PCF Social Justice Fund Supports Nonprofits That Are Cultivating Literacy and Resilience in Kids

by | Jul 28, 2022 | Children & Youth, Education, Social Justice | 0 comments

As Pinellas County follows the nation’s trend of developing into a more diverse community, the Pinellas County Equity Profile released in 2019 revealed there is still much work to do to dismantle barriers in under-resourced neighborhoods.

The PCF Social Justice Fund seeks to help address some of the challenges within our region where traces of a less equitable society still exist. Nonprofits supported by the PCF Social Justice Fund work on a wide variety of issues that tackle disparities, whether educational, health, justice, or housing, focusing on long-standing inequities in under-resourced areas in Pinellas.

Check out some of the organizations supported by the Pinellas Community Foundation Social Justice Fund!

Cloud Nine Outdoors

Cloud Nine Outdoors provides access to the outdoors for underrepresented youths from Pinellas communities. The organization empowers and inspires kids, helping them to develop, refine, and cultivate leadership skills, confidence, and resilience through powerful outdoor activities. Cloud Nine Outdoors engages kids in workshops, field trips, and explorations in fishing, hunting, archery, swimming, camping, kayaking, and sustainable ecology.

Cloud Nine Outdoors participants learn about our ecosystem and wildlife during a workshop at John’s Pass in Madeira Beach.

The PCF Social Justice Fund award of over $10,000 supported three fishing workshops serving nearly 100 youths and parents. The workshops included a 5-hour Hubbard’s Marina fishing trip, which provided instruction in all aspects of fishing. Before embarking on the fishing trip, the participants also learned about the local ecosystem at the Alligator & Wildlife Discovery Center in John’s Pass.

To be able to have the SJF funding to reach so many minority youth, keeping them busy with educational activities, learning essential life skills, giving them life tools, and keeping them busy for eight hours on a Saturday is so important to us.Jo’van McNeill, Cloud Nine Outdoors Founder

Barbershop Book Club

Since 2016, the Barbershop Book Club (BSBC) Literacy Project has provided hundreds of free books and positive adult role modeling and mentoring reading engagements to low-income youths ages 2-18 in south St. Petersburg neighborhoods. The project operates from barbershops, through partner organizations, and at community events.

Master Barber Antonio Brown started BSBC at Central Station Barbershop & Grooming, located in the Grand Central District of St. Petersburg. He launched the program to help make a positive change in the literacy rates of young Black and Latino male students in south St. Petersburg. Recent Pinellas data showed less than 30% of African American children passing the English Language portion of the FSA with African American boys scoring the lowest.

Neighborhood kids celebrate literacy with free books provided by the Barbershop Book Club in south St. Petersburg.

BSBC received a PCF Social Justice Fund grant of $8,750 in operational support as it kicked off its summer 2022 initiatives: SummerCuts in Camps and Dad’s Treasure Chest.

The Social Justice Fund has allowed me to spread awareness throughout the community; we’ve touched over 500 youth to date with the support of the foundation. Antonio Brown, BSBC Founder

Expand Your Reach Through Trust-Based Philanthropy

If you are a Tampa Bay nonprofit with a social justice imperative as part of your mission and are interested in learning more about the Social Justice Fund, or if you are interested in donating to help change our community through the PCF Social Justice Fund, please reach out below.