PHILANTHROPIC METHOD & FOCUS
Members of Brick & Beam Society invest their time, skills, and finances through United Way of Greater Portland in order to meet the community’s most pressing needs while making longer-term investments to ensure lasting change.
Brick & Beam Society supports strategies that align with Thrive2027, with a focus on STEM and early childhood enrichment opportunities for children in Greater Portland.
$268,000+ invested in STEM, early literacy, and childhood education over the past 4 years
Community Investment Process
The Brick & Beam Society makes community investments that embrace both a proactive and reactive approach to funding with immediate impact and long-term strategy impact grants. Two rounds of funding are granted each year: Immediate Impact Investments are decided in late spring and additional investments are announced at Annual Community Nights in the fall.
ANNUAL COMMUNITY NIGHT
Following an extensive application process, the Impact Investment Committee (IIC) makes a significant community investment each year through the Brick & Beam Society’s Annual Community Night.
FALL 2018 ($75,000)
LearningWorks and Side X Side were awarded $50,000 to pilot an after-school program in Portland, South Portland, and Westbrook that integrates creativity and the arts with science, technology, and math.
Intercultural Community Center was awarded $25,000 to build a computer lab that will support online language tools and provide students access to computer science, robotics, and engineering programming.
FALL 2017 ($51,400)
Mayo Street Arts was awarded $26,400 to expand Summer Programs for Youth, the RAD (Reading, Arts, Dance) program, and the free lunch program provided by the Opportunity Alliance.
Youth and Family Outreach was awarded $25,000 for their Families Matter Program, which educates families on how to prepare meals, shop and cook on a budget–creating building blocks that families can use to create habits of eating healthy meals together.
FALL 2016 ($50,000)
The Congolese Community of Maine (CoCo Maine) was awarded $50,000 for their Dual Generation Program for Early Childhood Education, which offers English language classes, family literacy initiatives, parenting activities, and outreach to parents and children ages 2-5.
IMMEDIATE IMPACT INVESTMENTS
SUMMER 2019 ($20,000)
In July 2019, the Brick & Beam Society Impact Investing Committee (IIC) made a immediate impact investments to achieve longer term goals:
- Mayo Street Arts was awarded $10,000 to expand Summer Programs for Youth by adding science and math to their RAD (Reading, Arts, Dance) program. The free lunch program provided by the Opportunity Alliance. ($10,000).
- South Portland Public Schools was awarded $5,000 for a book translation project. The project will engage Pre K families in building the literacy skills of their children while cultivating a positive home-school relationship. It will allow SPPS to engage families using their native language, and break the barriers that inhibit literacy learning in their homes. ($5,000).
- Literacy Kits Supplies: Brick & Beam members will construct literacy kits during 2019/2020 social events and donate them to local elementary schools. ($5,000)
SUMMER 2018 ($47,848)
In March 2018, the Brick & Beam Society Impact Investing Committee (IIC) announced investments in the following programs:
- Westbrook School Department: Establish “Brick and Beam Bookshelves” in each of three elementary school libraries. The shelves will be mobile carts which will house collections of approximately 200 books a piece ($12,915).
- USM Portland Empowered Early Childhood Parent Engagement Initiative: Support to host shared space cafes with a focus on engaging parents around topics pertinent to early childhood ($5,000).
- Boys and Girls Club: Logo Robotics kits and expansion kits, which allows BGCSM to offer Robotics to 2nd & 3rd graders at Portland, Riverton, and Sagamore Clubhouses ($4,928).
- Portland Family Shelter: Supports a 4-week, 4 days/wk, 4hrs/day summer program for lower elementary homeless youth staying at Portland’s family shelter ($15,000).
- Sea Change Yoga: Trauma-informed yoga for youth with special needs and their parents/caregivers ($10,000).
SUMMER 2017 ($17,370)
On April 19, 2017, the IIC unanimously voted to support the following programs:
- Walker Memorial Library: Purchase of 120 books in French and Arabic, Westbrook’s two most spoken foreign languages. ($1,600).
- Portland Public Schools Summer Reading Program: Summer book packs and staffing for 40 students at Reiche School and 40 students at Presumpscott School in Portland ($4,770).
- Mayo Street Arts: Support for summer programming including free summer tutoring by East End School staff, free RAD literacy based arts education programming (Reading, Arts, Dance), and free lunch. ($11,000).
SUMMER 2016 ($10,000)
On June 10, 2016, the IIC made a series of immediate impact investments to address the summer learning gap:
- Portland Public Schools’ Summer Reading Program: Books and reading comprehension activities for 40 students in grades 3-5 ($3,800).
- Portland Public Schools’ Summer Math Component for Elementary Summer Program: Online math learning software at one school ($2,000).
- A Company of Girls’ “Art in the Parks” Program: Books for children at weekly art activities program in Portland ($2,200).
- Feeding Bodies and Minds’ Summer Picnic for Children: Starting Strong tote bags with materials, lunch, and books ($2,000).