Funders

Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation and its partners award $315,000 in Project Innovation grants

Written by Mindia Whittier

The funds support organizations tackling everyday problems through innovative solutions to support the needs of diverse communities.

NBC 5, Telemundo 39 and the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation have distributed a total of $315,000 in grants to nine North Texas nonprofits through Project Innovation.

The selected organizations have programs addressing local community issues through innovative solutions in the areas of community engagement, a culture of inclusion, next-generation storytelling and youth education and empowerment. This is the fifth consecutive year NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 along with the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation have supported local nonprofit activities with Project Innovation grants. 

“Every year, we review dozens of applications, and we are always impressed at the number of organizations that are working to positively impact our community through such innovative programs and this year was no exception,” said Tom Ehlmann, NBC 5 and Telemundo 39 President and General Manager.

Project Innovation is presented by the Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation through the NBC and Telemundo-owned stations located in 11 markets, including Dallas-Fort Worth. Grant applications were accepted in Spring 2022. The stations created and gathered community panels to review grant applications and select final recipients. This year, each participating market was allowed to award a maximum of 12 community organizations, providing a total of $3.475 million dollars presented to eligible nonprofits. 

“The opportunity to dedicate these grants to organizations with programs that are finding ways to engage and grow our next generation is inspiring,” added Nada Ruddock, NBC 5 Vice President of Community Impact.

Local Project Innovation 2022 grant recipients include: 

Kids Who Care Inc. – $75,000
The Kids Who Care Touring Company
The “Kids Who Care Touring Company” is a unique, professional-driven arts program that educates students grades 1–12 in all aspects of the arts as well as leadership. Kids Who Care reaches more than 40,000 children each year through the Touring Company. Students are empowered to think and create independently, hone their artistic creativity, learn to adapt quickly to new environments and gain perspective on cultures different from their own.

Beacon Hill Preparatory Institute – $55,000
Closing the COVID-19 Reading & Math Learning Gap
The “Closing of the COVID-19 Reading & Math Learning Gap” program addresses the learning loss students in grades K-5 have experienced throughout the pandemic, including the widening of racial and economic learning gaps. Certified teachers, assisted by trained volunteers, assess students individually for need and create a customized learning plan for each student. 

Camp Fire – $50,000
Virtual Reality (VR) Learning in Grades K-12
Through virtual reality-focused activities, tinker spaces, and meaningful adult interaction, youth grades K-12 in local school districts are encouraged to explore their interests in a project-based approach that helps close equity gaps in education. The program will help students better understand and retain information and interact with the lessons they are being taught as well as engage in immersive STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum in Camp Fire’s afterschool programs. 

The Concilio – $37,500
The Concilio’s Latino Community Engagement & Outreach
To ensure the Latino community has greater access to more resources that fit unique needs, The Concilio’s Community Engagement & Outreach (CE&O) team uses a two-tiered model of delivering resources through culturally competent local and national partners, reaching those most in need. The Concilio’s CE&O community experts address the root cause of the opportunity gap for the Latino community by providing advocacy and training for other service providers so they too can provide culturally competent and accessible services.

Network of Community Ministries Inc. – $30,000
Community Market
Network’s Community Market focuses on providing nutritious food at no cost to those in need in Dallas County in a grocery store setup. The Community Market emphasizes the importance of dignity and empowerment throughout the distribution process by providing “Network Dollars” for families to shop for items to support their household, select their own foods and practice budgeting skills.

Metrocrest Services – $25,000
Thriving Seniors Initiative
The Thriving Seniors Initiative aims to address several issues facing neighbors who are 60 and older to fight hunger and isolation; help them to remain healthy, safe, and independent in their homes and improve their quality of life. The program includes access to the food pantry, transportation program, home delivered meals and home safety installation specifically for seniors living in Carrollton, Addison, Farmers Branch, Coppell, and the city of Dallas.

Grant Halliburton Foundation – $20,000
Mental Health Education for Children and Youth in Title 1 Schools
Grant Halliburton offers mental health education and suicide prevention programs for children and youth. Presentations are designed for classrooms, not auditoriums. The more intimate setting encourages youth to participate in the discussions and feel more comfortable asking questions. Additionally, they operate a Mental Health Resource Navigation Line to assist individuals with finding appropriate care for mental illnesses. 

Girls Incorporated of Metropolitan Dallas – $15,000
Eureka! STEM Program (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) 
Eureka! is an intensive, STEM-based program designed specifically for girls from diverse, underserved backgrounds who show an aptitude for STEM and encourages members to build strong bonds and build on lessons and experiences over a five-year cohort program. The program builds girls’ confidence and skills through hands-on opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math, free of competition and division of resources with male students. Utilizing a whole girl approach, the program also includes sports and physical fitness, personal development, and college and career readiness. 

Casa Mañana – $7,500
Musical Theatre Production for Students with All-Abilities
Casa Mañana engages Fort Worth in the art of live theater and has a one-of-a-kind program, Musical Theatre Production for Students with All-Abilities, that offers a unique class for children and young adults with special needs. The program is geared towards artistic development using the multi-sensory medium of musical theatre to help develop speech, cognitive abilities, and socialization. 

NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth / KXAS is the local NBCUniversal-owned television station serving North Texas with local news, weather forecasts, consumer and investigative reports and sports and entertainment programming across all platforms. Telemundo 39 / KXTX is Telemundo’s local television station serving the Spanish-speaking community throughout the same region.

The Comcast NBCUniversal Foundation works to advance initiatives at the cross-section of societal needs and Comcast NBCUniversal’s priorities. The Foundation supports programs and organizations that strive to move communities forward.

“We are honored to be able to give back to our community through Project Innovation,” said Edwin Mendez, Director of Marketing, Telemundo 39.

About the author

Mindia Whittier