One northside doorhangersThe One Northside Neighbor-to-Neighbor grants program catalyzes the ideas of creative residents and supports activities that represent the many varied interests and constituencies on Pittsburgh’s Northside. Through support from The Buhl Foundation, grants of up to $1,000 have been offered to provide immediate support for small-scale community projects with broad citizen support.

We’re excited to announce the second round of projects backed by the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program with the support of The Buhl Foundation. Out of 20 eligible applications recieved from 12 of the 18 Northside neighborhoods, 13 new projects will recieve $1,000 grants. As part of their proposals, applicants wrote the headlines that appear below as examples of what the news will say at the successful conclusion of their projects.

We’re still looking for more community projects that will improve Pittsburgh’s Northside! Get your application in by 5:00 pm on Friday, April 10th in order to be considered. Learn more about how to apply at sproutfund.org/northside. And if you need help crafting your application, be sure to attend an information session.

Allegheny West Tree Well Day

“Neighbors of historic district continue long tradition of cooperation to restore and renew streetscape (and have fun doing it)”

Catherine Serventi’s quality of place project will gather neighbors to beautify tree wells in Allegheny West during spring 2015. The project will utilize some of the residents’ gardening knowledge in addition to working with local garden centers to identify appropriate plants and herbicides to use for the tree wells. Volunteers will first clean up the tree wells and then plant flowers and mulch the tree wells that are both currently maintained by residents and on vacant lots.

Brighton Corridor Beautification Project

“Brighton Road has become brightened”

Becky Coger’s quality of place project will continue and expand beautification efforts on a three-block portion of Brighton Road by opening up the project to home owners, renters, and business owners as well as Propel School students. The project will rely on community input from meetings to decide on an action plan. Residents will use group processes to make decisions, working from a grassroots level to insure participation in the resulting project.  Teen volunteers will be recruited and mentored as a part of the program.

Brighton Heights City Steps Revitalization

“The Restoration of Brighton Heights’ City Steps: Highlighting the Uniqueness of Pittsburgh”

Matthew Yurkovich’s quality of place project will improve the walkability of Brighton Heights by painting railings and clearing invasive plants around city steps in the neighborhood that are often overlooked and underutilized. Signs will also be incorporated to show maps of the stairways and direct people to where the steps lead, helping to connect the neighborhood and make it more walkable. The community-maintained steps will then be available for a stepathon fundraiser event at the end of the summer.

Children’s Theatre in the Park

“Theatre in the Park: Community Impact Realized through Children’s Production”

Jessica Shubert’s quality of place project will provide voice, drama, and dance lessons to Northside children of all ages in Brighton Height’s Legion Park. In addition to the performing arts lessons, the summer community workshops will include having the youth participants design and create their own sets and costumes for their performances. The project intends to help participants learn how to work together as a team, build confidence performing in front of an audience, and learn practical skills such as time management.

Getting There…A Morning Walk in the Dark

“North Side students light ‘dark pathways’ to student safety and success!”

Brett and Chandler Searcy’s quality of education project will bring awareness to the community in regard to the difficulties that Perry Hilltop students encounter getting to school, such as broken city steps, “snow stops” miles away from regular bus stops, unsafe routes, and dark pathways – tangible contributing factors that cause poor attendance and therefore low achievement at school.  Government officials, school administrators, teachers, parents, and community members will be invited to take a “Morning Walk in the Dark” with students as they catch their buses, sharing first-hand the difficulties that many students face in getting to school.

Growing Morrow

“John Morrow is Growing Futures”

Donna Nyambe’s quality of education project will build a vegetable garden on the campus of John Morrow Elementary School where K-8 grade students and neighbors, including senior citizens from nearby high-rise apartments, will be invited to participate in cultivating and maintaining the garden. This project intends to help bring together young families and older residents of the area and also teach the neighborhood as a whole about healthier living. Students will grown seedlings, build raised beds, fill beds with soil and compost, and connect with volunteers from the community who will help with watering, transplanting, and care-taking in the summer months.

Hives and Honey on the Hilltop

“Perry Hilltop a haven for hives, health and honey in the heart of the community!”

