A Closer Look at the ACJF 2008 Grantees - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

A Closer Look at the ACJF 2008 Grantees

Aid to Inmate Mothers-$5,000

Aid to Inmate Mothers (AIM) was founded in 1987 to provide visitation for mothers in prison that were unable to visit with their children due to the inability or unwillingness of the guardian to transport them. In 1999, AIM began a monthly book taping program called the Storybook Project enabling mothers to record themselves reading a story. AIM later sends the books and tapes to the children. Since that time,

AIM has expanded services to include rehabilitative classes for the mothers; such as Parenting education, Domestic Violence education, HIV Prevention Education, and Life Skills and Job Readiness. Home plans are devised for the women before leaving the institution including housing plans, job plans, and social service needs. Upon release from prison, participants are provided with clothing, a hygiene pack, and help with their job search. AIM keeps in close contact with recently released participants so that we can quickly address any barriers that may arise. In addition, outreach services are extended to the guardians and families during the mother's incarceration including week-long summer camp, school supplies and uniforms and emergency assistance.  The grant awarded to the agency will fund the creation of a comprehensive evaluation plan for all of AIM's programs.

  

Alabama Shakespeare Festival-$3,000

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) stimulates, embraces, and enlightens young and old throughout the region and nation by performing Shakespeare, classical, and contemporary plays, serving as an educational resource and lifelong learning center, and fostering the development of new works.

ASF's Education Department creates arts education programs that attract students and teachers back to ASF year after year.  Alfa SchoolFest, a comprehensive, student matinee program that provides students with subsidized tickets, is the cornerstone of ASF's educational programs.  ASF Academy offers acting classes to students and adults.  The success of Camp Shakespeare, a one-week day camp where students study an abridged Shakespeare play, has resulted in the development of two new programs: Shakespeare Extreme, a classical acting program for teens, and Much Ado about Shakespeare, an in-school version of Camp Shakespeare.  The Alabama Civil Justice Foundation's grant to ASF will provide scholarships to ASF Academy, Camp Shakespeare, and Camp Shakespeare Extreme.   

Child Protect-$4,000

Child Protect serves 4 counties in central Alabama; Montgomery, Autauga, Chilton and Elmore and works with the Department of Human Resources, Law Enforcement and Prosecutors to help discern the truth in allegations of abuse by conducting a forensic interview on the child.  Last year, Child Protect performed 451 interviews in the service area, 98% were allegations of child sexual abuse.

Child Protect is grateful for the support of the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation.  The funds awarded to Child Protect will support 7 children in the community who will be victims of abuse.  Specifically, the money will fund the forensic interview, counseling and family advocacy for the child.

Family Sunshine Center-$4,000

It is the mission of the Family Sunshine Center to end family violence and foster hope and healing; to offer immediate response and a safe haven in crisis; to provide advocacy, counseling and support for families to empower them to lead safe, violence-free lives; and to promote community awareness through education and training. 

Family Sunshine Center offers a network of wraparound services to effectively respond to the physical and emotional needs of domestic abuse victims. Programs include a 24-hour crisis line, a safe shelter, a counseling center, a transitional housing community, a batterers' intervention program, court advocacy, domestic violence assessment, and community education and prevention. Family Sunshine Center serves residents of Autauga, Butler, Chilton, Crenshaw, Elmore, Lowndes, and Montgomery counties.  The grant award from Alabama Civil Justice Foundation will be used to assist with Family Sunshine Center's general operations.

Montgomery AIDS Outreach-$4,000

Montgomery AIDS Outreach is a 21 year old non-profit organization providing HIV/AIDS specific medical, social work and prevention education services to a 22 county region stretching from Chilton County to Houston County.  This agency currently serves 1097 women, men and young people living with HIV at clinical sites in Montgomery, Dothan, Auburn, Troy, Clayton, Greenville, and Selma.  The Outreach Education Department provides HIV prevention education to over 30,000 people annually in schools, businesses, churches, synagogues and other community sites and tests over 2000 people a year for HIV antibodies.

Partners in Education-$3,000

Committed to student achievement, Partners in Education provides programs that support the economic health of Montgomery through community partnerships and volunteerism. 

PIE is an independent not-for-profit organization, solely dependent on fundraising for our operational support.  All PIE's work supports public school students.  Through PIE, community members volunteer as tutors, mentors and partners, helping students to build skills and to find the link between school and the future.  PIE recruits, trains, and supports more than 2,000 community volunteers each school year.  PIE helps volunteers build Montgomery's economy by building our workforce.  PIE works with the school system, helping public schools do more for children than they could do alone.  PIE is an excellent investment; 91% of PIE income goes directly to services for children.

  

Renascence-$4,000

The goal and mission of Renascence Re-Entry Project is to provide transitional housing and structured, ongoing support to non-violent, male ex-offenders who have little family support or means to live on their own after release from Alabama's Department of Corrections.

