OCCH Affiliate, Community Properties of Ohio, Launches Early Childhood Literacy and Job Readiness Training for Residents with $133,000 Americorps Grant

September 11, 2014 – Community Properties of Ohio (CPO), OCCH's property management affiliate, launched a new initiative to help residents' children (ages 0-5 years) learn literacy and social-emotional skills while providing job readiness training for CPO residents. The initiative is supported in part by a $133,000 AmeriCorps grant awarded to CPO's Community Properties Impact Corporation, a nonprofit organization designed to help CPO realize its mission of providing affordable housing, linking residents to resources that stabilize their housing, and move residents beyond poverty where possible.

The grant was awarded through ServeOhio, the Ohio Commission on Service and Volunteerism, in partnership with the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). Ohio Capital Impact Corporation (OCIC), OCCH's philanthropic affiliate, will provide additional funding to further support the initiative.

The new initiative, CPO Building Blocks, has a twofold focus—to encourage CPO residents to serve as AmeriCorps members while receiving job readiness training and individualized support to attain employment; and to utilize these AmeriCorps members to help parents teach their young children early literacy skills before attending school. Each child will receive a new book each month, and AmeriCorps members will show parents easy ways to interact with their children using the books. To date, 14 people have been selected as AmeriCorps members.

The Columbus Metropolitan Library is a key community partner and will provide curriculum, training, and technical assistance. Pre-school children will also be referred for programs such as SPARK, Head Start, or Early Start.

For more information, contact Sarah French, CPO's Marketing and Communications Manager, at sfrench@cpoms.org, or call Sarah at 614.545.3023.


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