The COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund for Berkshire County has moved from emergency response to a recovery phase. Through the funding collaborative led by Berkshire United Way, Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, Northern Berkshire United Way and Williamstown Community Chest, the fund is providing flexible resources to Berkshire County nonprofits to support innovative approaches to addressing emotional well-being for children, youth, and families.
TOTAL COVID-19 FUND GRANTS DISTRIBUTED: $2,224,200
Phase I | Emergency Response: $2,042,250
Phase II | Resiliency: $181,950
Arts in Recovery for Youth | South County
Over the next 3-4 months, as an expansion of the arts-based youth suicide prevention program, AIRY will include four weekly groups, as well as family art sessions two Saturdays a month.
Berkshire County ARC | Berkshire County
Provide a program series for youth with disabilities, June-August. The events will be outside and include games, a drum circle with drum lessons, yoga, pizza party, lawn bowling contest (with ramps), cornhole, a visit to Shaker Village, arts and crafts, wheelchair swings, and more.
Berkshire County Head Start | Berkshire County
In-person parent groups and child-centered activities based on the Nurturing Curriculum, allowing families within the program to join together to create an array of natural supports amongst caregivers.
Berkshire HorseWorks | Berkshire County
Equine-Assisted Team Building for Families Program, June 1– September 1, offering 4 half-day (3.5 hours) workshops for families.
Berkshire Nursing Families | Berkshire County
Outdoor playgroups in North, Central and South County for pregnant women and families with young infants who have been isolated during the pandemic. Hosted at 5 locations weekly, for 15 weeks, depending on weather conditions.
Berkshire Pulse | South County
Moving Life Stories (MLS) is a series of workshops that gathers people’s life stories and expresses them in movement. MLS will take place this summer for two target populations deeply affected by COVID-19: immigrants and their families, and K-8 students enrolled in the CLuB summer program in need of additional educational support after a year of remote learning.
Berkshire South Regional Community Center | South County
Ready for K playgroups designed to help children strengthen the social and emotional skill sets they haven’t had an opportunity to develop during the course of the last year. Each playgroup will be two hours long and run twice a week for six weeks through the summer.
BFAIR (Berkshire Family & Individual Resources) | North County
An outdoor gardening program for community-based day services to support the overall well-being of individuals with developmental disabilities and autism.
Boys & Girls Club of the Berkshires | Central County
New camperships to allow children ages 5-14 who come from economically challenged families attend the summer camp program at Camp Russell in Richmond.
Central Berkshire Regional School District | Central County
Kindergarten readiness groups and activities will be offered for 7 weeks beginning June 21. Programming is for rising kindergarten and first grade students in CBRSD.
Child Care of the Berkshires | North & Central County
Play and Learn groups for families offered in city parks and recreation areas, including nature walks, arts and crafts activities, yoga, literacy activities, and more.
Dalton CRA | Central County
In partnership with Central Berkshire Regional School District, Sunny Day Program will address social-emotional and physical needs of children with disabilities. Three hours of academics at school and three hours of activities at the CRA. Elementary aged students will come to the CRA in the morning for the social-emotional component and attend school in the afternoon. Older students will attend school in the morning and come to the CRA in the afternoon. Will run Monday-Friday for 5 weeks.
Early Childhood Consultants | South County
Cynthia Segui @ Berkshire South Regional Community Center | Pilot project to provide behavioral health consultation support for program staff, children, and families. Includes bi-monthly hourly meetings with staff, classroom observations to monitor children with disruptive behavior, and provide coaching and modeling to support staff with positive behavioral management techniques and individualized support for families as needed.
Jessica Pollard/Heather Lucy @ Busy Bee Learning Center | Creating holistic, impactful, relevant, and integrative expressive arts lessons that nurture the whole child, in combinations with family and staff. Lessons will involve ELA, art, kinetics and sensorimotor opportunities, as well as mental health strategies, all rooted in social-emotional learning.
Gladys Allen Brigham Community Center | Central County
A new “Closing the Gap” literacy program this summer will work with Out-of-School time kids at the center (K-7th grade) and the girls attending the 8-week summer camp (K-8th grade). Programming will include developmentally appropriate supports for building reading, writing, and communication skills.
