000 grant for their Extended Residency Workshops at Emma E. Booker Elementary. FST wants to make theatre affordable and accessible to as many people as possible by creating a public forum for the issues of our day that will foster positive change in our community and beyond. This program will allow children to participate in workshops, perform in a program and perform on a tour in schools throughout Sarasota County, Hip and historical, entertaining and challenging, FST’s program where the street meets the elite, where everyone is welcome to come and engage in the art of theatre.
  3. We are awarding an $8,000 grant to Selah Freedom for their Human Trafficking Prevention in Sarasota- Human Trafficking Prevention in Sarasota will facilitate at least ten group sessions over a 5 month period consisting of a variety of prevention workshops including: Freedom for Teens engages students as they learn what sex trafficking is, how recruitment happens, risk factors, warning signs and how to protect themselves. Freedom for Kids engages young students as they learn about sexual abuse with age-appropriate curriculum, including information on safe touch, safe adults, identifying secrets vs, surprises, and how to protect themselves by seeking support from safe adults. Caught Up targets at-risk youth and utilizes video clips and discussion to take the audience on the journey of a young girl being recruited from a group home. Caught up reveals the dark truth about realities of being sex tracked, Sex, Lies, and Media is an on-line safety training that educates the audience on the tactics of sexual predators and how they use media to lure and •exploit victims. Topics discussed are how media and pornography shape our views of sexuality and healthy relationships, risk factors and red flags of abuse, and offers tips for added on-line safety.

4. Our next grant recipient, in the amount of $3,000, goes to Healthy Teens in their Teen Health Educators in Newtown program- Funds from the grant will allow HT to expand the agency’s premier project, the Teen Health Educator Program, to Newtown in Sarasota. A select group of 25 youth leaders will be trained and empowered to deliver critical health information in a relatable, relevant and medically accurate format. The Teen Health Educators provide education/prevention information to highly vulnerable youth, such as homeless/shelter teens, migrant farmworker youth, and other minority teen populations in order to reduce high risk behaviors, including dating violence, teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted illnesses.

5) Guardian Angels of SW FL, INC, is our is our next grant recipient They are being awarded a $10,000 grant for their Foster Family Home Improvement/ Upgrade Since 2013 the foster home has been home to over 75 children over the ensuing years. As one would expect, the home has experienced a great deal of wear and tear due to the large number of children residing there. The original carpet in the six bedrooms are stained, worn, unsanitary and in dire need of being replaced. We believe that the luxury vinyl flooring they are using in their newer Foster Family Homes will prove to be more cost effective, efficient and easier to maintain and clean This vinyl flooring would also benefit any children who might suffer from allergies.

  1. Mental Health Community Centers will be given $1000 for their Kitchen Overhaul Project to update three of their locations with newer kitchen equipment used for cooking and meal preparation. This update will provide opportunities to MHCCI’s Wellness Centers members to provide opportunities for recovery for members to learn new skills, practice them in a safe and sanitary environment, apply them to their self-directed recovery managing their severe and/or persistent mental illness symptoms to remain stable in their home, reduce hospitalizations and crises while increasing their quality of life.
  2. Our next grant recipient is Girl Scouts who is receiving a grant for $5,000 for Camp Honi Hanta Improvements. The overall project contains three components: the purchase and installation of a shade structure at the archery range, the creation of a disc golf course, and the replacement of the ice maker in the camp’s main lodger ARCHERY SHADE STRUCTURE: Archery is a time-honored tradition in Girl Scouting, and one of the most popular activities at Camp Honi Hanta. The installation of a 109<30′ cantilevered shade structure over the shooting line and waiting area will provide much-needed protection from the sun’s heat and UV rays. Currently, there is no shade available to those utilizing the archery range. GS is installing a beautiful plaque at the structure to honor JLS.
  3. Our final grant is awarded to The Sarasota Ballet, in the amount of $5,000 for their Dance — The Next Generation Project (DNG)u Dance — The Next Generation (DNG) is a transformational free ten-year after-school program designed for low income at-risk students. DNG has 3 objectives: 1) introduce them to the life skills & self-discipline inherent in the study of dance, enabling them to achieve academic and personal goals; 2) foster artistic sensitivity and social interaction leading to self-confidence and the ability to relate to the world with awareness, tolerance and understanding; 3) ensure students graduate from high school. 100% of students who graduate from DNG graduate from high school. This grant will provide healthy and nutritious snacks to participants in this program.


Grant recipients from 2018-2019 were:

1. Transition Sarasota Grant: $5,000.00

The mission of Transition Sarasota is to create food and economic security by supporting local, sustainable sources. The JLS Community Grant will allow Transition Sarasota to continue to support and expand their successful Suncoast Gleaning Project by purchasing specialized equipment to initiate a new satellite project, “Sharing Low & Higher Hanging Fruit.” It will harvest fruit from residential properties that would otherwise be wasted from households whose trees produce more fruit than the residents can pick, manage, and consume. This project fits perfectly with our community impact focus of addressing hunger and food insecurity in Sarasota County and will also help raise awareness of these issues throughout our community.

2. Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast Grant: $5,000.00

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast works to protect the environmental character, biodiversity and natural integrity of Florida’s Gulf Coast for future generations. Children living in poverty have limited access to the natural environment, and a growing body of research indicates that contact with nature is important for children’s cognitive, emotional, social, and educational development. The grant will support the addition of 60 at-risk children to the Youth in Nature Program, which engages kids in a wide array of nature-based activities, and will fund program coordination, recruitment and outreach, supplies, transportation, meals, and activity expenses.

3. The Florida Center for Early Childhood Grant: $5,000.00

The mission of The Florida Center for Early Childhood is to help build and foster strong families and expand the potential of young children. Funds from the Junior League of Sarasota grant will outfit the Helping Families Heal Program’s visitation rooms in which parents and children receive counseling and therapy and will cover the costs of evidence-based child-parent therapy that help the family during a critical phase of repair.

4. The Haven Grant: $4,770.00

The Haven creates solutions and changes the lives of children, teens and adults with disabilities. The JLS Community Grant will fund a pediatric treadmill and lift mechanism for physical therapy to be installed in the Haven’s Selby Preschool. The body-weight supported treadmill will be used by children ages 1 to 5 who have developmental delays that result in mobility limitations. This equipment will help to promote gait and gross motor skill development, posture control, and balance and increase the child’s level of activity.

5. TeamUp Volunteer & Partnership Council Grant: $4,365.00

TeamUp Volunteer & Partnership Council was created by the Junior League of Sarasota in partnership with the school district and private sector organizations in 1979. The mission of the Council is to support the Sarasota County School District volunteer school-based programs by providing manpower and resources of volunteers who support academic achievement and leadership. The JLS Community Grant supports their program, Closing “The Word Gap” for At-risk Kindergarten Students While Instilling the Love of Reading, by providing trained tutors to work with targeted kindergarten children one-on-one throughout the school year and giving books for children to take home.

6. Sertoma Kids, Inc. Grant: $3,865.00

Sertoma Kids, Inc. provides speech and language therapy to children with communication disorders regardless of their ability to pay. This grant supports Sertoma’s Small Group Instruction and Activities for Parents of Young Children with Communication Impairments program. The money will fund six parent group meetings led by Sertoma Speech and Language Pathologists. In addition, grant funds will cover 20 home visits that will provide direct support to parents as they practice the activities learned in the group.

7. Embracing Our Differences Grant: $3,500.00

Through the transformative power of the arts, Embracing Our Differences educates and inspires to create a better world that embraces diversity, respects differences, and actively rejects hatred and prejudice. This grant funds the Classroom Docent Art Integration project. Using artwork from past Embracing Our Differences exhibits, high school docents from Riverview High school will go into Sarasota County elementary school classrooms and engage the younger students in conversations about the importance of diversity and inclusion and the messages embedded within the artwork and quotations. This project will reach more than 1,200 elementary school students and will provide an incredible leadership opportunity for 125 high school students.

9. Healthy Start Coalition of Sarasota County Grant: $2,500.00

The vision of the Healthy Start Coalition is that every baby born in Sarasota County receives the healthiest start in life possible. The JLS Community Grant will fund 50 in-home breastfeeding support sessions for struggling moms who are at-risk for premature breastfeeding cessation. This service will ensure the mother is provided with the education and critical support to continue a breastfeeding relationship initiated at one of our local hospitals or birthing centers and prepare her for her breastfeeding journey with her baby.

10. High Risk Hope Grant: $2,500.00

High Risk Hope’s goal is to prolong high-risk pregnancies and become a catalyst in the global fight to prevent premature births and improve health outcomes for mothers with pregnancy complications and for premature babies by providing practical and emotional support to women and families. Grant funds will make it possible for volunteers to deliver Bed Rest Baskets to newly admitted, long-term, high-risk obstetric hospital patients with over 50 personal items that a mom-to-be needs to survive long-term hospital bedrest. They will also deliver NICU Knapsacks to families of newly admitted premature infants.

11. In the Pink Boutique Grant: $2,500.00

In the Pink is dedicated to helping women heal, cope, and survive the effects of cancer both physically and emotionally. This grant will help provide underinsured, uninsured, and Medicaid-eligible women who have cancer the items they need, such as wigs and post-surgical garments, to make it through their journey with cancer with dignity.

12. Take Stock in Children of Sarasota County Grant: $1,000.00

Take Stock in Children’s mission is to break the cycle of poverty through achievement of higher education for at-risk, low-income students in Sarasota County. This grant will directly impact 77 9th and 10th grade students and their mentors by funding them a college-planning workshop. Take Stock in Children was a JLS grant recipient for a college planning workshop for 8th graders last year, so we are especially excited to offer continued support of these students.

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