AAWGT Awards Grants for 2014-15
On May 14, the AAWGT membership voted to award $93,715 to seven area nonprofit organizations in support of their programs that improve the lives of women and families in Anne Arundel County. This year, 28 members participated in a rigorous and deliberative review process conducted by the Grants Committee which produced a slate of qualified finalists on which the membership voted. The proposals reflected the broad range of women’s needs and service responses. Through their philanthropy, the members of AAWGT have contributed $600,000 since 2007 as an investment in their community.
The AAWGT grantees chosen by the membership for 2014-15 are:
For details of the awards
- Anne Arundel Mental Health Agency: Youth Suicide Awareness
- Center of Help: Homework Help and Leadership Program
- Food Link: Wholesale Charitable Produce Distribution
- The Light House: Family Case Management
- Partners in Care
- Planned Parenthood of Maryland: Clinical Services For Women in AA County
- YWCA of Annapolis and Anne Arundel County
, see 2014 Grantees
Member Field Trip to See Dollars At Work
AAWGT’s annual Spring Field Trip took place May 23 and featured a tour of the new Family Literacy Center at the Brooklyn Park Community Library (BPCL). “We are grateful to AAWGT for the funds awarded to the Brooklyn Park Community Library through your grant for our new Family Literacy Center,” said Anne Arundel Public Library Foundation Executive Director, Hampton “Skip” Auld.
Today’s libraries are much more than books. In the new era, libraries are community centers, safe havens that provide many services that especially benefit the underserved. With the extended “normalization” of library hours supported by County Executive Laura Newman in the County budget, all County libraries are again open six days a week and several are open seven days a week. The new budget has also allowed for the hiring of 31 new full-time employees, including additional early learning specialists.
Through the “Every Child Ready to Read” program of the American Library Association, parents are encouraged to read, sing, talk, play and write with their children from birth. The first five years of life are critical to a child’s readiness for school and, ultimately, their success in life. This was convincingly supported in a brief video showing the impact of a parent’s active involvement in a child’s life, an investment in their future.
The BPCL’s new Family Literacy Center offers workshops, outreach, computer learning and versatile space for parents to interact with their children in a stress-free, resource-full environment. Schools now bring students to the Brooklyn Park Community Library. AAWGT’s grant was used to the interactive wall tiles (learning tool), a craft reading bench and puppet theater to enhance the Family Learning Center. Equally important, according to Brooklyn Park Community Library Branch Manager Catherine McNamara “AAWGT’s grant allowed the Library to lure great staff with our great new facilities.”
Twenty AAWGT members attended the Field Trip to listen, learn and experience the new center. Members are encouraged to visit the Brooklyn Park Community Library’s Family Literacy Center, just a few minutes north of BWI.
Celebrating the Life of Laurie Sharp
Laurie was inspiring in her organizing, fearless in her artwork, courageous in all aspects of her life, and passionate about everything she tackled, including her leadership role at AAWGT. Contributions in her memory may be made to the newly-created Laurie Sharp Endowment Fund at the Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County (www.cfaac.org) or to AAWGT's Endowment Fund.
Spring Open House
Over 75 members and guests gathered at the Historic William Paca House and Gardens on April 9. The theme for the event was membership. President Karen Smith spoke to key aspects of membership. LEARNING : AAWGT has a commitment to knowledge and features education sessions 3 times throughout the year. These sessions highlight the issues in Anne Arundel County and make us better informed grant makers. GIVING : This includes not only the giving of dollars to local agencies, but also the giving of time and talent by the women who make up AAWGT. NETWORKING : Women of AAWGT have an opportunity to visit grantees, work on committees, and participate in a book club besides a host of other capable, fun women.
The Membership Committee, Heidi Busch, Chair and Paula Abernethy, Co-Chair then took the stage along with a panel of five members – Sharon Stewart (Founder of AAWGT), Barbara Hoffstein (Founding member), Jenny Kottler (Current Secretary and member since 2010), Lois Kelberman (Current Education Asst. Chair and member since 2012), and Sally Iadorola (New member). The panel was asked a series of questions regarding their involvement in the organization.
For a full write-up on the session, click here.