In the News

American Savings Foundation Demonstrates Commitment to Youth in New Britain

July 05, 2024


New Britain, Conn. – The American Savings Foundation Board of Directors recently announced a total of $600,460 in grants to thirteen New Britain-based programs that provide positive youth development experiences both after school and within the school day.

The American Savings Foundation has had a particular focus on funding for youth programs since its first grants awarded in 1996.  In 2005, recognizing a significant gap in the availability of after school for middle school youth in New Britain, the Foundation increased both its emphasis and funding for after school programs. Through this emphasis, the Foundation is now the lead funder of after-school programs for this critical age in the city, it has also taken an active role in helping to shape, develop and support the strong network of after-school programs now in place.

Foundation grants also support a wide range of enrichment programs that take place within the school day. All of these programs align with the common core curriculum and support learning while increasing youth engagement in their schools and community.

“These awards provide New Britain youth with opportunities that will help them to learn, grow and thrive,” said Maria Sanchez, director of grantmaking and community investment at American Savings Foundation. “Many of these programs have received funding from the Foundation over several years, which underscores our commitment to making a lasting impact in ensuring the availability of high quality after school programs in the community.”

Many of the after-school programs that received funding also incorporate strong career development components. The Human Resources Agency of New Britain received $50,000 for their comprehensive financial literacy program for high school students, which provides a pathway for New Britain students to become certified as volunteer income tax preparers as they explore careers in finance, accounting, and related fields.   

OIC of New Britain was awarded $75,000 for their Moving Mountains Program, which helps middle school students develop skills and confidence to successfully transition to high school. The program incorporates career exploration in STEM through STEMLinx, career exploration and financial literacy through Junior Achievement, and other curricula.

“OIC New Britain was one of the first after-school programs selected to receive funding for middle-school from American Savings Foundation,” said executive director Paulette Fox.  “Since 2005, 940 youth have been served by the Moving Mountains Sullivan Academy, with a 95% graduation rate.  Over the years, the funding from the American Savings Foundation has made a tremendous impact in the community.”

Worldwide Youth Networks, which received $20,000 for the ParaDYM Academy, introduces New Britain high school students to STEM careers through video production, game design, and Esports. Students develop real world skills in technology and coding, as they explore career fields in media, computer design, and technology.

Other after school programs supported by these awards included the Boys and Girls Club of New Britain (the Club), which received $70,000 for their Getting Active After School Program (GAAS). Middle school students enrolled in this program participate in enrichment activities focusing on physical, emotional, social, and intellectual well-being, while also providing a safe and positive environment.

YWCA of New Britain was awarded $70,000 for their STRIVE program. The program supports enrichment activities for middle school-age girls which integrate literacy, numeracy, STEM, and health and wellness, while also working to build confidence, develop critical social skills, and support a smooth transition into high school. Its sister program, House of Teens, was awarded $20,000. The program for high school girls builds on the STRIVE curriculum, helping to build resilience and self-assurance through a variety of activities that integrate language arts, STEM, and health and wellness.

$150,000 to the City of New Britain Parks and Recreation’s afterschool program, Exercise the Right Choice, a comprehensive middle-school youth program focusing on academic assistance, recreation, community service and cultural arts.

The Foundation also announced grants to the following youth and in-school enrichment programs:

  • $17,600 to Connecticut Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra for their in-school music education programming.
  • $40,000 to Junior Achievement of Southwest New England for their Economic Empowerment Program, which provides financial literacy, work readiness, and entrepreneurship programs in New Britain classrooms to help bridge lessons with real-world business skills and experience.
  • $2,000 to MudMedia to support the growth of their interactive multimedia arts program, designed to educate students about digital media.
  • $27,860 to New Britain ROOTS Garden Clubs, an environmental conservation program that also teaches nutrition and healthy eating.
  • $25,000 to Pathways/Senderos to support a structured year-round youth development program focused on helping students in grades 6 through 12 graduate from high school.
  • $18,000 for the Queen Ann Nzinga Center’s youth development program, which embeds social emotional learning in arts enrichment and performances for youth of all abilities.
  • $15,000 to Shakesperience to bring their classroom-based theater arts and literacy program to New Britain elementary schools.