Seeds of Promise recently received a grant in the amount of $305,800 from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. This grant will begin development of a community governance program in the neighborhood surrounding Dickinson School.
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., June 13, 2012 – Seeds of Promise, a local urban improvement organization, announced it has been awarded a $305,800 grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to begin development of a community governance program in the neighborhood surrounding Dickinson Elementary School. The funding, starting immediately and ending in February 2015, will support the training of 40 resident leaders in creating self-sustaining community development in the area bordered by Hall on the north and Griggs on the south, and by Union and Jefferson on the east and west.
Seeds of Promise has three main objectives: self-governance, empowerment of residents and life skills training. Resident leaders will be provided with leadership development training and stipends for creating community improvement programs in employment, education and the environment.
“Self-governance guides our belief that residents in urban neighborhoods can facilitate their own goals and plans for sustainable community development,” said Ron Jimmerson, president and co-founder of Seeds of Promise.
Seeds of Promise is currently partnering with 53 organizations to create social change. Companies such as Grand Rapids Plastics help by training and hiring local residents. The nonprofit has also acquired ICAPSA Used Book Sales to provide local jobs and create self-sustaining capital for the program.
Additional partnerships include an improved health delivery system through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and efforts by Michigan Energy Options to provide refurbished gas furnaces, natural gas water heaters and energy efficiency kits to homes in the neighborhood. Grand Rapids Public Schools is finalizing plans to expand after-school programs at Dickinson Elementary School and continues to provide tutoring and mentoring for local children and families.
Thirty percent of residents in the neighborhood surrounding Dickinson Elementary School are at or below the national poverty line, and 66 percent are single-parent households. “Our development module focuses upon community engagement and racial equity to produce economic and educational security for children and families,” added Eric Foster, community governance coach and project manager.
Seeds is a 501(c)3 urban community initiative making rapid, cost-effective, community-driven and self-sustaining improvement in the area surrounding Dickinson Elementary within Hall, Griggs, Jefferson and Union Streets. For more information, visit www.seedsofpromise.net.
About W.K. Kellogg Foundation: The W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, WKKF works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.