The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation in Flint, Michigan, has announced three grants totaling $4 million in support of summer and afterschool programs in Genesee County and to boost efforts to link children and families with resources and services in the wake of Flint’s water crisis.
Recipients include the Genesee Area Focus Fund, a supporting organization of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, which was awarded $3.1 million in support of YouthQuest, a comprehensive afterschool program that provides educational, enrichment, and physical fitness opportunities for more than two thousand Flint students in grades K-12; and $825,000 for its Summer Youth Initiative (SYI), which will help more than five hundred high school students find summer jobs, and TeenQuest, a youth leadership and pre-employment training program. In addition, Flint Community Schools (FCS) was awarded $87,000 in support of its Summer Tot Lot Program, a five-week program that helps four- and five-year-olds prepare for their first year of school.
In support of the community's response to the water crisis, YouthQuest staff also will be trained in how to identify possible health, developmental, and behavioral issues related to lead exposure, while SYI participants will be taught the importance of good nutrition in mitigating the effects of lead exposure. Over the summer, SYI participants also will join forces with the Tot Lot Program and other initiatives to work with younger children who may have been exposed to lead contaminants.
"Summer may be here, but there's no vacation from learning," said Mott Foundation president Ridgway H. White. "We want to see every young person in Flint and Genesee County succeed in school, work, and life, and we believe that...year-round academic, recreational, and enrichment opportunities are essential to providing our kids with the tools and experiences they need to achieve that success."