Gavin Deming’s quality of place project will install and maintain honey bee hives at Ballfield Farm in Perry Hilltop so that the natural landscape will heal, agriculture will flourish, and local honey can be produced. Children will paint the hives and the effort will allow Ballfield Farm to become a Burgh Bees member site for pollinator training and education.

MACS IOWN Enterprising Education

“Tomorrow’s Leaders are Preparing Today at MACS!”

Dennis Henderson’s quality of employment project will fund field trips to local businesses and competitions for students in involved with Manchester Academic Charter School’s Entrepreneur IOWN program, which helps students work toward a business opportunity aligned with their personal interest by working with coaches and mentors to create a business plan, market the products and services, raise money to build their businesses, and showcase their work. This program aims to help Manchester become a safer and less isolated neighborhood with more opportunities for youth by creating a safe place to learn leadership and entrepreneurship skills and addressing the absence of a business district in Manchester.

Manchester Math, Mud & More Summer Camp

“Math, Mud & More is attributed to raising 3rd graders’ math proficiency for the last two years. If your child needs help, we are here for you!”

Lisa Freeman’s quality of education project will provide an 8-week summer math camp for 25 of the most discouraged and struggling learners at Pittsburgh Manchester K-8, one of several Northside schools that has been ranked among the bottom 15% of schools statewide by the PDE. The camp will be led by Math Doctors, a teacher-acclaimed tutoring/mentoring program, and held in the “mud” at Manchester Growing Together Garden. Campers will be offered light refreshments, 2 hours of fun in concentrated learning in both Math and Science, and weekly rewards for achieving goals.

P.O.W.E.R. (Positive Outcomes With Excuses Removed) Future Code Project

“We have POWER (Positive Outcomes With Excuses Removed) in Northview Heights in the Future Code Project”

Keith Murphy’s quality of education project will take place at Bethany House Academy and utilize Puzzlets, a hands-on interactive coding game that has 120+ applications, helping expose preschool and after-school children and youth to a higher level of computer/technology literacy. All participants will be engaged in individual and peer-to-peer learning modules designed to promote greater understanding of coding and use of iPad/iMac interactive processes for 2 hours a week during the school year and 4 hours a week during the summer program.

Roots of the Future Concert

“North Side Students Utilize Cutting Edge Technology to Pull Off Inaugural ‘Roots of the Future’ Concert”

Richard Lane’s quality of education project will use SmartMusic software to assist students at Perry High School in musical sight-reading and performance abilities, helping to solve issues of rehearsing without large ensembles or personal instructors. The final project will culminate in a concert that will showcase students’ musical progress, including students from Allegheny Traditional Academy, Manchester K-8, Perry Traditional Academy, and Urban Impact Foundation.

3E Studio’s Community Screen Print Workshop & Business Mixer

“Local Northside screen print shop invites students & local businesses to open house workshop”

Sidney Huffmyer’s quality of employment project will consist of a two-part workshop that will take place at 3E Studios in Manchester. The first part will consist of a school field trip where students from multiple schools will learn how to screen print their own t-shirt in addition to watching how full commercial production is run. The second part will be a business mixer that incorporates a tour of the facility and a welcome party for new businesses in the area in an effort to promote networking for local north side businesses, neighborhood groups, and associations. The project aims bring the community together by engaging both the younger generation as well as business owners, educating them on how art can be translated to a legitimate occupation as well as community support with the proper focus and drive.

Unlocking Student Success: Keys to the Keystone Exam

“North Side residents raise awareness and support student success with high stakes testing!”

Maria Searcy’s quality of education project will raise awareness about the Keystone examination, helping to provide students with the support they need to pass the exam successfully and parents with information to support their children during the testing and remediation process. A community forum will be held at Project Destiny one month prior to the Keystone Testing in April 2015 helping make parents of the class of 2017 and beyond aware of the new graduation requirement. A student panel will give testimony about the Keystone examination and remediation process and PPS employees responsible for Keystone testing and Curriculum will be available to answer questions. Parents will also be given information and resources from the PA Department of Education in order to help support their children in successfully passing the test.