Dublin Villager

Dublin Foundation awards grants to help improve literacy, health

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Four local groups were awarded grants from the Dublin Foundation to help improve literacy and health in the community and assist families.

In its round of spring grants, the Dublin Foundation gave grants to the Dublin branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, KidSMILES Pediatric Dental Clinic, Ronald McDonald House Charities and a new partnership between Ruling Our Experiences/CoolTechGirls.

The grant to the Dublin branch library will help supply books for Wright and Pinney elementary students for the annual Dublin Literacy Day.

The grant to the Ronald McDonald House Charities will fund services for Dublin families.

The other grants support collaborations between local nonprofits.

KidSMILES will work with Welcome Warehouse to make sure children get the dental checkups they need.

"KidSMILES is working with Welcome Warehouse and will provide goody bags of dental materials: toothbrushes, floss and information about KidSMILES to all families going to Welcome Warehouse," said Jenn Dring, a foundation board member.

KidSMILES, a nonprofit organization offering $10 dentist visits at its Bethel Road location, was started with help from the Dublin Foundation.

"We've been a huge fan of KidSMILES," Dring said. "We've been on board with them from the beginning.

"It's exciting to see where they were and where they are now."

A partnership between organizations that benefit from Dublin Foundation grants make sense, Dring said.

"There are some great organizations in Dublin doing great things, but at the same time needs are increasing," she said.

"They're not huge organizations with unlimited money and resources... .

"We can bring these groups together and not only provide resources and funding, but get the conversation started about how these organizations can work together," Dring said.

Two other organizations, CoolTechGirls and Ruling Our Experiences, or ROX, partnered together and also received a grant from the Dublin Foundation.

CoolTechGirls, started last year by Dublin businesswoman Purba Majumder, aims at getting young girls interested in science, technology, engineering and math.

ROX, a group established by Lisa Hinkelman in 2006, provides "a 20-week evidence-based empowerment program for girls," she said, adding they try to focus on relationships with other girls, confidence, self-esteem, safety and violence prevention.

The grant from the Dublin Foundation will act as seed money to establish a program for girls at Grizzell Middle School.

"It will be a day-long event that will expose them to" areas ROX focuses on as well as STEM subjects, Hinkelman said.

"In the afternoon there will be a workshop for parents... With parents we want to give them an idea of what's going on with girls, the challenges they face, how to help and encourage them to develop confidence and competence to meet academic and career goals in their lives."

During the day, Hinkelman said girls will also get a chance to have lunch with a woman currently working in a STEM field.

"The young girls will get to see role models of women doing this in their real life," she said.

With the school year coming to an end, the program will occur in the fall.

"At this point we've received partial funding from the Dublin Foundation," Hinkelman said. "We're looking for a bit more funding to round out the proposal."

"We want 50 girls to participate and have parents come to the workshop portion in the afternoon. We see this as a pilot.

"We've never done this before so we'll be collecting data on impacts of the program."

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