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September 2019

Cambridge summer programs give all kids access to learning and fun

2022-10-06T20:57:55+00:00September 25th, 2019|Grantmaking, Press Release|

Cambridge summer programs give all kids access to learning & fun Summer experiences for urban kids run the gamut—from sleep away camps and specialty classes like Mindcraft coding or art, to nothing at all, which means some kids end up on digital devices sitting at home or caring for younger siblings. Research tells us that kids from low-income families suffer from a summertime opportunity gap—a lack of access to learning opportunities—that becomes an educational gap, with kids losing two months of reading and math skills each summer. So why shouldn’t all Cambridge kids, regardless of their parents’ income, have access to summer learning experiences?  The good news is, in our city, they can. Thanks to nearly a dozen of our nonprofit partners, and many other programs, Cambridge kids have access to summer enrichment opportunities regardless of their economic background. The Cambridge Community Foundation is a partner of the Summer Fund, a collaborative that supports a network of high-quality summer programs for under-served communities in Cambridge and the Greater Boston Area.  In Cambridge, the Summer Fund contributed $72,000 to support 1,054 local kids in camps. We are also long-time financial supporters of nearly a dozen local nonprofits that give hundreds [...]

New members join Board of Directors and Professional Advisors Council

2019-09-23T21:57:31+00:00September 23rd, 2019|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) has appointed three local civic leaders to its Board of Directors and added two new members to its Professional Advisors Council (PAC), effective this fall. New board members include Rev. Adam Lawrence Dyer, lead minister at First Parish in Cambridge Unitarian Universalist, author and musician; Ed Feijo, a top Coldwell Banker sales associate; and Michael Monestime, executive director of the Central Square Business Association and Cultural District. They will each serve a five-year term. New PAC members include Bill Laskin, co-founder of PG Calc, a leading provider of gift planning software and services, and Nadia Yassa, director of Estate and Gift Planning and Technical Advisor at Emerson College. They will both serve a three-year term. The Board of Directors serve as the ultimate authority on the Foundation’s activities, setting its community impact and civic leadership agenda, signing off on two annual rounds of grants to local nonprofit organizations, promoting philanthropy, and building the Cambridge Endowment to support the City’s pressing urban needs today and in the future. The Cambridge Community Foundation and its donors awarded $1.5 Million in grants to 150 nonprofits and programs last year. The Professional Advisor’s Council helps the Foundation build the [...]

Education as equalizer: a conversation with Elissa Spelman, Executive Director of Breakthrough Greater Boston

2019-10-10T16:03:48+00:00September 20th, 2019|Civic Leadership, Grantmaking, Press Release|

Research reminds us that education and opportunity go hand in hand. That’s why learning is so important—even over the summer. We caught up with Elissa Spelman, executive director of Breakthrough Greater Boston (BTGB), one of our nonprofit partners, to talk about the importance of out of school time learning and the challenges we need to overcome for kids in our community. As a city, we’re fortunate to have a wide array of summer programs for school-aged kids, ranging from the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, to CitySprouts, Cambridge Camping, the Cambridge Community Center, and other nonprofits funded by the Cambridge Community Foundation. Why is summer learning so important? The school year calendar was established to support an agrarian economy so kids could work in the fields in the summer, but it’s not what is best for learning. For students, summer is a long expanse of time when activities can vary widely, everything from traveling abroad or attending an expensive overnight camp to sitting on the couch, watching TV or caring for younger siblings. Research shows there’s dramatic learning loss in the summer. Low income students lose an average of two months of reading and two months of math every [...]

Honoring our teachers: join a family supporting tomorrow’s teachers

2019-11-22T20:52:41+00:00September 19th, 2019|Philanthropy, Press Release|

Honoring our teachers: Join a family supporting tomorrow's teachers A wonderful teacher leaves an indelible mark on children, no matter how young. Miss Eleanor Roberta Walker, who taught Kindergarten and first-grade in Belmont for 41 years was just that kind of teacher. Upon Miss Walker’s death in 1986, the mother of one of her young pupils wrote to the Belmont Herald: “Unquestionably, she contributed to the emotional and intellectual development of her pupils. She was the epitome of teacher: imparting knowledge, making it a joy to learn and helping to build character. As parents, could we ask for more?” In fact, she said, Ms. Walker stayed in touch over the years, asking with interest about her son’s progress and was the author of one of the first cards of congratulations he received upon high school graduation. Such is the power of a good teacher. To honor her legacy, Miss Walker’s family started the Eleanor Roberta Walker Scholarship in 1988, to help aspiring teachers from Belmont High School pay for college. Each year the fund offered one graduating Belmont High School student a stipend towards college tuition. After managing the scholarship privately for 12 years, the family created the Eleanor [...]