  

The program began in 1997 with a group of concerned persons who, because of their involvement in various jail and prison programs, were aware of the lack of supportive housing and community for ex-offenders in Montgomery.  Over several years, with increasing community support, Renascence became a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization, and renovated a donated Victorian boarding house in downtown Montgomery.  In 2004-06 major renovation of the house was accomplished, funded by two consecutive HUD HOME Fund grants awarded through the City of Montgomery.  The residential program began in September 2006.  At capacity, there will be twelve residents at a time. The ACJF grant will be used for operational costs. 

Success By 6-$4,000

Success By 6 is a Program of Family Guidance Center of Alabama. It is a community-based partnership consisting of parents, businesses, schools, and community organizations working together to be sure that children have the skills to succeed in school and life. Success By 6 provides a wide array of services to meet the needs of families and children. Initiatives are tailored to the specific needs of communities served, while families are supported through home visitation and case management. The grant award from the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation will be used to expand and support the high quality Success By 6 preschool and Pre-Kindergarten classrooms and teachers.

  

VOICES for Alabama's Children-$5,000

Established in 1992 through the vision of leading child advocates, VOICES for Alabama's Children was the first, and remains the only, organization to document the health, safety, education, and economic conditions of children in each of our state's 67 counties. From building public awareness to leading legislative advocacy efforts, all of VOICES' activities are based on a solid foundation of research. The organization's goal is to ensure that all Alabama children have the best chance to succeed in life. 

Funds from the ACJF grant will support efforts to continue to produce and enhance the Alabama Kids Count Data Book which will be released on September 17, 2008. New measures are being added and disaggregation of some of the data by race will give a clearer picture of the disparities in child well-being in our state. The grant will support our efforts to make this data more accessible through our website. Additionally, funds will be used to revise and enhance our online presence through a redesign of our current website, the "go to" source for children's issues in Alabama.

ACJF Capacity Building Grantee

  

The Alabama Network of Children's Advocacy Centers, Inc.--$7,225

The Alabama Network of Children's Advocacy Centers, Inc. (ANCAC or The Network) is a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to promote the multi-disciplinary process in fostering an abuse-free society for Alabama's children and support the development of the children's advocacy center model through public awareness, training and networking.   The Network achieves this mission through 27 full-member child advocacy centers (CACs), and two pilot projects that serve 54 counties with forensic interviewing, evaluations and counseling.

The Network has outgrown its current bylaws and needs to develop and implement a strategic plan for continued organizational growth and development, as well as to position the organization for long-term stability and sustainability. To that end, ANCAC applied for a capacity building grant from the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation to fund a strategic planning retreat for ANCAC Board members serving on the Executive and Long-Range Planning Committees, as well as staff from the ANCAC state office in Montgomery. 

ACJF Justice Grantees

The Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice--$22,500

The Alabama Appleseed Center for Law & Justice, Inc. is a state-wide, non-profit, non-partisan legal advocacy organization that was formed in 1999 as part of the network of 16 state Appleseed centers affiliated with the Appleseed Foundation in Washington, D.C. The mission of Alabama Appleseed is to identify root causes of injustice and inequality and to develop and advocate for constructive and lasting systemic change of policies and practices that adversely affect the unrepresented and under-privileged residents of the state.

 We seek to make legal and social systems better serve citizens who often have little, if any, voice or power to affect change. We are dedicated to creating a more just and equitable society in Alabama. We undertake to fulfill our mission through network/coalition organizing and development, research, education, advocacy and policy expertise. We work in partnership with community and statewide leaders and organizations, other non-profit advocacy organizations, the legal and judicial communities, academia, the business community and volunteers.

Alabama Appleseed will use its Justice Grant from the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation to help it launch Alabama Appleseed's  Constitutional Reform Initiative. This Initiative will strategically engage the legal community in constitutional reform for the purpose of building a substantive policy foundation upon which Alabama's many and varied constituencies will find common cause to bring a new constitution into force.

Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Programs--$40,000

The Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) is a project of the Alabama State Bar. Its purpose is to provide free legal services to low-income Alabamians in civil matters.

Legal Services of Alabama--$55,000

Legal Services Alabama (LSA) is a statewide nonprofit organization dedicated to providing access to justice and quality civil legal aid and assistance to educate and empower Alabama's low-income community from ten offices located in: Anniston, Birmingham, Dothan, Florence, Huntsville, Mobile, Montgomery, Opelika, Selma and Tuscaloosa.

LSA assists people by providing representation on critical legal matters in judicial and administrative forums; providing timely legal counsel and advice; through community education about rights and responsibilities ("preventative" law); by providing effective mediation services that help clients and keep disputes out of the court system; and through development and distribution of legal self-help materials and forms.

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