United Way grant opportunities focus on early grade reading and community building

United Way of Berks County is announcing two grant opportunities, with proposals accepted as the new year begins. The organization’s Summer Learning Grants support learning experiences to help kids remain connected to literacy and learning during summer break and LIVE UNITED grants offer opportunities to smaller, grass-roots organizations to receive support for community building and community engagement efforts.

Summer Learning Grants are open to schools and organizations serving Pre-K through 3rd grade Berks County students. “Summer learning and literacy programs are more important than ever; it is critical students remain connected to learning activities over the summer months to retain academic skills. That’s why we’re again offering the learning grant opportunities for 2023,” says Tammy White, President of United Way of Berks County.

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These grants provide up to $5,000 in support of summer learning programming. Proposed programming must include a literacy component but may include cross discipline activities, i.e. STEAM. Any school or nonprofit 501 (c)(3) organization is eligible to apply. The funds are to help cover expenses related to summer programming June through August 2023. Applications for Summer Learning Grants will be accepted beginning Tuesday, January 3, 2023 through Friday, February 3, 2023. Notice of funding will be made by March 31.

The other grant opportunity, LIVE UNITED Grants, support grassroots collaborative projects and innovative programs designed to creatively address neighborhood and community challenges. These are one-time grants, up to $5,000, and any non-profit 501(c)(3) organization or community organization utilizing a fiscal agent, with a yearly budget below $250,000 providing health and human services to Berks County residents, is eligible to apply.

Receipt of a LIVE UNITED grant is one-time funding and is not considered agency partner status with United Way of Berks County. Organizations awarded this grant should understand other sources of funding must be secured to continue ongoing program costs.

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Project ideas and goals must address one of the issue areas within the four focus areas identified by United Way of Berks County and members of our community as the building blocks necessary in creating a thriving community for people to live, work, and raise their families.

Education: Helping Children and Youth Reach Their Potential. Early Care and School Readiness, Literacy, School Success, Youth Development, Education Case Management.

Financial Stability: Promoting Self-Sufficiency and Independence. Affordable Housing, Employment/Job Skills, Personal Financial Management, Financial Stability Case Management.

Health: Improving People’s Health, Mental Health. Health and Wellness, Self-Sufficiency and Independent Living, Health Case Management.

Safety Net Services: Helping Vulnerable Populations Meet Basic Needs. Basic Needs, Safety Net Case Management.

Organizations applying for LIVE UNITED grants may request funding at any time. Requests will be reviewed in the order received and a funding decision made until funds have been exhausted. An agency is applicable to receive funding once per year.

Full eligibility and details on both of these grant opportunities are available at United Way’s website at www.uwberks.org.

All grant proposals and final reports must be electronically submitted via e-CImpact, a software tool accessed via United Way’s website (www.uwberks.org).

Proposals will be awarded through a competitive process. A committee of community volunteers, including representation of United Way committee and board members will review and evaluate applications, including programming plans.

For technical assistance with e-CImpact contact Jennifer Tinsman, Community Impact Associate, at jennifert@uwberks.org or 610.685.4576. Any questions related to the summer learning proposal should be directed to Ashley Chambers, Senior Vice President of Community Impact, at ashleyc@uwberks.org or 610.685.4586. Kristin Gehris, Community Impact Assistant

Director, at kristing@uwberks.org or 610.685.4567 is the contact for LIVE UNITED grant proposals.

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