June 2019

Cambridge Community Foundation honors five groups with first-ever ‘Social Innovation Award,’ supporting local interventions to big social issues

2019-11-20T20:09:40+00:00June 5th, 2019|Press Release|

2019 Cambridge Community Foundation Social Innovation Award recipients. From left to right, front row: Geeta Pradhan (CCF); Reham Zeroual (CRLS, Black Student Union); Lorraine Thornhill (CCF). Second row: Meron Teklehaimanot (Sisters Unchained); Corinne Espinoza (Good Bank); Rupa Bastola and Jyoti Sinha (South Asian Workers' Center);  Mackda Henok (CRLS, Black Student Union); Lori Lander (CCF). Back row: Janaki Blum and Gerald Manning (South Asian Worker's Center); Kevin Dua (CRLS, Black Student Union); Lisette Williams (Cambridge Trades Task Force); Mayor Marc McGovern. Photo by Allegra Boverman. On Friday, May 31, the Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) announced the recipients of its first-ever Social Innovation Award during its Cambridge Community Foundation Salutes 150 Cambridge Nonprofits event.  Cambridge Mayor Marc C. McGovern named Sisters Unchained, a program supporting teenage daughters of incarcerated parents, as the first-place winner. The program, founded by three young women, two of whom are Cambridge Rindge and Latin School graduates, was awarded $5,000, and joined by four runners-up—The Black Student Union at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; Cambridge Trades Task Force; the Good Bank; and the South Asian Worker’s Center— each receiving $1,000.  The five award-winners offer innovative solutions to big social problems such as mass incarceration, systemic [...]

May 2019

Family Independence Initiative paves the way for anti-poverty systems change

2019-11-08T16:57:03+00:00May 29th, 2019|Press Release|

On May 20, CCF’s nonprofit partner, the Family Independence Initiative (FII) launched the Trust and Invest Collaborative, a three-year pilot study of FII and the MA Department of Transitional Assistance (DTA), to evaluate the outcomes families living with low-incomes can achieve when they are given access to financial capital and are provided the choice to turn to their own social networks. Four hundred families from Boston and Cambridge receiving economic assistance from the DTA will be given the option to enroll in FII. Findings from the pilot study’s evaluation, conducted by the Harvard Business School, will inform policy recommendations for government, community leaders and philanthropists interested in increasing the social and economic mobility of families living with low incomes. Attendees at the launch of FII's Trust and Invest Collaborative “We yearn for the cure-all to end racism and to end poverty. But it’s actually the small steps we take together, in community, challenging our assumptions and checking our perceptions, that make the biggest difference. That’s why I’m so excited about the Trust and Invest Collaborative,” said Jessica Taubner, FII Site Director for Family Independence Initiative Greater Boston. FII helps low-income families generate their own strategies and solutions [...]

Remarks by Geeta Pradhan at the Foundation’s 2019 Annual Dinner

2019-05-29T19:05:53+00:00May 29th, 2019|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation’s ‘We are Cambridge’ Annual Dinner on May 6, 2019 drew the who’s who of Cambridge from all sectors—universities, nonprofits, businesses, and philanthropists, as well as local artists. An underlying theme was shared by all: that Cambridge is a wonderful place to live but we cannot take it for granted. Its future is hardly guaranteed and all of us have a responsibility to invest in and nurture what we love best about the city and to take some responsibility for its challenges. CCF’s Board Chairman Rick Harriman kicked off the evening with his observations of Cambridge. He noted some of its strengths—world class universities, an innovation ecosystem, industry-leading companies, well-managed city government, cultural richness, diverse residents—and some of its weaknesses—escalating cost of living, the loss of economic and social diversity, the threats to the nonprofit community. “We will not satisfy our civic responsibility if we do not strive to bring the citizens and sectors of this city together to address these weaknesses and threats to the inclusiveness of Cambridge,” said Rick as he set the stage for our President, Geeta Pradhan, to share her thoughts on Cambridge and its future. Geeta Pradhan's Remarks [...]

