The Yawkey Foundation recently awarded a $25,000 grant to Lantham Centers, a nonprofit organization providing opportunities for children and adults with mental and physical handicaps to live better lives. (See Yawkey Foundation: Boston Area Grants). The grant money is going towards purchasing and installing playground equipment on the Latham School grounds, in hopes that the students get more active during the school day. Childhood and adult obesity is an obvious issue around the country, and the disabled population is particularly susceptible.
But this is no ordinary, run-of-the-mill playground. It's specifically designed to improve the motor skills and spatial understanding of some of the region's most challenged students. The competition had better watch out, because the playground will also serve as the training grounds for the Latham Hawks' Special Olympics Teams. According to Lanthan Executive Director Anne McManus, "The addition of an adaptive playground to the Latham School curriculum will encourage team-building activities, leadership, communication and positive interactions among students." Other philanthropic organizations including the Ronald McDonald Charities and the Palmer and Jane D. Davenport Foundation, which helped pave the way for the playground by funding a high-tech turf to build it upon.
The Yawkey Foundation has been helping out the Lantham Center for some time now. It has funded everything from Asinotherapy program development to a new residential dormitory at the school in recent years. Yawkey regularly contributes to educational programs that aim to get students out of their seats and living healthy lifestyles. Healthcare and education are the foundation's two biggest funding areas, so any initiative that combines them both is as sure thing as you'll ever get. (Read Yawkey Foundation education program officer, Kristen Whelan's IP profile).
If you're organization has worked with Yawkey in the past, then you've got the green light to submit a funding proposal. Healthcare proposals are due March 1st and Education proposals are due September 1st, so decide which category is most relevant to your program. The Yawkey Foundation take an old school approach and only accepts proposals by snail mail. Review the application guidelines and contact Nancy Brodnicki at 781-329-7470 with any questions.