Dorothy Jiganti Fund Announces Spring 2018 Grant Winners
Connecting Communities | May 25, 2018
The Dorothy Jiganti Fund is designed to support programs and services consistent with the mission of Marillac St. Vincent. The goal of the fund is to provide services and experiences for children, families, or seniors that are not normally funded, to enhance the program. Since the Fall of 2017, Dorothy Jiganti or a member of the Dorothy Jiganti family, along with staff, review proposals submitted by our programs.
The selection committee is pleased to announce the Spring 2018 grant winners! Each of MSV’s 3 major programs, Early Childhood Education, Youth Services, and Community Outreach Services, are represented among the grantees:
1. New Die Cut Machine in Teacher Resource Room at Marillac
The newly renovated Teacher’s Resource Room at Marillac Social Center will soon be complete with the addition of a die-cut machine. Die cutters create standardized shapes out of paper like letters, numbers, and other playful shapes such as animals and food objects. Teachers lose out on important lesson planning and instruction time with students from all the time it takes to cut these shapes for learning activities by hand. So, the new die cutting machine will benefit the classrooms through extra time in the teachers’ days, and by providing visual aids to learning.
2. Preschool Speech-Language Diagnostics
Preschool Speech-Language Diagnostics is a standardized assessment program for children ages 3-5 enrolled in our Early Childhood Programs at MSV. As Sister Kara Davis continues to develop the Speech and Language Program, a new initiative beginning in September 2018, obtaining standardized assessment tools to facilitate formal evaluation and diagnostics is essential.
3. Transform Play Therapy Room into Sensory Therapy Space
The Family Support play therapy room at Marillac Social Center has great potential. With the addition of new books, calming furniture, sensory lighting, and aroma therapy, the room will be transformed into a safe environment which will allow the children to interact with a range of stimuli to develop and engage their senses. This innovative concept is designed to calm and support children with learning disabilities or sensory impairments.
4. Outreach Based Focus Groups
The St. Vincent de Paul Center Outreach Program will host 2-3 focus groups with clients, including secondary follow-ups, to learn whether there are service gaps the program is equipped to meet. The focus groups will help the staff determine how current services are meeting participant and community needs and uncover possible opportunities for service improvement. The grant from the Dorothy Jiganti Fund will allow the staff to purchase refreshments and supplies needed to host the focus groups.
5. Catered Lunches for Senior Program
Take Charge is a group of up to 75 active and mobile seniors who meet monthly for luncheons. Since the passing of Sister Mary Rita McSweeney in the Fall of 2017, providing Take Charge with nutritious meals has posed a challenge, given that Sister Rita prepared the meals herself on-site. The grant from the Dorothy Jiganti Fund will provide enough funding to support 2 months of lunches, supplementing the needs of the senior program for the next year, and providing an essential opportunity for socialization and community building for this population of isolated seniors.
6. Summer Retreat for School Age Classroom
Room 15 at Marillac Social Center will be starting their summer with an exciting overnight retreat at Rustic Falls Nature Camp. The group of 10-12 year old boys and girls will get to leave the city for the weekend and explore nature, play games, go fishing, play basketball, cook meals in the kitchen, and engage in team building activities and meditation. The teachers and staff have planned all the activities ahead of time to maximize opportunities for learning and bonding among the children ahead of their all-summer camp through MSV.