The Arsht-Cannon Fund works closely with leaders in non-profit organizations, foundations, schools and government agencies to identify the most critical needs and issues of Delawareans. It is a charter member (2011) of the Delaware Grantmakers Association. It is also an Alliance Partner of the Delaware Alliance for Nonprofit Advancement (DANA).
Nativity Preparatory School of Wilmington, a tuition-free Catholic middle school for disadvantaged boys, empowers students through a rigorous holistic education. The school makes a 12-year commitment to students who enter at sixth grade, following them through high school and college. Beginning in 2013 with the support of the Arsht-Cannon Fund, Nativity has enrolled 13 Latino students or 20% of their student body by 2016. Funding has supported the hiring of Latino staff and faculty, who have provided language and cultural resources to attract and engage Latino students and their families.
Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults (LVSA) provides free tutoring for Delawareans who want to learn to read and write, or learn basic English language skills. Volunteers are trained to teach language skills to individuals and small groups. The Arsht-Cannon Fund supports the Parents Learning English at School (PLEAS) program, which provides language instruction to parents while their children attend at two Wilmington Head Start locations. Parents successful in acquiring basic language skills are able to find employment and better support their children as they progress in school.
Reading Assist Institute (RAI) is dedicated to teaching the foundational skills of reading to children with significant academic challenges, empowering them to achieve grade-level proficiency. It trains volunteers, parents and teachers in the Reading Assist for Primary Students program (RAPS), an evidence-based, multisensory, structured language program that helps young students who are be struggling to read. Through the training and supervision of AmeriCorps members, the Reading Assist Institute supports the RAI Reading Corps, one-on-one tutoring of Colonial School District’s kindergarten through third-grade students who have difficulty in developing their reading skills. The Arsht-Cannon Fund supports the RAI Reading Corps program for English Language Learners (ELL) by trained and supervised bilingual AmeriCorps members in Colonel’s elementary schools.
Wilmington Ballet Academy of Dance is dedicated to providing superior classical ballet training to foster discipline, confidence, poise, and commitment to students of all ages in the Wilmington area. The Arsht-Cannon Fund supports the tuition-free Boys Scholarship Program for ages 7-18 with several Latino youth trained by faculty led by their Artistic Director, Jorge Laico. Ballet enhances athletic skill, strength, self-discipline, flexibility, mental focus, musicality, teamwork, and creativity. They also partner with the Lewis Dual Language Elementary School in Wilmington to provide after school and summer dance classes to students in grades 3-5.
Opera Delaware enriches the cultural lives of adults, families, and students within the Mid-Atlantic region through both opera and arts education. In 2015, Opera Delaware launched the Neighborhood Choirs Program at three afterschool programs provided by the Latin American Community Center with support from the Arsht-Cannon Fund. Twenty-four weekly music-training sessions were held that included 150 elementary school children in 2015 with the program continuing through 2016 and beyond. Program impact is achieved with advances in student focus, attention, memory, critical thinking skills as well as the creation of a positive and safe environment.
First State Community Loan Fund supports the Delaware Hispanic Business Development Initiative (DHBDI) which provides bilingual business development and consulting services to Hispanic-owned businesses throughout Delaware. The Arsht-Cannon Fund supports the position of the bilingual Program Coordinator, who provides one-on-one development sessions, workshops (“Open for Business”; “How to Open a Business in Delaware”), and technical assistance to Hispanic Business owners. In addition, First State Community Loan Fund has the capacity to offer loans and financing support.
Vision to Learn provides free eye exams and free eyeglasses to students in low-income communities. A mobile eye clinic goes to schools and youth community agencies throughout Delaware to coordinate screenings for children, providing free eye exams and glasses to children whose academic success and ability to read is affected by impaired vision. The impacts of this program include improvements in the child’s engagement and participation in the classroom, confidence, grades and quality of life. Providing glasses in the school setting also reduces the stigma associated with getting glasses. The Arsht-Cannon Fund provided start-up funding for this very successful non-profit organization.
People’s Place, founded in 1972, helps many children and adults find their way to growth and independence. By identifying social and mental health needs of Delawareans, People’s Place provides needed high quality services to address those needs in lower New Castle County, Kent County and Sussex County. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with the People’s Place II Abriendo Puertas (Opening Doors) Program located in Sussex County. This domestic violence program for Spanish-speaking survivors includes a shelter, case management, and advocacy services. Funding is targeted to provide bilingual, individual and mental health counseling to women survivors of intimate partner violence and their children, who reside in the Abriendo Puertas domestic violence shelter.
The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with the Culinary School of the Food Bank of Delaware in Milford to provide valuable job training to Hispanic Delawareans living in Kent and Sussex County. It includes twelve weeks of hands-on training in basic and high-end kitchen skills, safe food handling and life skills followed by two weeks of paid internship at a food service company, restaurant or catering company and job placement opportunities.
