A third round of funding, for five projects, has been awarded through the “There’s No Place Like Home” initiative administered by Hope College to link community organizations with Hope faculty and students to together address pressing social needs in the Holland area.

Subtitled “The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Community-Based Partnerships Presidential Initiative of Hope College and Holland, Michigan,” the program was established in February 2020 through an $800,000 grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.  It is running through June 30, 2023, and is supporting area projects through multiple application cycles.

The five partnerships to receive support in the latest round are:

  • “¡Canto! A Latinx Vocal Intensive,” with Eric D. Reyes, assistant professor of music instruction and director of choral activities, with Latin Americans United for Progress;
  • “English Language Support for West Michigan Refugees,” with Dr. Joshua Kraut, assistant professor of French, and Ms. Shelli Brinks of Bethany Christian Services;
  • “Supporting PK-5 Students’ Bilingual Learning and Development Through Translanguaging Pedagogies,” with Dr. Mihyun Han, assistant professor of education, Dr. Deborah Van Duinen, associate professor of education, and the local schools;
  • “Stories of Equity and Hope,” with Dr. Reagan Postma-Montano, assistant professor of English and Dr. Donna Lowry of Ready for School;
  • and “Igniting Change,” with Dr. Llena Chavis, who is an associate professor of social work and social work field director, and Lindsay Cherry of I AM Academy.

“¡Canto! A Latinx Vocal Intensive” has received a $26,002 sub-award. The program will create intentional space for young Latinx vocalists to receive high-level vocal training, as well as develop a deeper understanding of the historical context of Classical Latinx Music.  Through the fully funded, two-week program, 12 Latinx high school students in the Holland area will study and perform works composed solely by classical Latinx artists, both ancient and modern.  A culminating celebration will include performing at the college’s Jack H. Miller Center for Musical Arts.

“English Language Support for West Michigan Refugees” has received a $9,631 sub-award. The program will pair Hope students in beginning French with Bethany refugee clients for weekly, online English tutoring and provide language skills that will help the refugees integrate into their new host society. The format is intended to eliminate logistical challenges that make it difficult for the clients to attend such classes, such as transportation, childcare and conflicting work schedules.

“Supporting PK-5 Students’ Bilingual Learning and Development Through Translanguaging Pedagogies” has received a $50,000 sub-award. The program will provide a year-long professional development opportunity for 25 pre-kindergarten through fifth-grade teachers in the Holland area. The focus will be on supporting teacher knowledge of second-language acquisition and bilingual literacy development.

“Stories of Equity and Hope” has received a $26,000 sub-award to build on a project funded in the first round of “There’s No Place Like Home” grants. The project will gather and share stories from parents/caregivers and professionals in the field of kindergarten readiness to better understand successes and barriers. It will also create mini-libraries for Ready for School education and healthcare partners and for Habitat for Humanity new family home owners, and an author engagement for pre-K students and their families.

“Igniting Change” has received a $27,994 sub-award. The program will focus on the school-to-prison pipeline in the community. The grant will support two years of anti-racism programming, and will empower children of color in Holland through the implementation of Intergroup Dialogue training for students and community leaders. I AM Academy and Hope will bring together students and adults from around the community who will be invited to participate within the cohorts.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has provided major support for a series of programs and initiatives in the arts and humanities at Hope College and the community of Holland, Michigan, since 2010, including the Grand Challenges Initiatives and the Mellon Scholars Program.

The “There’s No Place Like Home” initiative is directed by Dr. Annie Dandavati, professor of political science at Hope. The program previously supported three community-based partnerships with sub-awards in the spring of 2021 and another three in the summer of 2021.  The next review cycle is underway, with the recipient projects to be announced this summer.