CASA Receives Grants for Program
Support from Area Agencies
Posted May 6, 2002
HOLLAND -- The Children's After School Achievement
(CASA) program has received support from two local agencies.
The Youth Advisory Committee of The Community
Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area and the Holland
Junior Welfare League have each awarded CASA grants to
support activity beginning this summer and continuing into
the 2002-03 school year.
The CASA program, a community organization housed
at Hope College, works with at-risk first through fifth
grade students, focusing on academic and social development.
The program began in 1987.
CASA runs year-round, providing wellness
education, cultural awareness, and academic enrichment to
the participating students. The program is intended to
improve their academic performance and help them develop
healthy, productive lifestyles. CASA's students meet after
school twice per week for two hours per session throughout
the school year, and in the mornings during the six-week
The $2,500 grant from the Youth Advisory Committee
of The Community Foundation of the Holland/Zeeland Area will
support "Los Amigos," a themed program that will emphasize
world studies, including geography, culture and diversity,
and connection to other people. The grant will help provide
learning resources and supplies, books and curriculum
"In addition to our students' need to focus on
academic enrichment, this year we want to include a new
element of social learning as it relates to diversity and
connections to each other," said Fonda Green, who is
executive director of CASA. "While September 11, 2001,
pointed out the problem of anger and fighting in our world,
it also illustrated the positive connections we have with
people who show understanding. The Beatles sing 'Life is
very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting, my
friend. We can work it out.' CASA has the opportunity to
demonstrate how to work it out, how to be friends/amigos
through exposure to and appreciation for a variety of
The $1,750 grant from the Holland Junior Welfare
League will support CASA's transportation program. CASA
picks up the children who are participating in the program,
collecting them from their schools during the school year,
and returns them home at the end of the day.
"In addition to stability, mentoring and
enrichment activities, we also serve our young population by
providing safe, reliable transportation to and from CASA,"
Green said. "Rather than leaving attendance up to chance,
we are assuring each child's participation, and thus, their
Approximately 100 students participate during both
the school-year and the summer sessions. The academic-year
program serves Holland-area students, and the summer program
serves Holland and West Ottawa as well.
Established by Marge Rivera Bermann, CASA was
originally administered by Latin Americans United for
Progress (LAUP) and housed at First United Methodist Church.
The program moved to Graves Hall at Hope College in 1989.