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Middle-school students in the East Chicago school system who are at risk for failing or retention find help and hope in a four-year-old after school program started by Pastor Darnell L. Johnson of Mt. Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, founder of the Holistic Community Coalition NFP.

Tri-City Alternative Actions Program (T.C.A.A.P.), offered since 2005 at both West Side Junior High and Block Junior High and funded by the Holistic Community Coalition, offers a holistic approach. Its work with youth participants includes, but is not limited to: academic achievement; character education; preparation for a successful future such as college bound, money management, needs versus wants and career choices; repairing the broken family; and holistic homework help.

“This program is designed to rebuild the entire student, which encompasses the reestablishment of the family,” said Jennifer West, program director. “We cannot obtain sustainable success in the lives of these youth without the inclusion of the family. We have been able to reach this milestone by reinvigorating the relationships between parents, educators and the service provider.”

The program currently serves 50 to 60 students at the junior high schools and plans to expand to an academy for fifth- and sixth-graders. Legacy Foundation, Lake County’s Community Foundation, aims to help with that need. Legacy recently awarded a $15,000 grant to the Holistic Community Coalition NFP to support the expansion of T.C.A.A.P.

The grant exemplifies Legacy Foundation’s recently announced strategic focus on educational attainment, noted Nancy Johnson, president of the foundation. Project 100% focuses resources on increasing the number of Lake County students who graduate with a quality high-school degree and are college- or career-bound.

The grant to the Holistic Community Coalition is among nearly $71,000 awarded by Legacy Foundation during the fourth quarter of 2009 to Lake County nonprofit groups providing a wide range of services. Since 1992, Legacy Foundation has awarded more than $20 million in grants and scholarships.

Other awards made in December included:

From the Lake County Community Fund

Arc BRIDGES – $20,000 to support the purchase of a lift van to replace a fleet vehicle that has mileage of more than 300,000 miles.

South Shore Arts Association – $15,000 to expand the highly successful “Polar Express” art-based first grade literacy program into the second grade curriculum in the Hammond, East Chicago, Gary, Lake Station and Merrillville communities using the book, “The Skin You Live In.”

Ivy Tech Community College Northwest – $4,744 to promote interest in science and health career programs through a three-tier youth outreach program.

Purdue University Calumet – $1,000 to help provide emergency preparedness and first aid training to 200 Lake County high school students and 150 volunteers participating in the Discover Nursing Camp. The goal is to expose campers to nursing and other health care practices as career options.

From the College Readiness Fund

Geminus Corporation – $15,000
to sponsor Northwest Indiana’s first Mentoring Summit, scheduled for Jan. 22 at Indiana University Northwest. The conference aims to teach businesses and non-profit organizations to support mentoring opportunities for youth. For more information, contact Tiffany White at (219) 757-1835 or Tiffany.White@geminus.org.

To apply for funding
The next deadline date for submitting grant applications is March 1, 2010.  Download a grant application and guidelines at www.legacyfoundationlakeco.org.

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