Grants in Action
The DeKalb County Community Foundation provides grants to a variety of programs and initiatives that demonstrate our strong commitment to the quality of life in DeKalb County.
These are a few recent programs the Community Foundation has supported through our Community Needs grant program.
Children’s Learning Center School Bus
Children attending pre-school at the Children’s Learning Center (CLC) in DeKalb now have reliable transportation to and from school each day. A $23,500 Community Needs grant assisted in the purchase of a school bus for the Center. From April 1 to June 30, 2015, the new bus provided 2,706 bus rides to children in low income and very low income families. Throughout its existence, CLC has owned and operated a yellow school bus. The new bus allows transportation to remain a significant comprehensive service to the CLC families. Nancy Teboda, CLC explained that the bus is impacting more than just the children, “Child care and transportation are employment support services. When employees have reliable child care, employers experience a decrease in absenteeism, tardiness, and staff turnover.”
Improved Crafting and Work Space at Cortland Public Library
The Cortland Public Library is a small building that serves the town of Cortland’s population of approximately 4,000 people. A $7,996 Community Needs grant allowed the library to purchase new shelving and table space. Library Director, Barbara Coward, was happy to grow the juvenile fiction by over 20% to fi ll the new shelves and the tables allow for more story and craft sessions for families. She has seen a 30% increase in attendance at family crochet time and other story and craft programs because there is more room to participate. Coward said, “Patrons have frequently commented on Cortland Library’s ability to squeeze a wide variety of circulation materials into our small space. This new furniture gave us additional space options!”
Girls Scout Troop Starts in University Village
Girls living in the University Village apartment complex now have the opportunity to join a Girl Scout Troop. A Community Needs grant in the fall of 2015 to Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois (GSNI) supported the troop’s start-up costs. The troop meets on Tuesday nights through the school year and is led by an experienced volunteer with support from GSNI staff. The Community Needs grant allowed girls to join the Troop at a low cost with hopes that the girls’ future troop costs will be supported by fundraisers. GSNI is experienced in reaching girls in need by using a staff supported and collaborative model. Emma Eschenfeldt, from GSNI, says, “We know that girls who were Girl Scouts for more than three years have a higher level of education, enjoy a higher household income, are more civically engaged, volunteer more in their communities, mentor youth more often, vote more regularly, and have more positive social and interpersonal relationships, when compared to women who were not Girl Scouts.”