Grantmaking – Stories of Impact

Grantmaking – Stories of Impact

Community Impact Grants

Community Impact grants make a meaningful difference for many people and communities throughout Monterey County. Field of interest and unrestricted funds, created by generous donors through their estates, fuel the CFMC’s competitive grantmaking programs. In 2016 the Community Foundation for Monterey County granted more than $2.7 million through the foundation’s competitive programs and leadership initiatives. Here we highlight four grantees in children and youth, community development, arts and culture and the environment. See all community impact grantees or learn how to apply for a 2018 Community Impact grant.

Parent Institute for Quality Education

$12,000 for Parent Engagement in Education to help prepare students for success in college (Children & Youth)

A Forbes Magazine article, ranking the city of Salinas as one of the least educated cities in the country, has one organization taking on the challenge of empowering families through education. Parent Institute for Quality Education (PIQE), pictured above, is using a $12,000 CFMC Community Impact Grant to teach parents and caregivers how to advocate for their children’s educational needs through a series of free workshops.

In addition to parents being the first teachers, they are the vehicle for student success. Studies show that parents that are informed and involved have children who are more likely to graduate high school and enroll in college.” Janine Ramirez, PIQE Executive Director

PIQE works in K-12 schools, including El Gabilan Elementary School and other Salinas City Elementary Schools, to provide its Parent Engagement in Education Program to 60 low-income parents and reaching about 180 under-represented youth in Monterey County. A high school will be added this year.

During a nine-week course parents learn how the public-school system works and mandatory college admission requirements. The goal is to connect parents to proven strategies that can be easily implemented at home and school, that help them develop an effective learning environment that “Creates a College Going Culture.”

Community Human Services

$30,000 for substance abuse and mental health services at Chinatown Health Services Center in Salinas (Community Development)

Community Human ServiceA newly opened Chinatown Health Services Center (CHSC) in Salinas is providing comprehensive help to those most in need, from drug addiction counseling to mental health support and services for the homeless.

A $30,000 grant to Community Human Services will provide outpatient drug treatment and mental health services at CHSC. Community Human Services will take services of two of their existing programs, outpatient drug treatment and outpatient mental health counseling, and provide them on-site at the CHSC.

“Our initial plan is to provide these services for a total of 16 hours a week although service levels may grow based on demand for services and funding availability,” said Robin McCrae, Community Human Services Chief Executive Officer, adding that they are partnering with Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra/Dorothy’s Kitchen to address the behavioral health needs of those living in Chinatown.

Providing these services on-site removes one of the huge barriers homeless populations face, namely lack of transportation to access services. Another often overlooked issue service providers face with getting clients connected with services is lack of familiarity and trust. The Chinatown population is familiar with and trusts Dorothy’s Place and we expect they will be more willing to engage in services when they know we are connected with them and the CHSC.” – Robin McCrae, CEO, Community Human Services

McCrae said a 2017 Monterey County Homeless census report underscores the immediate need for these services. It found 28 percent of those surveyed had emotional or mental health conditions and 34 percent reported abusing drug or alcohol.

Sunset Cultural Arts

$30,000 for Arts-on Education Program (Arts & Culture)

Sunset Cultural ArtsA shift in California’s public education curriculum has put a focus on science, math and technology, leaving teachers with less flexibility for art instruction. Sunset Cultural Center (SCC) is encouraging the advancement of arts education in Monterey County through three targeted programs.

A $30,000 grant to SCC is funding a three-component arts education program. Classroom Connections, launched in 2008, has provided 10,000 Monterey County students with opportunities to interact with internationally touring artists. The other programs are Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program (in collaboration with North Monterey County Unified School District); and Turnaround Arts: CA.

There remains a large amount of unmet need for arts education, especially in the lowest performing schools and districts.” – Barbara Davison, SCC Development Manager

Building on the success of Classroom Connections, Sunset Center has been able to broaden the scope of its arts education outreach from individual student interaction to school and district reform, she said.

Turnaround Arts: California has partnered with SCC to implement arts education programs in high-need elementary and middle schools including two local schools: Mary Chapa Academy in Greenfield and Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Seaside.  SCC is also partnering with the North Monterey County Unified School District as participants in Partners in Education Program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“SCC was selected because of their demonstrated commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts. The partnership team will participate in collaborative efforts to make the arts integral to education district-wide,” Davison said.

Elkhorn Slough Foundation

 $20,000 for Sand Hill Farm Restoration Project (Environment)

Elkhorn Slough FoundationThe migratory birds that carpet the gentle waters and wetlands of the Elkhorn Slough in Moss Landing are the residents of an ecologically sensitive area. Weeds, trash, and unchecked water run off  threaten the habitat of dozens of species that call the area home.

The Elkhorn Slough Foundation is working with volunteers to repair and rehabilitate the 4,000-acre watershed. A $20,000 grant is being used to restore “Sand Hill Farm” – 107 acres of former agriculture land adjacent to the Elkhorn Slough Reserve that drains into the slough. It’s estimated that it will take seven to ten years to restore the hillside to native vegetation.

For nearly four decades its extremely steep slopes were used to grow strawberries, and when the farm was left with deep furrows and agricultural debris.” –  Mark Silberstein, Elkhorn Slough Foundation Executive Director

Critical work is already underway. The full scope of the restoration includes:

• Stabilizing eroded slopes to reduce sediment and chemicals from flowing into the slough
• Re-contouring the land to remove and fill gullies
• Cover-cropping to protect against erosion and to begin rebuilding healthy soil
• Restoring native vegetation by planting hundreds of oaks, chaparral shrubs, and thousands of grass plugs and removing trash piles, debris and weeds.

More Grantee Stories

2016AnnualReportCoverVisit for a list of our most recent Community Impact grants. Our 2016 Annual Report also details important work grantees are doing in Monterey County.

Annual Report