Skokie Review –

The Skokie Community Foundation awarded a total of $25,000 in grants for 2019 in an event at Community Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.) in Skokie. Three general $5,000 grants and one $10,000 grant targeted toward social inclusion were awarded to partnered organizations.

Staff report

The Skokie Community Foundation announced its eighth year of grants totaling $25,000 at a celebration last month at Community Animal Rescue Effort in Skokie.

Like in recent years, the grants – three $5,000 awards and one $10,000 award – went to individual projects backed by institutions teaming together.

The idea of grant applications requiring at least two groups working together, with one being a nonprofit, was instituted by the foundation several years ago.

Skokie mayor George Van Dusen called the foundation “an easy organization to support.”

“The Village made the decision last year to transfer its philanthropic support from another organization to the foundation,” Van Dusen said.

He said that a village committee decided that it made sense to support “a group in town that does a wonderful job of supporting (the) local community.”

Gene Griffin, chairman of the Skokie Community Foundation board, said that for the first time the $10,000 grant was “targeted” toward a project that involves “social inclusion.” The foundation defines social inclusion as “helping to make Skokie a place where all individuals and groups feel welcomes and take part in community life.”

The $10,000 grant was awarded to [a] team of North-light Theatre, the Skokie Public Library and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center for a program in which Skokie teens will adapt and perform a play addressing the need to combat racial profiling and prejudice with increased empathy, knowledge and understanding.

Skokie Public Library young adult librarian Jarrett Dapier said the project could not be done without the support of the foundation. Dapier and Northlight Theatre teaching artist Dominique Chestand will adapt “Martin Rising: Requiem For a King,” the story of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last days, which is written in verse, he said.

Performances will take place at the library as well as two performances at the Holocaust museum early next year, he said.

The book’s author Andrea Davis Pinkney will also appear after some of the performances, according to foundation officials.

“It’s really a story about the end of King’s life but it goes beyond that,” Dapier said. “What we’re very excited to bring to not just the community here but the students and children is the…fact that Martin Luther King sacrificed his life for his principles and that those principles extended beyond racial justice to workers’ rights and the war in Vietnam. The book really covers a lot.”

A $5,000 grant was awarded to partners Metropolitan Family Services and the Skokie Coalition to End Abuse and Neglect of Adults with Disabilities.

The funds will be used to continue a program focusing on significantly increasing the rate of reporting of abuse and neglect of adults with disabilities and preventing abuse in the first place, foundation officials said.

A number of social service organizations are behind the grant, said Jamie Farrell of Metropolitan Family Services.

A $5,000 grant was awarded to YMCA Evanston/North Shore and the village of Skokie’s Human Services department for a young men’s engagement project connecting the Skokie Police Department and Youth Outreach Program for intervention and support to you men ages 12 to 18.

“These are young men that maybe have been taken in for disorderly conduct or other things but are not in need of mental health services,” said Skokie Human Services Director Beth Lindley.

The males are offered six weeks of education through support and discussion groups “to build healthy relationships” between each other and with the family and community, she said.

The final $5,000 grant was awarded to Turning Point Behavioral Health Care Center and CARE to provide interactive programs for Tuning Point clients as well as providing CARE with a new source of volunteer assistance.

Carolyn Anthony, vice chair of the Skokie Community Foundation and former Skokie Public Library director, said the grant recipients represent a wide range of needs in Skokie.

“It’s every kind of institution,” she said about those receiving grants. “I think this says a lot about what the Skokie Community Foundation is. We don’t have a particular niche…our focus is on whatever is good for the community in Skokie.”