2019 Annual Dinner highlights Cambridge’s values and challenges

2019-06-03T19:34:53+00:00May 29th, 2019|Press Release|

View a photo slideshow of the the 2019 Annual Dinner Watch the remarks from the 2019 Annual Dinner The Cambridge Community Foundation’s ‘We are Cambridge’ Annual Dinner on May 6, 2019 drew 350 civic leaders to the Charles Hotel to celebrate our city—its kindness and caring, inclusive diversity, and sense of possibilities.  The community gathering drew the who’s who of Cambridge from all sectors—universities, nonprofits, businesses, philanthropists, as well as local artists celebrated for their spoken word represented by Regie Gibson, who opened the evening with a reading about what is to be American. The changes that Cambridge is facing, with its booming economy and escalating real estate costs, and pride in our city’s values were underscored by all speakers. “One measure of the justness of society is how it treats the least fortunate, the most vulnerable among us. When I look out tonight, I see many, many people who are committed to trying to do more for those who are less fortunate,” said President Lawrence S. Bacow. “That’s why you are here, that’s why I am here with you. We know we have the responsibility to leave the world a better place.” Superintendent Elow, who grew up in [...]

April 2019

Cambridge Community Foundation launches new Social Innovation Award; initiative seeks emerging ideas with local impact

2021-07-19T16:13:07+00:00April 30th, 2019|Press Release|

April 30, 2019—Cambridge, MA The Cambridge Community Foundation (CCF) has announced its first ever CCF Social Innovation Award, a new competition identifying and supporting the emerging innovators developing solutions to urban problems in Cambridge. The competition is open to all—individuals, students, groups, entrepreneurs and nonprofits—who are making a difference in the quality of life in Cambridge. Applications are due May 10. “In a city like Cambridge--an epicenter of innovation and home to socially-minded residents--we know there are original, creative and daring ideas that could, with small resources and light touch interventions, have huge impact in our community,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation. “The CCF Social Innovation Award is an opportunity to fuel these ideas and create a pipeline for social innovators with the next great idea for Cambridge and beyond.” Applications will be judged by an expert panel of local civic leaders, including Cambridge Mayor Marc McGovern; Mary Ann Bates, executive director of Poverty Action Lab at MIT; Conan Harris, senior vice president of policy and external affairs at College Bound Dorchester;  Risa Mednick, the former director of Transition House; and Lori Lander, artist, founder of Many Helping Hands and CCF Board member. Awards range [...]

The Cambridge Community Foundation appoints Jessica Martin as a CCF Fellow

2019-04-30T18:18:22+00:00April 29th, 2019|Press Release|

The Cambridge Community Foundation has appointed Jessica Martin, former director of the Boston Foundation’s think-tank The Boston Indicators Project to a new role: Cambridge Community Foundation Fellow. This year-long appointment will support research on the intersection of innovation and equity in Cambridge. “We are delighted to add Jessica to our team,” said Geeta Pradhan, president of the Cambridge Community Foundation.  “Jessica’s knowledge of and passion for advancing social impact through open data and civic technology will be incredible assets as we dive into the impact of our innovation city—Cambridge—and the relationship between innovation, growth and issues of equity.” As the Cambridge Community Foundation Fellow, Jessica will support CCF’s role as a civic leader in the community, by providing the research support and analysis for the Foundation’s upcoming report, titled Equity and Innovation Cities, to be released this fall. The report is supported in part by Microsoft New England Research & Development Center’s Civic Technology initiative. Jessica has been working closely with Geeta Pradhan to develop a framework for understanding the nuanced relationship between income inequity and economic vitality in thriving innovation cities like Cambridge.  In her role as fellow, Jessica will continue the effort and help lead the partnership [...]

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