Foundation Awards $138k in Grants, Continues Support for Economic Development of Barberton

Foundation Awards $138k in Grants, Continues Support for Economic Development of Barberton

Foundation Awards $138k in Grants, Continues Support for Economic Development of Barberton

(March 21, 2024 Barberton, Ohio) – Barberton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors met at the Foundation’s office for a regular meeting on March 21, 2024 to approve $138,847.68 in grant funding to 13 nonprofit partners, affirmed a land swap deal to enhance the marketability of the Newell Street Industrial property, and provided second-year funding to the successful Main Street Barberton project.

“Between our various ongoing projects for economic development designed to improve our commercial building stock, and our continued grant investments in early childhood education resources and services, we are so excited to continue building momentum in the Barberton community,” said Josh Gordon, Executive Director of Barberton Community Foundation.

Guest Sheila McGhee, Director of Barberton Preschool, spoke at the beginning of the meeting as the “mission moment.” Barberton Preschool has grown significantly since its beginning in 2017 with 60 students. Today, 240 students attend Barberton Preschool, and these students test higher and are more prepared for kindergarten than their peers who do not attend Barberton Preschool.

Highlighted committee reports include the Foundation’s economic development. The Foundation is currently accepting applications for a Director of Economic Development, with an anticipated start date in May.

Updates for Newell Street Industrial Park

Work continues on the Newell Street Industrial Complex, also known as the old Rockwell site. The Board authorized Executive Director Josh Gordon to enter into an agreement with Barberton City Schools and the City of Barberton regarding a portion of land owned by the District on Norton Ave. The Foundation and the Schools agreed to a swap of the property, allowing for a road for industrial access off Norton, and keeping heavier traffic off Newell Street, where the Middle School utilizes their drop off and pick up locations.

Supporting Downtown Businesses through Main Street Barberton

The Board approved $50,000 in operating funding for Main Street Barberton. This funding is part of a three-year commitment and partnership with the City of Barberton to fund the startup of Main Street Barberton. The organization is working to revitalize downtown by promoting current businesses, hosting events to bring visitors to experience the Magic City, and serving as a key strategist for new development.

Continuing the Foundation’s partnership with Main Street Barberton, the organization will launch a new sign design program beginning April 1, 2024, and the application period closes May 15, 2024. Businesses’ signs that are out of compliance will now have an opportunity to update their signage through a 50% matching grant program in partnership with BCDC.

First Cycle Grants Awarded

The main business of the meeting was to approve requests from the first grant cycle of the year. The Foundation awarded $138,847.68 to 13 nonprofits focused on Education and Workforce & Economic Development programs.

Barberton City School District was awarded four different grants totaling $46,847.68. Those grants include:

  • $24,000 to Barberton Preschool’s Summer Learning Program, offering a 3-week learning experience in July to better prepare students for their kindergarten year. The program prioritizes Barberton resident children entering kindergarten in the fall. Through the Foundation’s support, this program is free to attend, and transportation will be provided. For more information, contact the Preschool.

  • $9,846.68 to support services provided to families in AMHA housing from Barberton City School District. For this program, the District will match funds from the Foundation to increase (from 2 days to 4 days per week) on-site after-school tutoring for resident students at AMHA homes, provide bimonthly parent meetings, transportation to open houses and conferences, as well as student transportation for Upward Bound programs. Special note: we recognize Phil Hodanbosi for writing this grant on behalf of the District.

  • $9,000 for Improving Attendance at Barberton Primary and Intermediate Schools. Funding for this program is used for parent education, postcards, and student incentives. Chronic absenteeism is a hidden problem in schools because students can miss days for many different reasons. In the 2022-2023 school year, 284 primary students missed 18 or more days and 230 intermediate students missed 18 or more days. When students miss school, they miss important foundational skills and lessons which can never be made up. The district is hoping to close the attendance gap.

  • $4,000 to Barberton Middle School for STEM Supplies. In 2023, the School District expanded its STEM offerings to all 6-8 grade students. The District purchased $120,000 of equipment in technology-based career areas so students can explore areas that fit their interests and skills. This funding provides support for the cost of consumables used throughout the year in these labs. Examples include wood, glue guns and glue, and small hand tools for the energy lab, suturing materials for the nursing lab, and electrical wiring materials for the home maintenance lab.

