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Parents and caregivers vote to fund $182,000 in Community Change Projects (Press Release)

PARENTS AND CAREGIVERS OF PRESCHOOL AGE CHILDREN VOTE TO FUND $182,000 IN COMMUNITY CHANGE FUNDS TOWARDS PROJECTS THAT IMPROVE THE LIVES OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES IN CENTRAL LONG BEACH

The Best Start Central Long Beach (BSCLB) Network Provides Community Change Funds to organizations serving young children and their families.

(LONG BEACH, CA – June 2, 2023) Long Beach parents, caregivers, and community leaders with the Best Start Central Long Beach (BSCLB) network launched a Request for Proposals (RFP) process that gave an opportunity for local families to vote on $182,000 in community change fund projects that align with BSCLB’s community change priorities and will improve the lives of (prenatal to age five) and their families through education, community building, policy change, and systems change. BSCLB is an initiative funded by First 5 LA to create the best possible community for young children and their families.

The $182,000 in BSCLB community change funds’ purpose is to advance the BSCLB community change agenda priorities that were identified by parents, caregivers, and organizations within the BSCLB network. All community-led projects must align with a minimum of one of the following community change priorities:

  1. Build community knowledge about child development and parenting skills; 
  2. Prevent child abuse and neglect;
  3. Increase access to quality and affordable child care; and
  4. Increase access to quality and affordable housing and economic security. 

Individuals and organizations that submitted proposals will be notified by email with confirmation of the project’s approval or denial after the voting period ends. Proposals for this opportunity were voted on during the week leading up to BSCLB’s May Community Partnership meeting in order to allocate $182,000 to the winning projects, which will be funded by June 2023. Community members that participated at least once in BSCLB programming within the last 6 months were eligible to cast their vote in-person and virtually. Project proposal requests range from a maximum of $10,000 – $50,000 per project.

“Best Start Central Long Beach is dedicated to supporting our community in building their knowledge and parenting skills,” said Juanita Wilson, a member of the BSCLB Leadership Team. “These Community Change Funds are the first step in creating thriving and safe spaces where we can connect families and ensure that the first few critical years of children’s lives are the best possible.”

“We encourage families to get involved with Best Start Central Long Beach because they are given the power and tools to be decision-makers in their neighborhoods – building a foundation for what is necessary in creating a caring, united community,” Nubia Flores, Associate Director of Long Beach Forward said.

The Community Change Fund recipients for 2023 are as follows:

  • Central Long Beach Neighborhood Tenant Council (Long Beach Residents Empowered): LiBRE plans to expand their tenant organizing efforts by creating neighborhood-based tenant councils, including renters in small buildings and single-family homes, to advocate for housing justice policies and empower communities of color.
  • Dive into Learning (LB Public Library Foundation): Dive into Learning will support early childhood education holistically through workshops, resources, and activities that address the need for increased childhood literacy, engage parents in positive parenting practices, and prepare children for kindergarten by providing essential academic, practical, and social skills.
  • Long Beach Food Distribution (LB Community Table): LBCT will support vulnerable individuals through their core Food Distribution Programs, which include a Food Pantry, Parks Program, and Homebound Delivery – emphasizing the importance of economic security for community and seek funds to ensure the continuity of their services, which not only provides 6,000 pounds of food each week but also create jobs and a connected community. 
  • Motherhood Together (M.O.R.E. Mothers): Mothers and their children in Central Long Beach will be provided with free monthly deliveries of essential items like feminine hygiene products, diapers, wipes, etc, that will address economic challenges and systemic inequities. The program also offers educational materials, regular check-ins, and monthly workshops to empower mothers and help them thrive.

More information about the RFP process can be found at www.lbforward.org/collaborative/communitychange/

About Best Start Central Long Beach

Best Start Central Long Beach is a network that brings together parents, community organizations, and institutions to improve policies and resources to better support parents and create a community where children and families can thrive. Best Start provides skills-building and leadership opportunities to help parents, caregivers, and organizations achieve their goals and ensure that children are safe, healthy, and ready to learn by the time they enter kindergarten. Best Start Central Long Beach is an initiative funded by First 5 LA and supported by The Nonprofit Partnership and Long Beach Forward. www.lbforward.org/beststart 

About Long Beach Forward

Long Beach Forward, Inc. in a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization that builds community knowledge, leadership, and power with low-income communities of color to drive real change and to advance the vision that Long Beach can be a place where race and income do not determine one’s future—it can be a community where everyone is safe, connected, and healthy. Established in 2010, Long Beach Forward has been rooted in community since its beginning, when it coordinated the efforts of The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Long Beach initiative. Currently, Long Beach Forward provides leadership, strategy, communications, and convening support to multiple coalitions; partners with numerous community-based organizations; and facilitates or participates in collaborative groups and campaigns, including the Best Start Central Long Beach network. www.lbforward.org

Web Site: www.lbforward.org/beststart     Social media:    Facebook / Twitter / Instagram: @beststartclb

Media Contact:

Nubia Flores, Associate Director, Long Beach Forward, 562-900-7768 nubia@lbforward.org 

Melissa Morgan, Communications Director, Long Beach Forward, 515-999-6356, melissa@lbforward.org

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