Goodwill of the Berkshires & Southern Vermont | North & Central County
Gateway to Employment Program provides job skills training. Currently working with Louison House in North Adams and Keenan House in Pittsfield to obtain referrals and provide services to individuals experiencing homelessness and substance disorders.
Hoosac Valley Regional School District | North County
Mental health supports for rising first, second and third graders, as well as special education students, for a 16-day summer program that will run 4.5 hours a day, Monday-Thursday.
Iglesia Fuente de Salvacion Misionera, Inc. | Central County
Mentoring program for at-risk youth ages 10-22. Priority will be given to immigrant youths, and those struggling with family separation, substance use and/or mental/emotional disorders affecting family life and school or community behavior.
Manos Unidas Multicultural Educational Cooperative | Central County
Creative Learning Network/Corazonidos is an intensive 6-week, twice weekly, summer workshop for disenfranchised youth working with resident artists, educators, and environmentalists.
MassHire Berkshire Workforce Board | Berkshire County
Social Emotional Learning Professional Development Series for Berkshire County teachers and families to support mental health. Consultant was hired to provide two workshops.
NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) | Berkshire County
Outdoor series of mental health programming this summer to include nature walks at The Audubon and art and music workshops, as well as partner with Volunteers in Medicine and Berkshire Immigrant Center to bring immigrant youth to visit local educational sites.
New Hope United Methodist Church | North County
Friday Night Alive and Ready, Set, Serve – two children's programming focusing on connecting children to the community, specifically emphasizing work with marginalized and at-risk communities.
Price Memorial AME Zion Church | Central County
Price Memorial Explorers Camp will offer a nature-based mentoring program for under-resourced youth, ages 8-14, in the Westside community, June-August.
Railroad Street Youth Project | South County
Will provide outdoor barbecues Friday afternoons at the Skate Park throughout the summer for young people who are at risk of food insecurity.
Regional Food Coordination Projects | Berkshire County
North County | two projects: 1. Goodwill Food Transportation Project, a collaboration between Goodwill and 6 food access sites delivering food from Food Bank of Western MA; 2. A trailer for North Adams Farmer’s Market to support transportation of supplies and amenities to reopen and operate, as well as financial support for the Market Match program.
Central County | hiring two (short-term) part-time coordinators, one “on the ground” and one overseeing the system as a whole, both focused on a collaborative approach to sustain current systems and partnerships, fill in gaps, and continue to build capacity in the emergency food network.
South County | meal distribution project aimed at filling gaps in provision of prepared meals for those in need as well as beginning to build the infrastructure to support a system that provides a broad range of opportunities to those in need of food and those developing skills to work in existing businesses or start a food business.
Rites of Passage + Empowerment (ROPE) | Central County
Rites of Passage: 20/20 Vision – a collaborative, multidisciplinary art installation and interactive “living museum” performance honoring the initiatory life experiences of women in America, specifically highlighting the untold stories and visionary futures of Black, Indigenous, and Immigrant Women of Color (BIWOC). Staged at the Whitney Center for the Arts in Pittsfield with ROPE girls of color supporting their own creation “Adolescence.” Open for 10 live, socially distanced performances, August 13-17.
Roots Rising | Central County
Will implement a personal wellness and resiliency workshop series within their full-time, five-week Summer Crew. Workshops on yoga, meditation/mindfulness, stress management techniques, herbalism and wildcrafting, and other topics related to physical, emotional, and mental health.
The Salvation Army | Central County
Family Reading Picnics program will host 4 event dates from June to August. Families are invited to bring their picnic blankets and camping chairs for a free picnic in the park, and will be provided free story books for kids to read, craft-based activities for the family, and a healthy meal and snacks.
Stewards of H.O.P.E. | Central County
The project would extend the work being done by Stewards of H.O.P.E. (Healing, Opportunity, Peer Support, Empowerment) to provide coaching, modeling, referral services, and on-site management for individuals and families heavily impacted by COVID-19.
Stockbridge Library | South County
Educational summer reading program that will allow access to reading materials, activities, and learning programs for residents and visitors. Will encourage library usage, socialization, help with reading achievement, embolden a positive attitude toward reading, and include outdoor activities.
WAM Theatre | South County
Will utilize the team of experienced theater teaching artists to create unique creative spaces for children of essential workers, Berkshire County public school teachers, and parents and caregivers.