Limitless Ambition received $20,000 for their program Purposely Chosen Teen Programming in Barberton City Schools. Limitless Ambition works with young women to overcome boundaries to their success. This program will work with 50 girls ages 13-18 throughout the school year, highlighting social-emotional learning, demonstrating leadership, and providing strong role models to help these girls build confidence, dream big, and achieve their goals.

National Inventors Hall of Fame, Inc. received $15,000 for 2024 Camp Invention in Barberton. Camp Invention is a summer enrichment program for Barberton Primary and Intermediate students (grades K-6) with curricula focused on developing creativity, inventive thinking, and problem-solving skills through hands-on STEM content. Funding supports 185 Barberton students by underwriting costs for children to attend based on financial need.

Child Guidance & Family Solutions received $10,000 for their program Toddlers & Preschoolers Succeeding (TAPS) in Barberton. TAPS provides on-site training for preschool and childcare staff on how best to respond to challenging classroom behaviors and improve kindergarten readiness. The organization anticipates serving 262 preschoolers with this funding.

Girl Scouts of Northeast Ohio received $10,000 to support its Troops in Low-Income Communities program. This grant supports operating expenses, memberships, uniforms, and supplies for 20 girls in grades K-8 to engage in 20-week after-school STEM-based programming through the Girl Scouts.

Great Trail Council of Boy Scouts of America was awarded $10,000 to support The Exploring Program for middle and high school students. The Exploring Program is a workforce development program focusing on 12 career path exploration opportunities through a partnership with Barberton community partners (local businesses, organizations, and occupational professionals) during the school day.

United Way of Summit & Medina received $10,000 for support of their Financial Empowerment Center. The Center estimates serving 200 residents through free financial empowerment programming, including one-on-one financial coaching, tax preparation and banking assistance.

Junior Achievement of North Central Ohio received $7,000 for its program called Inspiring Barberton Students through JA Programming. Program funding directly supports financial literacy, entrepreneurship, and work readiness programming for K-12th grade students in Barberton. These programs are designed to teach students how to generate wealth and effectively manage it, how to create jobs that make their communities more robust, and how to apply entrepreneurial thinking to a workplace.

Service Corps of Retired Executives Association – SCORE Akron received $5,000 for community and workforce development programs. We know small businesses are essential to the economic health of our community, but finding support can be hard. Services through SCORE include mentoring and workshop programs for Barberton entrepreneurs interested in starting their own business or expanding their existing business.

Project Learn of Summit County was awarded $5,000 for providing GED classes at the Barberton Public Library and estimates they will support 25 Barberton residents studying for the GED exam. Project Learn provides literacy and lifelong learning services that help adults achieve their goals as family members, workers, community members and lifelong learners. Since 1981, it has provided free classes to more than 27,400 adults throughout Summit County.

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About Barberton Community Foundation

Established in 1996, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded over 8,500 grants and scholarships totaling more than $109 million since its inception. The Foundation strives to improve, now and forever, the quality of life for Barberton residents by providing leadership on vital issues, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good. The Foundation strengthens the community for current and future generations by proactively directing its grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs. To read more about Barberton Community Foundation visit www.barbertoncf.org or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/barbertoncommunityfoundation.

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Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors Holds Annual Meeting

Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors Holds Annual Meeting

Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors Holds Annual Meeting

Lynne Holcomb to Serve as Board Chair, Josh Gordon Begins New Role as Executive Director

(January 19, 2023 Barberton, Ohio) –  Barberton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors met at Barberton Area Community Ministries (BACM) for its annual meeting on January 18, 2024.

The main business of the meeting was to elect the board’s slate of officers for the year. Lynne Holcomb was elected to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors. Holcomb has been a member of the board for seven years and was a Friend of the Foundation for three years. She is a Barberton native with a strong accounting and financial background, currently working as the Director of Finance for Top Echelon Software.

Holcomb succeeds Jason Slater, who is completing his final year on the board. Slater has served since 2022 as chair.

