The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded nearly $270,000 in grants to serve Newport County residents. Lucy’s Hearth residents Stephanie Aguair and Jamane Rose and their daughter Jayla are among the people who will be helped by the funding.

(Photo: The Rhode Island Foundation has awarded nearly $270,000 in grants to serve Newport County residents. Lucy’s Hearth residents Stephanie Aguair and Jamane Rose and their daughter Jayla are among the people who will be helped by the funding.)

The Rhode Island Foundation is awarding nearly $270,000 to nonprofit organizations serving Newport County residents.

The grants, through the Foundation’s Newport County Fund (NCF), will underwrite activities ranging from workforce training and after-school activities to preventing relationship violence and protecting vulnerable seniors.

“From enriching arts and educational opportunities for young people to underwriting critical health and job readiness programs, we are grateful to work with partners that are improving lives here in Newport County,” said Neil D. Steinberg, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “We thank the donors who make these partnerships possible.”

The Foundation offered grants of up $10,000 in seven key funding areas: arts and culture, basic human needs, children and families, economic security, the environment, healthy lives and housing.

Established in 2002, the NCF has awarded more than $4 million in grants for programs and services for residents of Jamestown, Little Compton, Middletown, Newport, Portsmouth and Tiverton.

The Boys and Girls Clubs of Newport County  in Newport received $10,000 to expand its Essential Skills Program for underserved and at-risk youth to include 9th-grade classes at Rogers High School and launch a pilot program for 25 10th-grade students at Middletown High School.

“The program incorporates key skills like critical thinking and problem solving. The goal is to prepare youngsters for successful futures through career readiness activities and employment-based training,” said Joseph P. Pratt, executive director and CEO.

The Community Housing Resource Board in Newport received $10,000 to support the work of the organization’s Housing Hotline coordinator, who works with clients, coordinates assistance from local agencies, promotes fair housing and arranges temporary housing for families and individuals in crisis. Last year, the organization served nearly 6,300 people.

“Our goal is to help people in need in our community reach a level of independence and self-sufficiency while also assisting them to ensure they have fair, safe and affordable housing,” said Jimmy Winters, executive director.

The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center in Newport received $10,000 to support the academic success of students in its after-school and summer camp programs, which serve students from all over Newport County. With only 4 percent of participants living above the federal poverty line, the enrichment programs are designed to level the playing field for the children the organization serves.

“We will provide more than 100 children with physical fitness programs, music, theater, nutrition education and homework assistance throughout the school year. Engaging experiential learning opportunities stem the summer learning slide in our 8-week Summer Adventure Camp,” said Marilyn Warren, executive director.

The East Bay Community Action Program received $5,175 to support training programs at the East Bay Skills Alliance for low-skilled and unemployed or underemployed residents of Newport.

“We’ll train and prepare participants for an entry level position in health care, education or the hospitality industry and help them find work once training is complete. They will receive soft skills training, technical skills training, on-the-job experience, case management support, job search skills employment referrals,” said Dennis Roy, president and CEO.

The Choir School of Newport County,  Lucy’s Hearth, Newport Working Cities, the Newport Gulls and the Newport Partnership for Families are also among the 40 nonprofit organizations that received grants.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. Working with generous and visionary donors, the Foundation raised $38 million and awarded $43 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities in 2017. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the boards of Fort Adams Trust, Lucy's Hearth, and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

He is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, the Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.