MUSCATINE, Iowa–The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine announced the first two recipients of the Racial Justice Grant, Flickinger Learning Center and Aligned Impact Muscatine. The Racial Justice Fund, established earlier this year, further advances racial justice, equity, and inclusion in Muscatine and Louisa Counties. Granting funds may go to qualified charitable organizations whose work acts as an accelerator for or reduces barriers towards racial justice, centered on those most marginalized in their service area.
Flickinger Learning Center
Flickinger Learning Center provides an after-school program for at-risk children in Muscatine. They work to provide educational opportunities for kindergarten through sixth grade students of all races and beliefs.
Flickinger plans to initiate special programming one week a month that will include a group read of a book written with either the main character from a different culture or about an invention created by a person of color or a woman. The remainder of the week will include activities, stories, media, and art projects, that revolve around the identified topic.
“It is of vital importance that the children we serve see themselves reflected in the stories they read, the toys made available to them, and the media they consume,” stated Kelly Cunningham, Operation Manager at Flickinger Learning Center. “Representation matters. The children need to see themselves reflected in positive stories. It also matters in fostering tolerance and acceptance of other cultures. Self acceptance is so important for high self-esteem for children and part of that includes seeing people that look like you in the content that you are absorbing.”
Aligned Impact Muscatine
Aligned Impact Muscatine works together to build a bright future for the county by bringing all sectors of the community together to align community resources, identify effective practices for implementation to reduce achievement gaps, and improve outcomes for all students and families. AIM’s Postsecondary Transition Action team works with Strive Together, Institute for Health Improvement (IHI), and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to break down barriers and improve education systems to increase the number of Black, Latino, and low-income high school graduates completing academic requirements and effectively transitioning into a postsecondary environment. The grant supports improved timeliness of data access to strengthen outcomes.
“We realized that the data we were getting from the state was delayed,” stated Kim Warren, AIM Director: “ We are currently getting data from the class of 2018. This grant will allow AIM the opportunity to purchase from the National Student Clearing House more timely data about how students enroll. What will change most about receiving this data is having more of a data-driven approach. This will help the team’s ability to implement more programs to affect change quicker.”
To learn more, donate, or to apply for funding for a racial justice project, please visit https://www.muscatinecommunityfoundation.org/racial-justice-fund or call 563-264-3863.