“I am thankful for the trust the board placed in me as their leader for the past two years,” Slater said. “Lynne too, has earned the trust and respect of the board as our Finance Committee chair. She has the background and understanding to enforce the board’s policies and governance to achieve the Foundation’s primary goal, which is to steward these funds in perpetuity for the benefit of all future Barbertonians.”

Holcomb thanked Slater for his service as chair.

“I am proud to be of service to an organization with leaders like Jason who have taken the long view of our community’s needs,” Holcomb said. “Many times, the impact of our decisions as a board is not felt for years. We will stay focused on our vision for economic growth, choosing grants and projects that do the most good for the most people over time. We are fortunate that we have a number of projects to review this year, and we are excited to continue those conversations.”

The full slate of officers for 2024 is: Lynne Holcomb, Chair; Moriah Cheatham-Williams, Vice-Chair; Hugh McMichael, Treasurer; and Deb Shreiner, Secretary. The board also welcomed one new member, Mike Andric, Assistant Director of Curriculum at Barberton City School District.

Andric has worked for the school district for 19 years. He is a member of Magic City Kiwanis and does additional volunteering in the community. Andric brings a valuable skillset as a community collaborator to the board. He is the district lead for the Business Advisory Council (BAC), a partnership between the City of Barberton, Barberton City School District, and Barberton businesses. The BAC works to connect business partners with the district to impact curriculum, support business needs in Barberton, and to create opportunities for work-based learning and employment.

Jennifer Bidlingmyer, 2023 board Treasurer and Chair of the Development Committee, completed her final term of service on the board. Slater thanked Bidlingmyer for her service to the Foundation.

“I can’t thank you enough for your time, expertise and commitment to the Foundation,” Slater said. “You have been a valuable contributor to the board, and to the good work being done at the Foundation.”

Bidlingmyer shared that one of her most proud accomplishments in her tenure on the board came when the Foundation completed the final payment on the debt service for Barberton High School in 2021.

New faces at the Foundation

The board also welcomed new Executive Director Josh Gordon to his role. “I’m doing my best to get up to speed as quickly as possible, as we have a lot of important work happening right now,” Gordon said. “While the Foundation is currently in cycle of growing our granting capacity, it’s wonderful to be in a room of people that care so much about building our community.”

Gordon also thanked Tiffany Peters, Director of Finance, for her time as interim. “Rarely has a transition been lead with such incredible support and guidance. I look forward to working with her and the rest of the outstanding team.”

Economic Development at the Foundation Continues

The Economic Development Committee report included an update on three of the active projects. The property at the old Rockwell Industries along Newell Street, purchased at the end of 2022 for redevelopment, continues to be a priority. The City of Barberton and the Foundation are collaborating on site readiness and entertaining businesses who have interest. Main Street Barberton, another project in partnership with the City, is fulfilling its mission of revitalizing downtown by focusing on filling building vacancies and creating new events to entice people to visit Barberton’s downtown arts and entertainment district. The committee also reported on the Magic Marketplace project, in partnership with the City of Barberton, for which the Foundation has previously earmarked $250,000. The project has a fast-approaching deadline for its development, and the board is hopeful the deadline is met, the project timeline is established, and work begins soon.

Other Business of the Foundation

Barberton Community Foundation was established from the sale of Barberton Citizens Hospital. A final piece of that sale, known as The Tuscora Park Liquidating Trust, is now resolved. The Trust was established separately with a portion of the assets from the sale that were withheld from the Foundation to cover the cost of any outstanding liabilities (such as workers’ compensation) owed by the hospital. Former Foundation Board Chair and former Foundation Executive Director, Tom Harden, was the steward of the Trust and resolved the final liabilities in December of 2023, enabling the complete proceeds from the sale to transfer to the Foundation.

The Foundation’s first grant cycle for Education and Workforce & Economic Development closes Thursday, February 1. Scholarships for high school students opened Friday, January 19 and will close Friday, February 9.

Students seeking scholarships and nonprofits interested in applying for grants should utilize the Foundation’s application portal GOapply available at barbertoncf.org.

