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Posted on May 5, 2016 | 12:30 p.m.

First 5 Distributes Capacity Building Grants for 2016-17 Fiscal Year

Source: Ben Romo for First 5 Santa Barbara County

First 5 Santa Barbara County selected eight local recipients for its Capacity Building Mini-Grants, totaling $36,162 Monday, April 18, 2016.

The beneficiaries include Antioch University Santa Barbara, Carpinteria Unified School District, Guadalupe Unified School District, Isla Vista Youth Projects, Santa Barbara County Education Office-Health Linkages, THRIVE Santa Barbara County, Transition House and UCSB Early Childhood Care and Education Services. 

Capacity Building Mini-Grants are meant to fund short-term individual and/or organization-wide improvement efforts that will be achieved within a year’s worth of funding. 

“Investing in the organizational capacity and strength of local nonprofits and community agencies is a key strategy for helping all children get ready for kindergarten,” said Ben Romo, executive director of First 5. “Building their capacity with these smaller grants helps them do their work better and ensures that our tax and philanthropic investments are used most efficiently.”

This fiscal year, First 5 will provide more than $2.1 million in a variety of direct grants for local agencies and nonprofits to serve 0-5 year olds and their families, all with the goal of helping kids to be healthy, safe and ready for kindergarten.  

One of the eight agencies receiving a Capacity Building Mini-Grant is Isla Vista Youth Projects, which will support trainings in standards for quality in family strengthening programs. This grant will help build a unified and coordinated approach among local programs providing support services to families. 

“This Capacity Building Mini-Grant from First 5 invests in professional development for front-line staff to ensure they have the skills to deliver the highest quality services to children, families and communities,” said LuAnn Miller, executive director of Isla Vista Youth Projects. “Family Advocates working at Family Resource Centers are part of a county-wide integrated approach to improving education, health and safety outcomes for young children.” 

For more information, visit or call 805.884.8085.

Ben Romo represents First 5 Santa Barbara County.

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