Posts tagged Grant Stories
Children's Literacy: The Great Equalizer

“By the time children reach grade 3, they transition from learning to read, to reading to learn,” says Machelle. “If they can’t read, it’s going to impact their ability to learn and communicate. When this happens, a lot of children withdraw from the learning process and it opens the door to even more concerns, such as disengagement from school, low self-esteem and lack of confidence.”

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Sustainable Programming Is Music To Our Ears

One of the easiest ways to make lasting connections between people is with a little bit of music.

According to Caroline Hissa, Executive Director of the Community Music School of Waterloo Region, “participating in the arts is a vital human experience.”

“Learning how to make music—and actually making it together—builds belonging in our community in very real ways,” she explains.

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Lost and Found Theatre Brings Back a Holiday Favourite

Families wanting to get into the holiday spirit will soon be able to experience a unique take on a classic Christmas story. Next month, Lost and Found Theatre will be performing one of their original productions: Charles Dickens Writes a Christmas Carol.

“The cool thing about this version [of the story] is that it actually starts out in Dickens’ study, where he’s struggling with writer’s block,” explained Kathleen Sheehy, one of the Ensemble Members with Lost and Found…

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Giving Children the Confidence they Need to "Get Ready for School"

Amanda* was nervous about her son, Oliver*, starting school in the Fall. She felt uneasy about leaving him for a full day, and wasn’t sure how he would handle the separation either. On top of that, she was worried Oliver would fall behind his classmates because he had never participated in daycare programs, or engaged with other children while learning.   

Luckily, Amanda spoke with a friend who told her about a free program that would help ease her worries: Get Ready for School™, offered by…

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Creating Meaningful Connections for Artists

Being a visual artist in Waterloo Region can be a difficult venture. There are numerous museums and galleries that showcase beautiful exhibitions, but it can be challenging for an emerging artist to display their work. Artists are also often asked to work for free, or simply donate their work. Misconceptions surrounding the value of fine art are often difficult to confront, as many artists work alone.

Cathy Farwell, a local artist in the region, and Project Manager for Art$Pay, recognized…

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Bring on the Sunshine - Africa Camp

Summer camps are often associated with children having fun and making new friends, but they also provide outlets for important personal growth and awareness. For children of minority backgrounds, being able to embrace who they are at camp can be difficult. However, at Bring on the Sunshine’s week-long Africa Camp, campers are encouraged to celebrate their cultures and traditions, and share them with others.

“Africa Camp is a community response to the needs of children of African heritage in…

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Smart & Caring Grants Program: Vital Grants Update

The KWCF's Smart & Caring Grants Program was established to empower community organizations to strengthen the sense of belonging in our community.

In 2015 we launched Vital Grants - a multi-year stream that committed $300,000 (over two years) equally invested in the five municipalities we serve: Kitchener, Waterloo, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich. 

We challenged local leaders in each of the five communities to identify the unique barriers to Belonging they were facing, and to design a project that responded to those challenges. 

These projects are still underway, and we look forward to sharing the final results this fall as a part of our second annual Belonging Impact Report. In the meantime, we are excited to share update videos for two of the projects we supported!

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Yassmin GhotbGrant Stories
Bridging the Gap Between Newcomers and Community One Word at a Time

Newcomer Grants Program

Walk into the Queen Street Commons Café in Downtown Kitchener on a Tuesday evening and you'll find nearly two-dozen teens and adults sitting around tables learning how to introduce themselves at a business meeting or ask for apples at the grocery store. 

The group, mostly Syrian and other Arabic-speaking newcomers and volunteers, come together to practice English at the English Speaking Café, organized through Waterloo Region's ShamRose for Syrian Culture. 


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How Independent Facilitation is Making an Impact, One Person at a Time

Bridges to Belonging: The Business of Curating Dreams

There are four things on Barb's bucket list: to go swimming, to sing in a choir, to belong to a church and, eventually, move out of the rural nursing facility that has been her home for seven years. 

Barb, 58, is a good couple decades younger than most other residents. It was her husband's illness that landed her here - "I just tagged along," she says, though she herself lives with epilepsy and developmental challenges. Since he passed…

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Open Wallets and Generous Hearts Help Settle a Record-Breaking Number of Syrian Newcomers

The Immigration Partnership Fund for Syrian Newcomers

A teakettle. For anyone who has grown up in Canada with one of these small appliances sitting on the counter, using one is a snap. Fill it. Press down the lever and wait for it to pop up again to signal the water has boiled. 

But for many newcomers to this country, simple and everyday tasks - boiling water, for instance - are puzzles waiting to be solved. 

"Things just operate differently here," says Tara Bedard, manager of the Waterloo…

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