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About Barberton Community Foundation

Established in 1996, Barberton Community Foundation has awarded over 8,500 grants and scholarships totaling more than $109 million since its inception. The Foundation strives to improve, now and forever, the quality of life for Barberton residents by providing leadership on vital issues, fostering collaboration, and creating a legacy of giving to do good. The Foundation strengthens the community for current and future generations by proactively directing its grant dollars to the community’s greatest needs. To read more about Barberton Community Foundation visit www.barbertoncf.org or follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/barbertoncommunityfoundation.

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Foundation Awards $138k in Grants, Continues Support for Economic Development of Barberton

Foundation Board Awards 2023 Education and Workforce & Economic Development Grants

Foundation Board Approves First Grant Cycle of 2023, Awards $73,000 to Education and Workforce & Economic Development Programs

Barberton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors met for their regular meeting on Thursday, March 16, at the Active Adult Center. The board approved eight grants totaling $73,009.04. The board also approved Renea Macko and Rob Pursley as new Friends of the Foundation, and thanked Dr. Suzanne Allen, who is retiring from her role as executive director of Barberton Community Foundation on March 31. Tiffany Peters, director of finance, has been named as interim executive director.

Grants:

Barberton City School District was awarded $22,975.32 for their partnership with AMHA to expand support for families and students. The grant supports more on-site tutoring days, bussing to parent/teacher conferences, and bi-monthly resident meetings to educate parents about school services and opportunities. AMHA expects to serve 800 individuals through these programs.

National Inventors Hall of Fame received $15,000 for 2023 Camp Invention financial support for 120 students who would like to attend. Camp Invention is a summer enrichment program led by Barberton teachers with STEM-based curricula.

Child Guidance & Family Solutions received $10,000 for their Toddlers and Preschoolers Succeeding (TAPS) program. TAPS provides on-site training for preschool and childcare staff on how best to respond to challenging classroom behaviors and improve kindergarten readiness. Child Guidance anticipates serving 380 preschoolers with this funding.

Barberton City School District was awarded $6,533.72 to support the primary school’s Magical Reading program, which teaches parents how to read to their children in creative, educational and engaging ways. Funding supports the purchase of books for families to read together, crafts and operations for the event.

United Way of Summit & Medina received $5,000 to support Financial Empowerment Center services provided to Barberton residents. The Center estimates they will serve 215 residents through free financial empowerment programming, including financial coaching, tax preparation and banking assistance.

Junior Achievement was awarded $5,000 to provide programming within Barberton City Schools to 320 students in middle and high school. Programs include JA Personal Finance, JA Inspire, JA Company Program and JA Economics for Success.

The International Soap Box Derby received $5,000 for programs and field trips for Barberton City School students, including their popular Gravity Racing Challenge program. Funding supports the purchase of derby car parts, supplies and program books for 180 students.

SCORE Akron received $3,500 for their Barberton Community Workforce Development programs which include mentoring and workshop programs for entrepreneurs interested in starting their own business or expanding their existing business.

Foundation awards Arts and Community Grants

Foundation awards Arts and Community Grants

Foundation Board Approves Third Cycle Grants for Arts and Community

Barberton Community Foundation’s Board of Directors met on Thursday, November 18, to approve six grants totaling $97,244.14 for arts and community cycle programming. The board approved the Foundation’s 2023 spending policy and selected 2023 officers: Jason Slater, Chair; Lynne Holcomb, Vice Chair; Jennifer Bidlingmyer, Treasurer; and Deb Shreiner, Secretary. The board also approved four new members to the board, who will begin their terms beginning in January, 2023. They are Susan Wynn, Hugh McMichael, Ann Hutchison and Theresa Osborne.

Grants:

The Foundation awarded $25,000 to Magical Theatre Company for their program, Performing Arts Can Teach. This program supports resident performances at Magical Theatre for Barberton City School students and traveling performances to the schools.

CareStar Community Services received $23,744.14 to provide wraparound services to Barberton school students and their families. The program will consist of community health worker services, including home visits to help families connect with appropriate healthcare, mental health and social services in the community.  

The Foundation awarded $15,000 to White Rabbit Galleries for a monthly series of events that invite the public to create art projects with their family or friends, along with artist meetups to encourage growth of an artist community in Barberton.

