Today WCAC hosted its 2nd Annual Poverty Forum – highlighted by a keynote address from Executive Director of the North American Office of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (JPAL) Mary Ann Bates and a dynamic panel discussion featuring Open Sky CEO Ken Bates, Community Legal Aid’s Gina Plata-Nino, Quinsigamond Community College President Luis Pedraja and Clark University’s Laurie Ross. It was a great morning of conversation about ways of better working together to drive real change for those facing poverty and ways in which randomized data can be utilized to inform changes in funding policy as well as funding support. WCAC was pleased to convene this important dialogue and looks forward to further engaging partners and relationships throughout the community to question assumptions and make real change for those in need. Click here for more images from the event.
I live and work in two distinctly different cities. In one city, I am a lifelong resident of Worcester lviing through an incredible renaissance and notable winning streak that tells a proud story of a persistent and committeed city, civic and private sector leadership. In the other city, i am the relatively new executive director of the Worcester Community Action Council, where my team and I work with thousands of individuals from the City of Worcester and Southern Worcester County and who are included in Worcester’s 22% poverty rate, in Southbridge’s 18.5% poverty rate in Webster’s 17% poverty rate and so on, and for whom the renaissance remains out of reach. Read full article here.
Worcester Community Action Council has received a $62,000 grant from Fundación MAPFRE to support the nutrition program at the agency’s Head Start program. This is the second consecutive year the Fundación has supported the agency’s early childhood education nutrition program. Read more here.
WCAC’s Head Start program has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the National Grid Foundation to support a continued collaboration with MA Audubon Broad Meadow Brook to enhance its pre-school science and nature curriculum. This is the second year the Foundation has supported this effort, this year with a focus on ‘teaching the teacher’ in order to broaden the impact on Head Start classrooms for years to come. Lesson plans include such topics as dinosaurs, rocks, trees, animals and more – with correlating hands-on learning and fun! See science in action in the classroom here.
During the Massachusetts Association for Community Action’s (MASSCAP) public policy briefing at the State House last week, READYGO, a new early education and care workforce development initiative made possible through a planning grant from the Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts (THFCM), was announced. Assisted by evaluators form the Institute for COmmunity Health, MASSCAP will use a research-based approach, working closely with Mount Wachusett Community College and Quinsigamond Commuity College, as well as Worcester Community Action Council (WCAC) and Making Opportunity Count (MOC), to develop both courses and curriculum to be included in early educators’ degree work and certification. Learn more here.
WCAC received a donation of $155,000 from the United Way of Central Massachusetts directed by National Grid and designated to support the agency’s Emergency Fuel Fund of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), commonly known as heating/fuel assistance. Read more here.