One northside doorhangersThe One Northside Neighbor-to-Neighbor grants program is one of the ways The Sprout Fund is catalyzing innovative community projects and creating opportunities to engage citizens and contribute to the One Northside vision. 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.

After a thorough review, The Sprout Fund is pleased to announce the next 19 projects that will receive $1,000 Neighbor-to-Neighbor grants. Turnout was strong with 22 eligible applications submitted by applicants from 13 of 18 Northside neighborhoods proposing projects and activities in all 18 neighborhoods. 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.

The final Spring/Summer application deadline is today, May 8, 2015. For more information, to view the schedule of info sessions, or to submit an application, visit

Back to School Bash / North Side Partnership Project

“Back to School Bash gives students the opportunity to be school ready with supplies and confidence.”

Eleanor Williams’ quality of education project will help prepare children for school by providing health screenings, inspirational music and speakers, and school supplies, helping to alleviate stress that accompanies going back to school. Families will be engaged through opportunities to voice their concerns and meet authority figures in addition to getting to know their neighbors. Additionally, clothes and dental supplies will also be given to families at the event and there will be a station for food along with games for the children.

Be There One North Side

“Be There One North Side Students roll out Little Free Libraries”

Debra Smallwood’s quality of education project will engage community members through the promotion of “Free Libraries” on the Northside, the results of a collaboration between Brashear High School students, the United Way “Be There” campaign, Repair the World, the Carnegie Libraries, and Neighborhood Learning Alliance. This project aims to bridge the gap between students, schools, and the rest of the Northside community through the promotion of literacy and student engagement. The kickoff event will take place at the Mattress Factory, and will display the “Free Libraries” that the students have designed and constructed, enabling attendees to request to design a library and also receive one of the 40 libraries that have already been built.

Community Hub @ Café on the Corner

“Cafe on the Corner, The Community Hub for Events, Commerce, Conversation, and Cuisine”

Lateresa and Michael Blackwell’s quality of place project will beautify the front of the café’s building and provide a seating area for neighbors of all ages to enjoy. This space will act as an outdoor community hub that has free Wi-Fi service and games along with both visual and performing art opportunities. This project aims to break down barriers in the community by providing a safe and comfortable gathering place for everyone to enjoy.

Fallow Grounds for Sculpture

“Checkers Games into Art: A Monument to Play in East Deutschtown”

Oreen Cohen’s quality of place project will temporarily activate a vacant lot in East Deutschtown through a commissioned public art project. For the first installment of the series, local artist Jesse Kauppila will engage with the community through games of checkers. He will then create a fifteen foot brick visualization of every move made in the games, highlighting the labor required to construct relationships along with the role the built environment has in sculpting our social interactions. The aim of this installation is to begin a dialogue about the role of community infrastructures today, how they are viewed, and what the future holds for the Northside in relation to social activities. The recorded games will also become a documentary that will be screened during the artist’s reception.

Fineview Community Garden Improvement

“Fineview Grows in the Community Garden”

Diann Malcolm’s quality of place project will make improvements to an already existing community garden in Fineview by replacing the broken gate, building additional raised beds, purchasing a composter along with top soil and mulch, and adding a “Community Garden” sign. This project aims to increase the sense of community ownership as well as foster the development of a community identity in Fineview through these community garden improvements.

Green Up Troy Hill

“Come Home to Troy Hill”

Jeffrey Bergman’s quality of place project will plant hardy, native perennials in the 114 TreeVitalize Tree Pits throughout the neighborhood of Troy Hill. Volunteers from the community will be recruited to help with planting and a potluck lunch will take place afterwards. Bi-weekly watering and maintenance will be scheduled, utilizing volunteers on a rotating basis. The enhanced and maintained tree pits will demonstrate to commuters that Troy Hill is a community where residents invest in their neighborhood while also instilling a sense of pride for those that live in Troy Hill.

Historic Deutschtown: Live – Work – Play – Invest Here

“Historic Deutschtown seeks next generation entrepreneurs through videography”

Cody Walters’ quality of place project will create a short film focused on the future of business and commerce in Historic Deutschtown. The film will feature a variety of comments by residents and business owners along with images of the businesses in action. The main goal of the project is to paint a picture of possibilities, encouraging Northside residents to buy locally and invest in the new businesses in the neighborhood while also attracting the younger generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders to the opportunities in the area.

Jewelry Making Classes (Alternatives to Selling Drugs Program)

“Better way to Live – Jewelry Making Classes!”

Wallace Sapp’s quality of employment project will provide an 8-week summer diversion program at the Manchester Growing Together Garden for 20-25 students, specifically targeting those that are most at-risk of entering the law enforcement system. This art-based program will teach youth how to make jewelry and other related business practices, such as production, overhead, planning, and operations, giving them an alternative to selling drugs by instead showing them how become financially independent through the skills being taught in the program. The youth will additionally receive tutoring in math and reading skills to better equip them for success.

Manchester Community Block Party 2015

“The Northside’s Manchester Community Hosts Block Party of the Year!”

Michelle Wright’s quality of place project will be a community gathering with food, games, entertainment, and raffles. Local businesses and nonprofits will also have tables to showcase their services along with sponsorship opportunities that will provide additional advertising exposure. The event will take place at the Manchester field, providing a central location for residents to come together and celebrate their historic neighborhood through this second annual block party.

