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Higgins: Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, Read to Succeed awarded National Day of Service grants totaling over $103,000

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Fri, Jun 19th 2020 02:50 pm

Corporation for National and Community Service awards encourage volunteering on 9/11 as a tribute to victims, survivors, and those who served in response to attacks

Congressman Brian Higgins announced two Western New York organizations were selected for September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance Grant awards totaling more than $103,000 from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The purpose of the grants is to encourage volunteering as a tribute to victims, survivors, and those who served in response to the attacks on 9/11.

“These federal grants, to assist community volunteers in organizing tributes, ensure that the sacrifices made, and the bravery exhibited by first responders on 9/11 is forever remembered, in Buffalo, in Niagara Falls, and across the nation,” Higgins said.

Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center was awarded a grant of $31,500 to increase the total number of volunteers from 4,115 to over 4,500. These volunteers will plan, promote and participate in September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance activities held throughout Niagara County over a five-day span.

“Bringing people together to perform volunteer service fosters new friendships, strengthens relationships and keeps a community connected. We are honored to have been selected to receive this funding, which will enable us to substantially increase the number of volunteers who will be involved in planning, promoting and participating in September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance activities across Niagara County,” said Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center President and CEO Joseph A. Ruffolo. “Those activities will include ceremonial events at veterans parks, a 5K remembrance run for first responders, and a wide range of opportunities to connect veterans, active military personnel and families of military service members to a wide range of housing, health care and social services available in our communities.”

The second grant, for $71,997, was awarded to Read to Succeed Buffalo and will train 100 volunteers next year for service as literacy tutors. Once trained, they will serve in 100 pre-K to third grade classrooms helping bridge the low-income achievement gap by supporting students with literacy coaching. This evidence-based initiative is built on a volunteer recruitment program of the AARP Foundation known as experience corps and a literacy coaching methodology created through an early reading first investment unique to Read to Succeed Buffalo.

“Volunteer service is more important now than ever – particularly for students who were already behind in their reading development before schools were forced to close in March,” said Anne Ryan, executive director of Read to Succeed Buffalo. “This grant funds RTSB to provide high level training to our volunteers enabling them to provide critical one-on-one literacy tutoring to struggling students. Not only do these students improve in their reading; they also have an adult who is focused only on them twice a week – every week – providing social emotional supports that are foundational to child development.”

Higgins’ Western New York district received two of six total CNCS National Days of Service grants awarded in New York. These CNCS grants are a continuation of 2019 grants totaling over $103,000 announced by Higgins last year.

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