The Community Benefits Advisory Committee received five applications for planning grants. Interviews for the applications will take place during the first week of April, and planning grant awards will be announced in April. Up to five (5) planning grants of up to $30,000 will be awarded. Learn more here.
Cambridge Public Schools (CPS) is continuing to move forward towards extending the day for elementary and upper schools. The CNC Out of School Time (OST) subcommittee has been deeply engaged in these discussions in an effort to raise the voice of the OST provider community and the children and families who benefit from their programs. The CNC Steering Committee submitted testimony at the school committee meeting on March 5, and urged the CPS to standardize start and end times with no school release time after 3pm, and to create an Elementary School Network in the model of the Middle School Network. Read the CNC Steering Committee letter, and learn more about the CPS decision making process.
Community Benefits Resources and Information Session Two
Last week the Community Benefits Advisory Committee (CBAC) held a second information session about the guidelines and application process for applying for Community Benefits Funding. During the session, members of the CBAC walked through application requirements and answered applicant questions. The deadline for proposals is February 15. Read the FAQs and access application materials here.
Last week CPS Superintendent Salim hosted a meeting for Out of School Time (OST) leaders to share two options that the district is proposing to add additional time to the school day. Meeting participants, which included staff from nonprofit and City of Cambridge OST programs, provided feedback on the proposals and raised questions on the specific steps CPS will take to support further coordination between the OST system and Cambridge schools. Read the proposals here.
The Community Benefits Advisory Committee has posted several resources for the current RFP process on their webpage, including an FAQ document, and a list of nonprofit leaders who attended the November information session. There will also be another information session and opportunity to network with potential application partners on Wednesday, January 16 - 9-11am – City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, 2nd Floor Conference Room. Learn more here.
On Wednesday November 28, the City of Cambridge and the Community Benefits Advisory Committee held an information session to provide details on the recently released RFP. Attendees learned about the application process, data from the Community Needs Assessment and also had the chance to connect with one another around those topics. Learn more about the process here.
Last week Cambridge Agenda for Children Out-of-School-Time hosted a meeting between OST leaders and Cambridge Public Schools Superintendent Salim, where providers learned more about the school district's exploration of changes to the school day, and the strategies they are employing to integrate feedback from the OST community into the developing plan. During the session, participants had the opportunity to respond to a few ideas that have emerged at this point in the process. The Cambridge Agenda for Children is hosting a second session for OST providers who work with K-5 youth and families on November 9, 12pm-2pm, as part of their symposium. Learn more about this work and register for the session here.
At the November 5 City Council meeting, the City Manager will request an appropriation of $5,000,000 for Community Benefits grants. Once this appropriation is made, the planning grant RFP can be released.
The Community Benefits grant process will occur in two phases: a 6-month Planning Phase; and a 3-year Implementation Phase. The Community Benefits Advisory Committee (CBAC) will select and recommend to the City Manager up to five partnerships to receive a 6-month planning grant. These grants will provide partnerships with up to $30,000 to formulate and refine their approach, culminating in the development of a Plan for Implementation. At the completion of the planning period, CBAC will review Plans for Implementation and recommend to the City Manager, up to five partnerships for funding. Grants will be up to $750,000 per partnership, distributed over a 3-year period. Learn more here.
On Wednesday October 24, over 80 nonprofit, city and community leaders came together for the CNC Summit, hosted by Google, to explore how we can collectively create a more equitable Cambridge. The morning began with the panel discussion of a local cross sector partnership that highlighted the Cambridge Domestic and Gender-based Violence Prevention initiative. The panel was introduced by State Representative Marjorie Decker, moderated by Rev. Irene Monroe and included Risa Mednick, former Transition House Executive Director, Cambridge Deputy City Manager, Lisa Peterson, Cambridge Police Superintendent Steven DeMarco, and Hannah Lodi, Director of Leased Housing, Cambridge Housing Authority.
While the initiative focused on domestic violence, the discussion highlighted several characteristics that can assist different types of cross sector collaborations in achieving their goals. These include: a deep commitment from leadership that transcends transitions, embedding changes in policies and practices that impact service delivery, and key institutions making significant financial investments to sustain the work. Cross- sector collaboration is messy and challenging. It is only by remaining focused on the long term goals, that we can achieve the system changes necessary to solve entrenched social problems.
After the panel, participants broke into small groups to discuss what they learned and explore opportunities for further collaboration. We ended the morning with a call to action for more nonprofits to officially join the CNC as members.
The City of Cambridge encourages and promotes involvement by residents in the decision-making process through participation in a variety of boards and commissions. There are currently several commission vacancies, and the CNC sees this as an opportunity for residents who are not typically included in these discussions to be heard. Please encourage your clients, program participants and communities to apply. Learn more here.