Friends of the Allston Library is among the 10 nonprofits awarded a grant by the Harvard Allston Partnership Fund. In total, the Harvard fund has awarded 20 nonprofits in the Allston-Brighton community with grants totaling $500,000 over the past five years.

File photo by Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer

Campus & Community

$100K awarded to local nonprofits

4 min read

Harvard Allston Partnership Fund has given $500K over five years

The Harvard Allston Partnership Fund (HAPF) announced today that 10 local nonprofits will receive grants totaling $100,000 to support programs in the Allston-Brighton community. The program, created in 2008 by Harvard University and the city of Boston in collaboration with the Allston community, has given $500,000 in grants to 20 local nonprofits and organizations over the past five years. The grants have helped these organizations to serve more than 3,500 residents of North Allston and North Brighton.

The HAPF was created to support organizations that provide Allston-Brighton residents with youth enrichment, educational programs, and engaging activities for families, the elderly, and people with disabilities. This year’s awards focused on supporting educational programs and organizations that reach underserved populations.

“The Harvard Allston Partnership Fund has supported vibrant community programming with real impact for hundreds of people in this neighborhood,” Mayor Thomas M. Menino said. “This is a city, university, community partnership that makes a difference in people’s everyday lives.”

“We are proud to offer our support to this year’s HAPF recipients, who provide important services that directly benefit residents in the North Allston-North Brighton community,” said Christine Heenan, Harvard’s vice president for public affairs and communications. “As a community partner, Harvard is committed to supporting education and enhancing the quality of life for neighborhood residents, and the HAPF is one way we can achieve this together.”

Recipients of the fifth round of HAPF grants follow:

  • Commonwheels Bicycle Co-Op: $10,000 to provide classes, workshops, and events that teach 500 adults and children about the safe use of bicycles.
  • Family Nurturing Center: $7,025 to organize parent-child playgroups for 70 families who speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Participation will strengthen early literacy and improve school readiness.
  • Friends of the Allston Library: $13,000 to purchase sewing machines and cabinets, and to hire an experienced instructor to teach sewing and quilting to 80 families.
  • Gardner Pilot Academy (GPA): $21,000 to make 17 after-school and summer enrichment program slots affordable, and to support adult education programming.
  • The Fishing Academy: $5,685 for scholarships to 45 youths in summer fishing excursions for a week.
  • West End House Camp: $3,750 for scholarships to eight boys to attend overnight summer camp for two weeks.
  • West End House Girls Camp: $4,800 for scholarships to four girls to attend overnight summer camp for eight weeks.
  • The Literacy Connection: $10,000 to provide tutoring in English literacy and citizenship to 13 adults.
  • Vocational Advancement Center: $19,740 to purchase computers, software, and educational supplies to train 10 disabled adults for supported employment.

“Grants like this have been critical to the GPA and other area organizations that do important work in this community,” said Lauren Fogarty, director of extended learning time at the Gardner Pilot Academy, which has received HAPF grants for the past three years. The academy also has other programmatic ties with Harvard.

“We are constantly working to bring in funding, assess that funding, and develop and sustain high-quality programming for families,” said Fogarty. “This partnership enables us to provide that high-quality programming, broaden access by enabling parents to participate, and close the opportunity gap with families that can’t afford to take part. Supporting Allston-Brighton families is why we are here, and we appreciate Harvard and the city’s partnership and support of our mission.”

First-time HAPF recipient Commonwheels will use its grant to expand programming into the North Allston and Barry’s Corner area and to double its outreach. “Anywhere where there is heavy bike traffic, there is a need for community support. We want to bridge the gap,” said Galen Mook, who heads the bicycle co-op that works to educate cyclists and provide tips on riding technique, basic bike maintenance, and on-bike training to improve safety. “We are delighted to be part of a broad network of nonprofits, including Harvard, serving this community,” added Mook.

The Harvard Allston Partnership Fund supports neighborhood improvement projects, cultural enrichment, and educational programming in North Allston-North Brighton. Funding decisions are made by a volunteer board of community members, following careful review of the applications.