Dear Friends of the Foundation,
Those of us who have chosen Central Connecticut as our home know we are fortunate to live in an area with such a rich and proud history. However, we also know there are many challenges and issues that demand our attention now. With careful reflection on this period of time, the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain has launched a bold and forward thinking strategic plan that takes CFGNB into new territory. The plan challenges the Foundation to "become the philanthropic community leader that builds partnerships, which brings people and charitable resources together to impact critical issues facing our Greater New Britain communites."
We ask you to please join us as we enter a new chapter with your contribution to the Foundation's Civic Leadership Fund (formerly known as Partners in Philanthropy).
With this letter as our sole appeal for the year, we ask you to conside the work of CFGNB in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. Furthermore, we ask you to join us as we direct our efforts at making a more vital, brighter future for all of our communities.
Community leadership is now an active, permanent centerpiece of our work. Witness the following actions that are currently underway:
- First Years First: CFGNB has recently completed an evaluation of our 7-year investment strategy designed to help all children from our communities enter their first day of kindergarten ready to learn. Of the many successes noted, the Study showed that CFGNB support led to a major expansion of available pre-school slots in New Britain ( 67% since 2003), and that accreditation/certification by area day care providers had increased by 42%. A multi-year Family Literacy grant to Literacy Volunteers of Central Connecticut has also proven to be beneficial in expanding the number of families served in Plainville, Southington and particularly, New Britain. The formation of a new Community Initiatives Committee will strengthen our ongoing commitment to increase school readiness for our children.
- Arts and Culture: As an outcome of our Strategic Plan, we continue to strive for community collaboration as well as proactive solutions to build the capacity and visibility of the area's arts/cultural community. Using our financial expertise, as well as knowledge of the local arts community, we intend to reward innovation in our arts sector by making investments in those groups that are responding to the new economic reality with bold thinking. We hope to create more vibrant and relevant arts experiences and enhance our creative capital as a regional economic driver.
- Chronic Absence Initiative: Thanks to a $30,000 CFGNB grant, Attendance Works of San Francisco & the New Britain Schools are now well along toward unveiling several school-based initiatives designed to dramatically reduce chronic absence at the elementary level. Presently, over 30% of Kindergarteners miss more than 18 days of school per year. These absences, when coupled with low-literate families unable to read to their young children at home, are major contributors to poor academic performance and high drop-out rates in later years. Foundation volunteers along with local educators and community leaders will soon discuss plans for a district-wide rollout of corrective actions. All 10 New Britain elementary schools have organized internal teams to create school-based plans.
Since 1941, caring citizens have turned to the Community Foundation of Greater New Britain to help them articulate their charitable goals and set them in motion. The Foundation is a public charity that serves thousands of people who share a common interest -- to improve the quality of life in Berlin, New Britain, Plainville and Southington. Even though we have set a new path towards Community Leadership, we will continue to connect donors to important issues in the community and through our grantmaking bring people and resources together to make a difference.
The Civic Leadership Fund will support CFGNB as it identifies critical areas facing our communities; convenes task forces to accomplish action agendas; act on solid, qualified research and engage our communities to work together in a positive manner as we move into the future of our Central Connecticut region.
Your participation is needed as we face our challenges in the belief of a better tomorrow. Help us to make a difference in our own back yard!
We are so grateful for your support!
Phyllis A. Kindelan, Chair
Board of Directors
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