Giving back: New nonprofit focuses on at-risk children; Grotto, Dunkin donations

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New nonprofit aims to build support for programs that support at-risk children

A coalition of 17 civic and business leaders announced that they had formed Action for Delaware’s Children, a not-for-profit advocacy organization that will seek to build support in Delaware for programs that benefit Delaware’s at-risk and low-income children. 

The effort has been spearheaded by former Attorney General Matt Denn.

The board announced that its initial efforts would focus on high-quality home visitation programs for infants and toddlers living in poverty, expanding the school day and school year for schools with high poverty student populations, and improving re-entry services for juveniles leaving the state’s juvenile detention facilities.

Board President Dr. Terri L. Hodges, former president of the Delaware PTA, stated that the organization’s primary focus “is going to be building support among a broad cross-section of Delawareans to advocate for making investments in programs that support Delaware’s at risk children.  Our focus will be on building and strengthening Delaware’s village.” 

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Board member Lori Brewington, a Delaware attorney, explained that the organization’s first legislative priority this year will be doubling the size of the state’s Nurse Family Partnership Program, a proven program that sends registered nurses to the homes of first-time mothers living in poverty during their pregnancies, and for two years after their children are born.  Brewington noted that nationally, the program had produced a 48% reduction in incidents of child abuse and neglect, a 50 percent reduction in language delays for children at 21 months of age, a 67 percent reduction in language reception deficiencies at age 6, and a 59 percent reduction in child arrests at age 15. 

Board Vice President Liane Sorenson, a former Delaware State Senator, stated that the organization’s second priority would be doubling the size of the state’s competitive grant program for outside school time programs, and focusing those funds on schools with large populations of students living in poverty.  

Board member Chandra Pitts said that the organization’s third priority would be the additional of cognitive behavioral therapy and vocational training programs to the services that the state provides for children being released from the state’s juvenile correctional facilities.  She noted that cognitive-behavioral therapy programs had documented success in other states in reducing recidivism rates.

The other board members of Action for Delaware’s Children are Matt Denn (DLA Piper), Tom Hanna (Harvey Hannah & Associates), Senator Margaret Rose Henry, Clayton Hill (Emory Hill), Jane Hovington (Lower Delaware NAACP), Stacey Johnson (Gateway Lab School), Chris Kenny (Shop-Rite), Dr. Laura Lawyer (American Academy of Pediatrics), Ellen Levin (Ellen and Alan Levin Family Foundation), Maria Matos (Latin American Community Center), Reverend Shanika Perry (Bethel AME Church/IMAC), Joe Rhoades (Rhoades & Morrow), and Mike Vild (Cross & Simon).

The organization’s web site is.  www.actionfordelawareschildren.org.

Food Bank receives $35,000 donation from Dunkin promotion

The  Food Bank of Delaware received a $35,000 donation from Dunkin’ of greater Philadelphia to help fight hunger throughout the region.

This donation comes from Dunkin’ of greater Philadelphia’s Roast Hunger campaign, which began on Thanksgiving Day through December 20. For every large hot coffee purchased by DD Perks members, Dunkin’s Philadelphia-area franchisees donated $1 to five regional food bank partners, including Food Bank of Delaware.

Grotto Gives contribution

Grotto Gives, the philanthropic arm of Grotto Pizza – a casual dining restaurant with 19 locations, recently donated $1,317 to UDance through its Community Pizza Night program. UDance, hosted at The University of Delaware, is a student-run organization dedicated to unifying the community while raising awareness of childhood cancer. It culminates in a 12-hour philanthropic dance marathon held every March at The Bob Carpenter Center in Newark.

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