Mastering Motherhood Workshop Series

“Northside Moms Master Motherhood”

Cynthia Mendoza’s quality of education project will assist Northside mothers in gaining the necessary skillsets to excel at motherhood and run a household effectively and efficiently. The series will consist of three day-long workshops over three months, helping to give low-income, minority mothers the tools and skills to raise their families and then pass along what they learn to their children and their community. Events will take place at a reclaimed lot in Observatory Hill and will teach skills such as gardening and healthy cooking habits.

Meet Tomorrow’s Morrow

“Meet Tomorrow’s Morrow Today”

Lawrence Ehrlich’s quality of education project will establish a meeting and workshop space where current Morrow achievements are showcased and future educational enhancement projects are launched over the summer months when the school is closed. One Saturday a month, the space will be open for coffee, donuts, and an informational session with a representative of the school and/or participating community groups.

Native Plant Education Project

“Natives Identified!”

Betsy Coleman’s quality of education project will develop a community-focused education project for Manchester residents at the Manchester Native Garden. The educational component will focus on plant identification and garden mapping and will be comprised of eight work parties that teach basic gardening skills to inmates from the State Correctional Institution at Riverside, students involved with University of Pittsburgh’s Day of Caring, and neighborhood volunteers. The plant identification and garden mapping will be provided by Bidwell Training Center Horticultural Program students.

Northside Oldtimers City Steps Project

“Northside Oldtimers Continue to Keep the Walkways between Neighborhoods via the City Steps a More Attractive Passageway”

English Burton Jr.’s quality of place project will help to make city steps more accessible by cleaning up underbrush, painting the railings, and installing planter boxes at the tops and bottoms of each of the sets of steps in California-Kirkbride and Central Northside. In addition to beautifying the steps and making them more functional, the project will also provide an opportunity for positive interaction among neighbors in the community.

Northside Summer Water Polo

“Co-ed, community Water Polo, swimming instruction, and digital badge opportunities happen at Citiparks’ Northside Sue Murray Swim Pool”

David Schulenburg’s and Mark Rauterkus’ quality of place project will gather community members of all ages to practice and play in an open water polo session two evenings a week during the summer at Citiparks’ Sue Murray Swim Pool. Additionally, both children and adults will be introduced to the City of Learning Digital Badges program through badges awarded in aquatics. The aim is for the project to be a welcoming place that the community is introduced to water polo, digital badges, and new friends from the Northside through organized activities and coaching.

Parent Reading Empowerment Project

“Literacy Begins at Home and Spreads Abroad”

Theodora Cotton’s quality of education project will help Northside parents help their preschool aged children to develop knowledge about reading, with the intention of sending children to Kindergarten ready and expecting to learn to read. Through workshops in two Northside locations, the program will help to explain the value of reading to children, no matter how young, and will teach parents how to engage with young children while reading to them. The workshops will take place at Greater Allen A.M.E. Church and at a lot near the neighborhood pool in Charles Street Valley.

Peace Room

“A Place of Peace: Local Center Helps Children Escape Stress”

Stephen Weiss’ quality of education project will serve as a sanctuary for Northside children from the stresses of inner-city noise and violence. A room at His Place will be renovated in order to provide a calming atmosphere as well as resources to identify and manage difficult emotions. The Peace Room will be utilized by children attending afterschool programming at His Place, helping them calm down after school or if they become upset while at His Place, helping to teach them to manage their emotions. This project will also help His Place volunteers to respond to the unique needs of the children in a positive, helpful manner.

Promotion of House Tours on the Northside

“The Northside Blossoms with House Tours!”

Jeffrey Wagner’s quality of place project will produce common literature, marketing materials, and a webpage in order to bring together individual neighborhood websites relating to Northside house tours. This will enable neighbors to more effectively schedule, advertise, and develop themes for tours, helping people to share their ideas and experiences while also increasing attendance for tours. With a greater sense of cooperation and interest, neighborhood groups will support one another as Northside neighbors.

Sewing for Jesus Ministry

“Reaching Out to the People in the Community to Teach Sewing, Knitting, and Crocheting”

Dierdre Cooper’s quality of place project will be weekly classes at the Bidwell Presbyterian Church to teach people how to sew, crochet, and knit, bringing together the many different ethnic groups and religions found on the Northside through the common desire to learn these skills. These classes will give people the opportunity to make a garment of their choosing while team members will continue to make prayer shawls and lap robes for the sick and shut-in in the community. Participants may bring their own portable sewing machines in order to learn how to use them, but sewing machines and class materials will also be available to use.

#PMP2015: Create-Engage-Transform

“One Northside, Taking You to the next LEVEL”

Ebony Harris’ quality of employment project will challenge participants to delve deeper into the overall vision of their lives through a free two day workshop that will take place at Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh- Woods Run. The workshops will be followed by a panel discussion and networking mixer event entitled “In Deep Shift”, which will focus on entrepreneurial journeys and self-investment. The panel will be moderated by Allegra Johnson, founder of CitySTYLE and native of Brighton Heights. This project aims to help neighbors in Observatory Hill reach and sustain self-sufficiency, accomplishing goals such as homeownership, entrepreneurship, and making career advancements.