Flood of Federal Grants Released

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Amy Nakamoto, executive director of DC Scores – an after-school program in Washington – figured there was "no way" she’d win a federal Compassion Capital Fund (CCF) grant on her first try.

But she was "thrilled" to learn recently that her agency scored: It will get its first federal check for $50,000, allowing Nakamoto to hire a development director to help find more funds for the agency’s academic and recreation programs. The organization serves about 730 children annually with a $1.3 million budget. (See a partial list.)

DC Scores is among thousands of organizations that were notified of grant awards in recent weeks, as federal agencies rushed to push out their remaining 2007 funds before the Oct. 1 start of fiscal 2008.

Some agencies were double winners: Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County, Ill., won a 2007 mentoring children of prisoners grant of $40,000 over three years, and a CCF capacity-building grant of $50,000 for one year. The program expects to serve 500 youths this year, including 40 children of prisoners, said Dena Hernandez, director of the mentoring program.

Aside from CCF, these HHS programs also announced 2007 grants: community-based abstinence education ($600,000 per year for five years); runaway and homeless youth, and dating violence prevention (up to $75,000 for three years); basic centers and street outreach (up to $200,000 per year for three years); and transitional living maternity group homes (up to $200,000 per year for five years). The National Resource Center for Youth Services, a longstanding technical assistance and training center at the University of Oklahoma, won two, five-year cooperative agreements totaling $2.1 million.

The Education Department handed out nearly $30 million for 198 new mentoring grants that serve kids in grades four through eight who live in rural or high-crime areas. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration distributed awards for youth suicide prevention, anti-drug coalitions and trauma prevention, among other programs.

The U.S. Department of Justice grants included money for Internet Crimes Against Children task forces, Weed and Seed anti-crime programs, underage drinking prevention, and Gang Resistance Education and Training.