Red Sox Foundation Awards Grant to Groundwork Lawrence

The Eagle Tribune, January 6th, 2020

Red Sox Foundation invests in Lawrence    

Donations aimed at trips for kids, better family health care

Courtesy photo: The Groundwork Lawrence leadership group is presented with a grant from the Red Sox Foundation. Participating are, from left: Sharon Mason, Groundwork Lawrence development director; Heather McMann, executive director; Bekah Salwasser, Red Sox Foundation executive director; and Lesly Melendez, Groundwork Lawrence deputy director. They are joined by Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera.

LAWRENCE — This spring, hundreds of Lawrence children will take trips to farms, parks and waterways.

Thanks to the Red Sox, the kids will get a taste of the outdoors away from the inner city.

The Red Sox Foundation has donated $180,000 to four local non-profits focused on the health of residents and their quality of life. The money will pay for a variety of programs, including trips to get young people out of the city and ways to improve health care for Lawrence families.

The grant recipients include Groundwork Lawrence, $30,000; Lawrence Boys & Girls Club, $25,000; Beyond Soccer, $25,000; and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, $100,000.

The grant for Groundwork Lawrence pays for the expansion of the organization’s in-school education programming to after-school hours, in partnership with the Boys & Girls Club of Lawrence.

Since 2004, Groundwork Lawrence has created and delivered successful education programs, often with a STEM focus. Building off these programs, the organization will offer after-school programming focused on healthy living, outdoor activities, social emotional learning, and family engagement. The programming, starting in the spring, will involve almost 200 Lawrence children ages 8 to 12.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer much-needed after-school programming to youth here in Lawrence,” said Lesly Melendez, deputy director of Groundwork Lawrence. "Not only that, but we are thankful to see the Red Sox foundation make such a huge investment in Lawrence. Groundwork Lawrence is in good company with the other nonprofits receiving funding, and together we look forward to expanding our impact on residents across the city.”

The programs will involve field trips to Costello Urban Farm, Den Rock Park, Ferrous Urban Wild, and the Spicket River Greenway. 

"Engaging the students’ families is integral to our holistic approach of creating positive change in the community,” said Heather McMann, executive director of the local agency. “Groundwork Lawrence is committed to playing a critical role in building an economically healthy Lawrence, working at the individual and familial level to educate youth who will then go on to improve their own outcomes, and many of whom return to Lawrence to bring their knowledge and skills into the conversation of community health in their city.”

At the Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, the $100,000 grant will be used to support the health care agency's Family Medicine Residency Program, which was established in 1994 and was the first accredited teaching community health center in the nation. The program creates learning environments where physicians develop skills in family medicine and dedicate themselves to the care of individuals and families, especially those who need better health care.

“We are delighted and grateful to have been selected by the Red Sox Foundation for this award,” said John Silva, president and CEO of the organization. “This funding is a reflection of the transformative impact that (the agency) is making in Greater Lawrence, and to the sincere and ongoing commitment to the city of Lawrence that the Red Sox Foundation is making.

"We could not be more thankful, and we look forward to continuing to work with the Red Sox Foundation to make a positive impact on the health, education and recreation outcomes of the Lawrence community,” he said.

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