Habitat for Humanity of Summit County received $15,000 for their 2023 Neighborhood Reborn Initiative. This program supports Habitat for Humanity’s first Neighborhood Reborn project in Barberton. This program blends private home repairs with a neighbor-led public space cleanup to transform and revitalize several street blocks over two days.

Barberton Parks & Recreation received $15,000 to support many of Barberton’s favorite special events, accessible programming and use of neighborhood parks through 2023.

United Way of Summit and Medina received $3,500 to continue their 2-1-1 Information and Referral Services for Barberton Residents. 2-1-1 is a free, 24/7 helpline and website that assists residents navigate health and social services available in Summit County. In 2021, more than 3,500 Barberton residents used 2-1-1 for referrals to services or resources.

 

Foundation Awards Health and Wellness Grant Cycle

Foundation Awards Health and Wellness Grant Cycle

Barberton Community Foundation Logo

The Barberton Community Foundation Board of Directors held their July board meeting at Summa Health – Barberton Campus. Several board and friends members toured the hospital’s newest Joint Replacement Center prior to the meeting. The board discussed regular business and voted to approve Hugh McMichael and Theresa Osbourne to the Friends of the Foundation. Executive director Suzanne Allan, Ph.D. said, “We’re pleased to welcome people who care about our community as new Friends to the Foundation.”

The Foundation’s second grant cycle focuses on health and wellness. The board approved fourteen grants totaling $143,535.

The largest grant of the cycle was $25,000 awarded to Summa Health – Barberton Campus to support the purchase of a new CT machine, supporting cardiac care, stroke therapy and more.

The Foundation awarded $15,000 to AxessPointe in Barberton for their Patient Assistance Fund, which will cover costs such as prescription copays, provide groceries, hygiene items and cleaning items. Funding will help AxessPointe ensure underserved and low-income individuals receive crucial primary and preventative care.

Victim Assistance Program was awarded $15,000 for their Barberton Victim Advocacy Program, which serves victims of crime and trauma. The program is located within the Barberton Municipal Court.

The City of Barberton received grants for two separate parks projects. Tuscora Park received $15,000 to support six new pickleball courts and Breitenstine Park received $10,000 towards renovating the tennis courts.

Countryside (Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy) received $10,000 to continue their community food access program at the Barberton Farmers Market. This program has been very successful in supporting SNAP and WIC clients with options for more fruits, vegetables and healthy foods in their diets.

Girls on the Run received $10,000 to provide scholarships for girls interested in participating during the fall 2022 and spring 2023 seasons. Funding will also support the purchase of athletic shoes and coaching stipends.

The Humane Society of Summit County received $10,000 to provide services for pet owners in the Barberton community through their MABEL clinic.

The Foundation awarded $7,500 to the Akron Canton Regional Food Bank to support costs associated with the monthly Barberton Direct Distribution, which provides access to healthy food at no cost for Barberton residents. This funding equates to a provision of 14,400 lbs. of food.

IBH Addiction Recovery received $7,500 for group and individual counseling for Barberton clients with substance abuse disorder. Clients receive counseling at every level of care which includes residential, day, intensive outpatient, and outpatient treatment.

Embracing Futures, Inc. received $6,000 to support their Orthodontic Care program, which supports low-income families by providing braces for children with severe orthodontic problems.

The Foundation awarded Greenleaf Family Center $5,000 to support school-based suicide prevention services to approximately 2,000 Barberton middle and high school students.

Ben Curtis Family Foundation received $5,000 to support their Birdie Bags program. This program continues to serve 1,400 to 1,500 Barberton children once each month with take-home bags containing six nonperishable meals, four snacks and personal hygiene essentials.

The Foundation supported the Rape Crisis Center with $2,535 for their program, Responding to Victims in Barberton community. Funding supports victims of domestic/family/intimate partner abuse and/or sexual violence.

The Foundation’s last grant cycle of the year focuses on arts and community programming and is due October 1.

Top Photo Tag: (L-R) Friends of the Foundation Bob McDonald, Paula Kallio attend a tour with Michelle Rappach RN, Joint Replacement Manager at Summa Health – Barberton Campus. Michelle says, “When you aren’t in joint pain, you move better, you feel better and you live better.”