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Provident Bank Foundation provides grants for community enrichment

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The Provident Bank Foundation (PBF) is providing $176,000 for projects and programs across New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

A First Cycle 2017 Major Grant funds projects and/or programs that address one or more of PBF’s funding priority areas: community enrichment, education and health, youth and families. Major Grants provide between $5,000 and $25,000 in funding, and support organizations that have identified an immediate need in the community and the individuals they serve.

“The organizations and programs funded through this year’s first cycle of Major Grants are nothing short of extraordinary. This year’s recipients are working to improve the quality of life in our communities,” Jane Kurek, executive director of the PBF, said in a statement prepared by Provident. “The foundation looks forward to seeing how each grant helps to make our communities be happier, healthier and safer – a large part of our mission.”

Locally, the New Jersey Institute for Disabilities in Middlesex County will receive $7,500 to continue providing services for the needs of persons with developmental and related disabilities and their families, specifically the Alianza/Wise Owl Club to provide support and education using technology developed for special needs individuals to ultimately keep students on par with peers in the classroom, according to the statement.

The YMCA of Metuchen, Edison, Woodbridge and South Amboy will receive $10,000 in funding for the expansion of its Scratch Program at the Metuchen facility. The Scratch Program teaches children ages eight to 16 core computational concepts, providing them with skills necessary to understand iterations and conditionals, as well as mathematical concepts such as coordinates, variables and random numbers. By offering this program, the YMCA will be able to provide children with the skills necessary to code computer programs which will lead to the ability problem solve, design and communicate ideas, according to the statement.

HABcore, Inc. in Monmouth County helps homeless families, veterans and individuals with special needs move through crisis to stability, giving them the opportunity to improve their lives through permanent housing and individualized support, according to the statement. The $7,500 in funding will be used to fund the Independent Living Program Expansion, which provides supportive housing to participants.

Habitat for Humanity of Monmouth County is dedicated to eliminating substandard housing locally and worldwide through constructing, rehabilitating and preserving homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions, according to the statement. The foundation’s $25,000 in funding will be used to engage more than 50 Long Branch High School students to design and construct a home via Project Lead the Way, according to the statement. The program employs STEM education and construction skills applicable to academic and career goals.

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