Community Impact

WCF’s Impact on the Watertown Community

What’s New?

$75,000 Grants – Spring 2016

On June 2nd, the Watertown Community Foundation (WCF) held a reception for its 24 spring grantees at the Arsenal Center for the Arts where it distributed over $75K. Since WCF’s founding in 2003, it has awarded over $725,000 in grants to nonprofits serving Watertown.

At the event, WCF Board Co-President, David Siegel, introduced newly hired Executive Director, Jennie Bass. Then as he handed out the checks, outgoing Executive Director, Michael Schade, stated, “We are fortunate to have these outstanding organizations working to make Watertown a special town, and we are lucky our Community Foundation exists to help support them.”

All of the grants are funded from WCF’s Arsenal Education Income Fund.

13 Educational Program Grants totaling $22,943 were given to:

* Cunniff Elementary School for an afterschool parent-child book club fostering reading for pleasure and academic success.

* Historical Society of Watertown for a welcome folder for new Watertown homeowners providing them with information about the town and its history.

* Hosmer Elementary School – Library for a student choice book program in which 4th and 5th grade students read and vote for their favorite books.

* Perkins School for the Blind for their Watertown newspaper accessibility project.

* Saheli Support for South Asian Women and Families for a Girls College Readiness Program in Watertown to help break cultural and literacy barriers to higher education by strengthening personal skills and family support among Asian immigrant girls.

* Watertown Community Conversations for new approaches to public discourse to build community, create support for new ways of working together, and to promote related skills among a diverse group of Watertown leaders.

* Watertown Free Public Library to fund workshops on how to use the HATCH Makerspace equipment.

* Watertown High School so special education students can attend Appalachian Mountain Club’s Mountain Classroom.

* Watertown High School Guidance Dept. to take students on visits to two nearby colleges to help students make informed post high school plans.

* Watertown High School Library to continue its book club.

* Watertown Middle School PTO to provide all students with a free planner/organizer to help them keep track of their assignments and community service hours.

* Watertown Public Schools – School Gardens to fund garden-related curricula for the respective grade levels at all of the public elementary schools

* World in Watertown for the 2017 Watertown Unity Breakfast on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

11 Institutional Support Grants totaling $52,500 were given to the following to support their ongoing operations in Watertown:

* Arsenal Center for the Arts for free programming, including: Open Arts Day – annual open house; Free Family Fun – monthly drop-in workshops for children and families; the Open Doors Project – free tickets and arts classes for the elderly; Live @ Lunch – free outdoor live performances; and the annual First Day – January 1st performances and art activities.

* Friends of Project Literacy to assist adult basic education learners, both speakers of other languages and English speakers, by providing free educational services to help adult learners find their place within the community, to be seen and heard, and to belong. Project Literacy provides opportunities for adults to improve their English language skills for employment, parenting, and preparation for higher education or self-improvement.

* Metro West Collaborative Development to organize residents, mobilize resources, and identify ideas that improve the quality of life for residents of Watertown and other Metro West communities by:
• Creating and preserving affordable homes,
• Supporting economic development that strengthens neighborhoods and the town,
• Building alliances with partners and constituencies in order to increase and build support for community development.

* New Repertory Theatre to advance the artistic quality of eight to ten professional productions with a total of 160-180 performances annually; to bring children and under-served audiences to see the programs; and to help leverage support from national and regional corporate, foundation, and government resources. New Rep attracts 40,000 visitors each year and has an ongoing economic impact on Watertown restaurants and businesses

* Parent Child Home Program – Watertown to help provide early learning and parent support to educationally at-risk families (with children ages 16 months to 4 years) in Watertown through home visits and group experiences to develop parent-child interactions that support the school readiness of the family.

* Sancta Maria’s Windsor House Adult Day Health to help provide comprehensive programs 6-8.5 hours per day for a diverse population, which includes a wide range of functional abilities due to physical, cognitive, memory, and mental challenges. Watertown caregivers are provided respite, support groups and educational materials.

* Springwell, Inc. to help fund the Watertown Nutrition Program, which will bring over 40,000 free meals to older adults in Watertown this year as well as individualized nutritional counseling to those at risk of malnutrition. Last year 39,716 meals were served to over 300 older adults in Watertown.

* Watertown Boys and Girls Club to help enable all local young people, especially those who most need the club, to reach their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. In the past three years, membership has grown over 30%. Average daily attendance has increased from 80 children per day three years ago to 115 kids a day today.

* Watertown Family Network to provide a welcoming, accessible space for families to:
• Build community,
• Access resources,
• Strengthen parental instincts and skills,
• Experience the joy of nurturing and educating young children.

* Watertown Prosperity, Inc. to help identify needs in Watertown and develop programming to assist Watertown’s youth, elderly, and disabled populations through educational and service-based programs. Specifically, this funding will help expand the snow shoveling initiative.

* Wayside Multi Service Center to provide a continuum of community-based services promoting the health and well-being of Watertown residents; including substance abuse and violence prevention programming, leadership and social justice initiatives, school-based and after school enrichment programs, and community-wide collaborations. In addition, funds will help provide enrichment experiences for young people living in Willow Park Public Housing.


See more information on the over $725,000 in grants awarded by the Watertown Community Foundation since it was founded in 2003 on the Grant Recipients page.