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Community Stabilization Fund: Fifth Round Grants

We are pleased to announce the fifth round of grant distributions from the Community Stabilization Fund.  An initial investment of $200,000 from our Community's Endowment, combined with the generous investments of local donors, allows us to assist in setting the stage for recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Community Stabilization Fund targets three priority areas that were identified in conversations with local nonprofit partners: financial stability, health, and education.

 This month we re-visited and and completed our final round of funding for our Education strategy.

  • Mitigating the education opportunity gapprimary strategy is to provide extra resources to support those students who are likely to fall the furthest behind on their educational journeys as our model for learning is being forced to adapt in real-time.

In preparation for this month’s grant round, our community impact staff met with a number of youth serving nonprofits as well as local school districts and the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD). The Community Stabilization Fund awarded $150,000 to six organizations.

Boys and Girls Club of Greater Holland

to increase support for remote learners

Amount awarded: $35,000

With three sites that together serve both the Holland and West Ottawa districts, BGC reaches the greatest number of students outside of the schools themselves and serves elementary, middle, and high school students. Their staff have strong existing relationships with students and parents and close partnerships with educators in the two districts in which they work. This funding will allow BGC to add staff capacity to expand their Power Hour program, where students come every day after school to receive academic support, to include daytime hours for youth who are attending school virtually. All three locations have expanded hours for in person 1:1 or small group tutoring.

Bridge Youth Center

to increase support for remote learners

Amount awarded: $35,000

The Bridge is focused on serving Zeeland students and like BGC, has strong existing relationships with students and parents and works closely with Zeeland Public Schools. They also facilitate the alternative suspension program for Zeeland students who have been suspended or expelled. This funding will enable The Bridge to expand their Bridge to Excellence mentoring program to accommodate a larger cross section of our educational community and serve home schoolers and online learners. The Bridge will increase staffing to provide consistent mentors for students to help them attain their goals academically, behaviorally, and socially.

Escape Ministries

to increase support for remote learners

Amount awarded: $35,000

Escape has a track record of earning trust and building relationships with some of our community’s most vulnerable youth who are at high risk of disengaging with school entirely. Holland and West Ottawa districts partner with Escape on their alternative suspension program which provides intensive support to students who are suspended or expelled. This funding will be used to expand staff hours and hire additional staff to support their Alternative Suspension Accountability Program (ASAP) and After School Tutoring program enabling them to expand hours and serve more students.

Hope College Education Department, in partnership with OAISD

to launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program

Amount awarded: $20,000

Another key demographic group that we heard from local educators needs targeted outreach and support are our English Language Learners (ELL students). To meet the unique needs of remote ELL students, Hope College in partnership with the OAISD will launch a virtual 1:1 bilingual tutoring program for students in Holland, Zeeland, and West Ottawa school districts. The joint effort will leverage the OAISD’s ability to work with schools to identify the students in greatest need of this service and match them with a Hope College student tutor who speaks their home language. This funding will help seed the initial launch of this new innovative program.

Step Up

to adapt programming to virtual format

Amount awarded: $15,000

Step Up provides 1:1 academic mentoring to local middle school students. The program provides need-based instruction in math and reading to close the achievement gap. As of fall 2020, 100% of Step Up participants are underrepresented or come from economically disadvantaged households. Step Up is pivoting to a virtual format this semester while still seeking to deliver high quality tutoring and mentoring to the 45 students they serve. This funding will support Step Up’s ability to adapt their programming for virtual delivery. 

Ready for School

to expand programming to meet demand

Amount awarded: $10,000

In our first grant round for education, we awarded Ready for School $40,000 to expand their Start School Ready pre-kindergarten preparation programming in partnership with area schools. Their initial grant award was based on the program serving up to 80 students. Ready for School has exceeded that with over 100 students signed up to participate in the program. Ready for School has been flexible to meet the preferred program delivery methods of different districts. This additional funding will cover the increased costs of materials and staffing needed to serve 25% more students than projected at the outset.



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85 East 8th Street, Suite 110, Holland, MI 49423   (616) 396-6590   Email us