The Health & Prosperity Through Leadership Institute creates opportunities for a diverse cross-section of people, especially underprivileged people in need to improve their own opportunities for health, prosperity and leadership. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with the Health & Prosperity Leadership Institute to provide the Making a Better Future program, Pacem in Vita, a leadership program that includes Tai Chi and conflict resolution skills, which is provided to a group of predominately Latino, fifth graders at Lewis Elementary School throughout the school year.
The mission of the Del-Mar-Va Council outreach programs are to ensure that all youth have the opportunity to join Scouting regardless of their circumstances or economic situation and to prepare these young people to make moral and ethical choices over their lifetime. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with the Del-Mar-Va Council – Boy Scouts of America Hispanic outreach program to increase the number of Hispanic families in Scouting by starting new units in areas of increasing Hispanic populations, as well as recruiting Hispanic families into these units. By removing barriers such as misconceptions about Scouting, financial hardships families are facing, and a lack of bilingual programs, they work to serve every youth in every community. Since the start of funding in Fall, 2013, the Hispanic Outreach Program has expanded to serve substantially more youth in additional communities in New Castle County and has provided an increasing number of opportunities for outdoor experiences and to earn achievements.
The Parent Information Center of Delaware, Inc. serves parents of children with diverse needs across Delaware. It is the only organization charged by the U.S. Dept. of Education/Office of Special Education (per the Individuals with Disabilities Act) to provide families of children with special education needs with the information, education, support and referrals necessary to access a free, appropriate public education and related services for their children with intellectual, physical, learning and emotional disabilities. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with the Parent Information Center for the Creciendo Como Padres (CCP) which supports Sussex County Hispanic parents of children between the ages of 3 and 8 develop the independent advocacy skills necessary to overcome obstacles to access and participate in services vital to their exceptional children’s growth and their own successful integration into the larger community. Annually, over 700 Hispanic families receive PIC services and 50 workshops and webinars are presented in Spanish.
The Schwartz Center for the Arts exists to enhance the quality of life for Delawareans by providing a home for the performing arts, educational activities and entertainment. In 2004, a strategic alliance between The Friends of the Capitol Theater, Wesley College, and Delaware State University created a non-profit organization to maximize usage and to position this historic opera house and theater as the premiere performing arts center in central Delaware. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with the Schwartz Center for the Arts and the Delaware Hispanic Commission to provide Hispanic Heritage Day, an annual celebration with culturally –based education, cuisine, and entertainment for the Delaware community.
Teach for America – Delaware develops a pipeline of effective teacher and school leaders who catalyze environments and build capacity in the highest needs schools and communities. They recruit outstanding recent college graduates to teach for a minimum of two years in low-income urban and rural public schools statewide. Teach for America-Delaware changes the mindsets around the recruitment, development and retention of talent in education. Corps members, the teachers, are provided with asset-based technical training and leadership development necessary to teach creatively and judiciously and are held accountable beyond traditional expectations to lead their students to significant academic and personal achievement. In 2015, Lead for Delaware was approved as a school leader certification program offered by Teach for America. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with Teach for America – Delaware developing one bilingual teacher in Sussex County over two to three years as part of a growing cohort of bilingual corps members and school teachers. In 2015, a bilingual school leader was recruited to the 2-year Lead for Delaware Program.
NAMI Delaware is a statewide organization of families, mental health consumers, friends and professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life for those affected by life-changing brain diseases such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and major depression. The mission of the organization is to support, educate and advocate until there is a cure for severe and persistent mental illness. NAMI Delaware established over 30 years ago – it offers an array of educational and support programs, provides safe and affordable housing to mentally ill members living in Delaware through access to one of many homes, and engages in advocacy efforts. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with NAMI DE to coordinate and provide bilingual peer counseling and educational programs for the Hispanic Delawareans living in Kent and Sussex Counties.
Christiana Care Health System is one of the largest healthcare provider in the country, ranking 22nd hospital admissions. It is a major teaching hospital with two locations in New Castle County. It has a Level 1 trauma center and centers of excellence in cardiology, cancer, and women’s health services. The Christiana Care Health System’s Community Outreach Program at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center collaborates with the Latin American Community Center’s Healthy Families Program and partners with the Arsht-Cannon Fund to provide the “Promotoras for Healthy Families Program”. The program identifies female heads of households who are not connected with a medical home/private physician and then enrolls each family member into the program for the provision of their future healthcare using the most appropriate community services and guidance from bilingual promotoras.
The Arsht-Cannon Fund partnered with Girls Inc. of Delaware to bring the national Latino initiative to Delaware in 2012 and is now expanding its programs for girls throughout Kent and Sussex counties in multiple locations, often as after-school programs. Girls Inc., a high-impact youth service nonprofit, inspires girls ages 6 to 18 to be strong, smart and bold, by helping them navigate gender, economic, and social barriers. Programs focus on achieving academically, living healthy and physically active lives, managing money, navigating media messages, and building interests in science, technology, engineering, and math using fun, hands-on, exploratory activities that are culturally relevant.
