Celebrate Community Fund
The purpose of the fund is to provide ongoing support to the programs, goals and objectives of the Celebrate Diversity Project, which was launched in 2001 with a Community Alliances to Promote Education grant from the Lilly Endowment, Inc.
Donor Fund Story:
In 2000, the Celebrate Diversity Project (CDP) began because of a Lilly Endowment initiative. Lilly made a request to community foundations throughout Indiana for proposals about promoting education in their county. The Noble County Community Foundation (NCCF) teamed up with 40 community leaders to brainstorm about how they would like to promote education in Noble County. The group decided that through this grant NCCF could promote education through cultural awareness. Instead of fearing ethnic groups, Noble County leaders saw the need to learn from other ethnicities and celebrate the differences between those ethnicities. They saw the need to assist in the language barriers that many area organizations were experiencing and the need to assist them. They formed a plan on how they would carry this out, and Lilly gave Noble County an initial $2.7 million CAPE (Community Alliance to Promote Education) grant. At the end of the fifth year CDP was given and additional $800,000 from Lilly to continue the CAPE initiative in Noble County.
NCCF started an endowment for $500,000 because they wanted the project to continue even after the initial Lilly funds were spent. The rest of the money was distributed as grants to nonprofits and teachers, to promote education in organizations and schools. With the grants, organizations were able to translate pamphlets, documents, applications and brochures into various languages. In 2015 the name of the endowment was changed to Celebrate Community Fund.
Schools benefited as well from these grants. Teachers were able to secure funds to purchase materials such as books, artifacts and bring in performers to teach their students about other cultures. An intern program was also set up so that high school students could work as bilingual interns for area organizations and assist with the language barriers. Three schools were given money to enact early intervention programs for preschoolers or pre-kindergartners. Also, the CAPE dollars assisted with funds the local literacy coalition, LEAP (Literacy Empowering Advocating Project), in expanding their programming. This project has assisted in bridging the gap between language barriers and has helped bringing many organizations and people together!