Monday, May 17, 2021
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Nonprofit Matters: Parenting Center receives $1.38M federal grant

The Administration for Children and Families, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, awarded The Parenting Center in Fort Worth a $1.38 million, five-year grant to support a program focused on improving and enriching marriages and relationships in Tarrant County.

Through the Empowering Families Project, the center will offer marriage/relationship and parenting education services, career placement, and information and referral support for domestic violence and child abuse to low-income families, refugees, recipients of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) and those at risk of receiving TANF.

“The ultimate goal of The Parenting Center is to eliminate child abuse and neglect. Healthy relationships are a key part in making that goal a reality,” said Executive Director Paul Gravley. “We are ready to work with partner agencies to offer our clients comprehensive services that we know will not only transform their relationships and gain a foothold on their finances, but also help them to be great examples for their children.”

The project also includes a research study to be led by the University of North Texas in Denton. Other community agencies involved in this collaborative project are: Catholic Charities Diocese of Fort Worth, SafeHaven of Tarrant County, One Safe Place, Family Pathfinders, Clayton Yes! and Communities in Schools.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, The Parenting Center serves nearly 18,000 people annually by providing family life education, counseling, case management and co-parenting programs.



The Arlington Independent School District is one of five organizations nationwide – and the only in Texas – to share in a nearly $2.5 million Principals Path to Leadership grant from American Express and the National Association of Secondary School Principals.

The grant is designed to expand programs for effective principal preparation and to share best practices to impact education reform.

The AISD will receive $330,000 over three years. The grant will support the AISD’s Emerging Leaders Program, which is designed to strengthen the leadership skills of 105 aspiring principals and assistant principals. The program, in partnership with national nonprofit New Leaders, includes a summer induction session, monthly in-person meetings, one-on-one coaching and ongoing webinars that help develop these school leaders’ application of learning, which will promote improved student outcomes.



Tarrant Churches Together hosted its second annual Founded on Faith Awards Celebration Oct. 29 and honored the life’s work of Mae Cora Peterson and Robert Hughes.

Peterson, 98, is a nonprofit administrator and educator who came to Fort Worth in 1940 after graduating from South Carolina State University and the University of Michigan to become the executive director of the Crump Street Colored YWCA. Later, she was dean of girls and assistant principal at what became Dunbar Middle and High School and then Dunbar High School.

Hughes is the winningest U.S. high school basketball coach. His career began at I.M. Terrell High School, the Fort Worth Independent School District’s only high school for black students before integration. During desegregation in the 1970s, he moved to Dunbar High School. In his 40-plus year career, Hughes coached and worked to make sure integration did not bring inequities to his players and coaches. He is the subject of a documentary feature film titled Relentless, which will premiere in February.

Created 61 years ago, Tarrant Churches Together is an interchurch nonprofit dedicated to connecting congregations and community groups to build unity and address needs across the county.



The Fort Worth Public Library Foundation’s board of directors recently honored fellow board member Will A. Courtney Sr. for his years of service and involvement with the foundation through the establishment of the Will A. Courtney Sr. Legacy Fund.

The fund recognizes donors who want their legacy to endure for future generations through a planned gift to support educational programs in local libraries and in the community.

Courtney is the fund’s first donor. The foundation also received an anonymous $200,000 trust gift in October that credited Courtney’s relationship with the donor’s adviser for its arrival.


About 20 residents of The Stayton at Museum Way in Fort Worth are volunteering throughout the year to read stories to kindergarteners at local schools. The reading project is a collaboration between the Red Oak Foundation and the Fort Worth Opera Children’s Opera Theatre.

The Red Oak Foundation buys and donates more than 37,000 new hardcover books for families with children ages birth to 5.

This year, the volunteer readers will read The Musicians of Bremen while the Children’s Opera will perform a version of the story. The Stayton group began reading to local school children in 2012.


About 500 March of Dimes supporters helped raise a record $306,500 during the fifth annual Signature Chefs Auction Sept. 27 at River Ranch Stockyards. The event, led by Chef Molly McCook of Ellerbe Fine Foods, featured signature samplings from 15 of Fort Worth’s top chefs. … The Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce’s Development Foundation received a $107,700 grant from the Texas-based educational nonprofit TG to improve the pathways to postsecondary credentials, degrees and careers for students in the Fort Worth Independent School District. The grant also supports the development of a strategic plan that aligns high schools, community college and universities with the needs of business and industry in the region. … The Community Foundation of North Texas established the Rainwater Neurological Research Fund in memory of Fort Worth billionaire investor Richard Rainwater, who died in September of a rare brain disease. … The C.A.L.F. (Children’s Activities for Life & Fitness) program received a check for $200,000 from The Cowtown board of directors. The funds will allow children to get proper training in good running habits, be fitted with quality shoes and receive grants to help offset registration fees as they prepare for The Cowtown’s Cook Children’s 5K Run on Feb. 27. … The Information Technology Program at Fort Worth ISD’s Carter-Riverside High School was awarded a $50,567 grant from JP Morgan Chase Foundation. The funds will help the Cisco Networking Academy give students the skills they need to obtain their Cisco Certified Entry Network Technician certificate. The grant proposal was submitted on behalf of the Fort Worth ISD Education Foundation. … Students at Fort Worth ISD’s Monnig Middle School received 39 musical instruments valued at $44,750 from The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation and the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. … Camp Fire First Texas is one of eight councils nationwide to receive a tablet-based curriculum through a collaboration with Samsung Electronics America Inc. Samsung is providing Camp Fire with 30 Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 Education tablets, which will allow eighth-graders to explore science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers and concepts. The pilot program started at two Camp Fire after-school sites in October and will roll out to other sites outside Tarrant County next spring. … The children’s book distribution program that United Way of Tarrant County brought home seven years ago recently passed the 100,000 book mark. Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, a national program established by recording artist Dolly Parton, mails free books monthly to the homes of enrolled children from birth to age 5 to encourage a love of reading and foster future school success. United Way offers the program in 23 ZIP codes in 11 Tarrant communities.

Send nonprofit news to Betty Dillard at

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