Survivors of Abuse in Recovery, Inc. is a statewide recovery program which provides counseling, referral, and education services to adult, adolescent, and child survivors of sexual abuse and assault, their non-offending partners, and non-offending family members. The mental health services are provided regardless of ability to pay and bilingual therapists are available as needed for individual and group therapy. The Arsht-Cannon Fund has partnered with SOAR over the last three years, supporting its bilingual therapy services statewide.
The Delaware Guidance Services for Children & Youth, Inc. provides quality mental health services for children, youth, and their families, regardless of their ability to pay. The Arsht-Cannon Fund has been partnering with the Delaware Guidance Services to build their bilingual Parent-Child Interaction Therapy team in western Sussex County. This intensive behavior therapy program involves close counseling and instruction of both parent and young child to address relationship patterns that affect their behavioral interactions. In addition, through the Latino Mental Health Workforce Program, it is hoped that the number and quality of their bilingual therapist staff will increase.
The Family Counseling Center of St. Paul’s is a trusted community behavioral health organization that serves Latino families in Wilmington. It works to diminish the financial, language, stigma, and cultural barriers to accessing mental and behavioral healthcare. The Arsht-Cannon Fund has been partnering with FCCSP to extend its bilingual counseling services to the community including local schools, and recently, to increase grief resources in Spanish to the community they serve. With a plan to actively create a center for supervising and instructing bilingual mental health counselors/students, FCCSP provides opportunities for cultural competence and high-quality care.
The Polytech Adult Education Division in Kent County partners with the Arsht-Cannon Fund to provide its ESL/Family Literacy Program which includes English-language instruction for adults and high-quality care and intensive educational services for their children, from birth to 8-year-olds. These are supplemented by parenting skills training and support to ensure families reach their full potential. They address the barriers that lack of English fluency creates: inability to connect with healthcare professionals, law enforcement, community resources and the schools that their children attend. This program is offered in three locations: Dover, Lincoln and Milford.
The Sussex Tech Adult Education Division and the Arsht-Cannon Fund have a long-standing partnership of providing a comprehensive Even Start Family Literacy Program to families with childcare educational services at Laverty Lane, a large ESL program and a GED Preparation Program in the Woodbridge School District. Added components, including monthly parent-child education sessions, make this a comprehensive program serving immigrant families. Starting in 2013 with the procurement of a 21st Century Community Learning Centers grant, they started the After School Program for Hispanic middle school children in the Woodbridge School District. Children are offered homework assistance, remediation, and enrichment in reading and technology to increase their academic achievement and capacity to become productive adults. To increase their school connectedness, their parents are offered computer classes and invitations to Family Fun Nights and field trips with their children. The Arsht-Cannon Fund funds afternoon snacks for the children.
The Lutheran Church of Our Savior serves its eastern Sussex community with a long-standing English as a Second Language program staffed with close to 40 volunteers, many of whom are retired teachers and professionals who provide a multi-level program of language instruction to over 200 immigrants annually. Since the Arsht-Cannon Fund started partnering with them in 2009, their program participation quadrupled with the offering of childcare and instruction during adult ESL classes held both in the morning and at night. This program provides scholarships to the highest achieving graduates, civics classes, GED preparation, parenting classes, and even hot evening meals to the children accompanying their parents to evening classes. The Arsht-Cannon Fund is very proud to partner with this organization that seems to find new additions for their high quality program every year.
La Esperanza supports the integration and empowerment of immigrants as worthy, productive and contributing residents of Sussex County. As a multi-service nonprofit organization, it is dedicated to providing support, advocacy, and services to assist in the assimilation and advancement of Hispanic communities. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with La Esperanza by supporting their growing victims services program, Hope for Tomorrow; their mental health counseling program, Seeds of Hope; and their Family Education and English Language Training Program (FELT) which includes ESL, civics classes, citizen instruction classes and computer literacy classes.
The Latin American Community Center (LACC) advocates for and assists the Latino community by offering services along the continuum of care that promotes empowerment and an enhanced quality of life while celebrating diverse cultures. The Arsht-Cannon Fund partners with LACC in its Lifelong Learning Adult Education English as a Second Language program and a civics program that offers flexible scheduling, personalized placement and availability of education classes during the day and evening at three locations. The Arsht-Cannon Fund has partnered with LACC in the expansion of their Mental Health Program and in the start-up of Academia Antonia Alonso Charter School in the Community Education Building in Wilmington.
The Delaware Hispanic Commission enriches the lives of the Hispanic community by enhancing and streamlining efforts to improve the delivery of services, bringing awareness of current issues to the state agencies, suggesting possible solutions for the agencies considerations, and keeping the Hispanic community informed of available state assistance that exists for Delaware residents. The Commission partners with the Arsht-Cannon Fund and the Schwartz Center for the Arts for the annual Hispanic Heritage Day celebration. The Executive Director of the Arsht-Cannon Fund attends meetings and is a member of the Health and Social Services Subcommittee.
The National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., work to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. Founded in 1968, NCLR accomplishes its mission of applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy by working through its network of affiliated organizations. It provides a Latino perspective in assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status. The Executive Director of the Arsht-Cannon Fund is a Board Member of NCLR.