Boston Foundation announces ‘My Summer in the City 2011’ with a focus on safe parks and open spaces

$710,000 in grants goes to summer programming in Boston

June 29, 2011

Boston – At a time when the safety of Boston’s neighborhood parks this summer is of concern as a result of the shooting of a 4-year old boy in Harambee Park Playground in Dorchester on Monday evening, the Boston Foundation is announcing $710,000 in grants for positive summer programming for youth and families. The funding includes $250,000 to keep parks and playgrounds open and safe after hours with organized, positive activities—through grants to 12 community-based organizations working with low-income, high-risk youth throughout Boston this summer.

Grantees for the Foundation’s My Summer in the City initiative will be announced at a festive, family-focused event hosted by the East Boston Athletic Board in Noyes Playground in East Boston tomorrow evening from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. The kick-off is expected to be attended by all of the participating nonprofit organizations, families, young people, community members and public officials. An additional $460,000 in Boston Foundation funding went to five other summer funding initiatives.

“We are blessed in Boston to have a number of community-based, nonprofit organizations that provide creative and constructive activities to our young people all year round,” said Paul S. Grogan, President and CEO of the Boston Foundation. “This initiative and our other summer funding recognizes their work and strengthens their efforts during the summer months—a time when it’s critical to keep the young people of our city engaged and occupied in positive programs.”

The initiative, which is also supported by Barr Foundation, CHAMPS Boston, the Yawkey Foundations and a number of individual donors, is focusing on activities in parks and open spaces, including performances, movie nights and beautification projects. In addition, it supports physical activities through sports leagues, tennis clinics and martial arts instruction; arts engagement opportunities, including dance, play production and beat juggling; neighborhood-wide activities, such as carnivals, barbeques and sports tournaments; and
paid jobs and internships for youth that enable them to acquire work and life skills.

My Summer in the City grants will support the following organizations and activities:

    The Black Ministerial Alliance is supporting faith-based organizations and community-based organizations to offer summer jobs to youth, a teen’s café and programming that uses public spaces creatively to connect with youth.

    The Boston Housing Authority will hold some 20 “Unity Days” at housing developments throughout the City during July and August, with an emphasis on promoting health and safety for residents and providing music, food and live entertainment.

   Charlestown Against Drugs will offer a variety of safe and productive activities for youth and families over the summer, including sports and skills sharpening classes, acting lessons and crafts instruction.

    TheCity of Boston’s Office of Arts, Tourism & Special Events received funding for free family programming at the Strand Theatre, including “Family Fridays at the Strand” and “Saturday Morning Movies at the Strand” and other cultural programming, in order to provide a safe place for families and kids in the surrounding Dorchester neighborhood.

    TheEast Boston Athletic Board is providing many sports-oriented programs, such as tournaments for roller hockey, whiffle ball and basketball as well as six outdoor movie nights and SAT preparation programs every Thursday for 11 weeks.

    The Mattapan Patriots is conducting programs at Almont Park in Mattapan, Monday through Friday, 6:00-8:00 pm and Saturdays—as well as programs to raise awareness of issues that are affecting youth and families in the community, such as violence, obesity and HIV/AIDS.

    North End Against Drugs received a grant to support its annual “North End Family Pride Week,” which is attended by more than 2,500 kids and adults.  The week includes a boat cruise, a “National Night Out Celebration,” in conjunction with law enforcement agencies, a baseball tournament, a puppet show, a family dinner and an evening of dancing and music.

    Pleasant Hill Baptist Church funding will support programming that focuses on safety  in the Trotter Park/Humboldt Avenue area of Dorchester, with an audience of youth between the ages of 10 and 24 and open access for all community members through extended park hours on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, keeping the park open and safe until 9:00 pm.

    St. Peter’s Teen Center, Catholic Charities is offering positive, youth oriented activities in concert with Dorchester Youth Collaborative and DotWell at the Teen Center in Dorchester, with extended hours Monday through Thursday, from 8:30 am until 7:00 pm, Friday, from 7:30 am until 10:00 pm, and Saturday from 1:00 to 7:00 pm.

    Sportsmen’s Tennis Club funding will support at least 120 program hours at neighborhood sites through August 26th, engage 300 youth at six or more neighborhood sites in Boston during high risk weekend evening and afternoon periods, train and employ at least 12 junior coaches and offer 35 Volley Against Violence participants to play in the Mayor’s Cup Tournament.

    Teen Challenge will conduct basketball outreach sessions in Roxbury parks from July 7th to September 11th, with programming from 5:00 to 10:00 pm, and hold a special “Rock the Block event on July 30th from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm in Ramsay Park.

    West End House Boys & Girls Club will partner with Allston-Brighton public housing developments (Commonwealth Tenants Association and Faneuil Gardens) and community-based organizations to involve entire families in Fitness and Nutrition activities.

“By keeping parks and playgrounds open during the evening hours and offering a whole host of creative programs and educational and sports-related activities, our goal is to give the youth and families of Boston’s neighborhoods numerous opportunities to be engaged in safe and constructive activities this summer,” said Robert Lewis Jr., Vice President for Program at the Boston Foundation. “We are honored to support and partner with so many great neighborhood-based organizations for this year’s My Summer in the City initiative.”

Other summer funding

In addition to the My Summer in the City, the Boston Foundation is also providing $460,000 for other summer programming. The Summer Learning Initiative, a program of the Boston Opportunity Agenda, received $150,000 for a collaboration between the Boston Public Schools and several nonprofits designed to prevent summer learning loss. The Boston Foundation Summer Arts Initiative received $115,000 for summer arts programs through the YMCA of Greater Boston and the City of Boston. CHAMPS Boston, a four-year $2 million initiative of the Boston Foundation that provides youth development training for volunteer coaches as well as grants for sports equipment, uniforms and refurbished fields, received $85,000. The Action Fund at the Boston Foundation provided $60,000 for small grants to community-based groups. And the Boston Foundation continued its support of the Associated Grant Makers Summer Fund, which provides programming in recreation, arts, academic enrichment and more, with a $50,000 grant.


The Boston Foundation, Greater Boston’s community foundation, is one of the oldest and largest community foundations in the nation, with assets of $796 million. In Fiscal Year 2010, the Foundation and its donors made more than $82 million in grants to nonprofit organizations and received gifts of close to $83 million. The Foundation is made up of some 900 separate charitable funds established by donors either for the general benefit of the community or for special purposes. The Boston Foundation also serves as a major civic leader, provider of information, convener, and sponsor of special initiatives designed to address the community’s and region’s most pressing challenges. For more information about the Boston Foundation, visit or call 617-338-1700.