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FPPS Wins Grants To Support Students, Families

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FPPS Wins Grants To Support Students, Families
Posted on 05/11/2020
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The Foundation for Portland Public Schools announced May 11 that it has received two grants to help provide food and financial stability to Portland students and their families. A $20,000 Greater Portland COVID-19 Community Relief Fund grant from United Way of Greater Portland (UWGP) will be used to support the Portland Public Schools / Food Fuels Learning Food Fund. Elmina B. Sewall Foundation (EBSF) funding, via a $7,500 Rapid Response Grant, will go toward the Portland Schools Families in Crisis Fund.

These funds exist to provide emergency food, housing, utility payments, uncovered medical expenses and other pandemic-related support to Portland Public Schools students and families. “Our school social workers and parent community specialists, in partnership with teachers and other school staff, are in direct contact with students and their families and working tirelessly to meet their basic needs,” said Andi Summers, Executive Director of the Foundation for Portland Public Schools. “There have always been economically disadvantaged families in Portland, including many that have struggled with food insecurity or to pay bills. However, the needs have grown exponentially in the last two months. This funding will allow families to stay in their homes and have access to culturally appropriate foods. We are tremendously grateful.”

UWGP volunteers made rapid funding decisions for a range of organizations on the front lines meeting emergency needs for those affected by the pandemic. “Our schools are responding to the unprecedented needs in the community at this time,” said Liz Cotter Schlax, President and CEO, United Way of Greater Portland. “We are incredibly grateful for the many donors who have contributed to the fund, making it possible for us to quickly and effectively help some of our youngest neighbors who are most impacted by COVID-19.”

EBSF created its Rapid Response Fund to support emergency and/or time sensitive needs of communities in Maine. With a focus on social equity and fostering community resilience, as well as striving to improve the well-being of people, animals and the environment, EBSF has a long history of funding to support Mainers.

About the Foundation for Portland Public Schools

The mission of the Foundation for Portland Public Schools is to raise philanthropic support to enhance educational opportunities for present and future students in Portland's public schools. The Foundation’s work is closely aligned with the Portland Promise, the comprehensive plan of the Portland Public Schools. Accordingly, the goals for support, enrichment, and fundraising are student achievement, equity, attending to the needs and development of students as whole people, and developing a robust, diverse, and supported staff at every school in the city.  FPPS also coordinates a long-running Teacher Grants Program designed to support teacher-led classroom innovations which enhance learning experiences for students. The program recognizes, rewards and supports teachers’ work to inspire students and improve learning outcomes. In 2019, FPPS distributed over $47,000 in teacher grants.

About United Way of Greater Portland

For over 90 years, United Way of Greater Portland has served and strengthened Greater Portland by mobilizing the caring power of our community. Today, UWGP is uniting individuals and organizations around the community’s shared vision, Thrive2027, three 10-year goals to improve education, financial stability, and health for every person in Greater Portland. United, with community partners, we build sustainable solutions that achieve long-term results and help our community thrive. We encourage everyone to be part of the change. To give, volunteer, advocate, or learn more, visit unitedwaygp.org.

About the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation

The Elmina B. Sewall Foundation supports work in Maine to improve the well-being of people, animals and the environment while fostering relationships that strive for social equity and community resilience. EBSF created the Rapid Response Fund (RRF) as a flexible, rolling application grant opportunity that supports emergency and/or time-sensitive needs of organizations and communities whose work aligns with EBSF’s mission.

FMI, contact FPPS Executive Director Andi Summers at 207-400-1151 or asummers@foundationforpps.org