To conclude 2023, South Sound Together is funding three community projects with remaining funds. Over the past six months, we engaged with community groups to understand their initiatives and needs for bolstering community-building and economic stability. After careful consideration, the board has chosen to fund initiatives from Friends of the Children Tacoma, Tacoma Arts Live and Greentrike that will directly impact the local community, as well as children and youth-centered initiatives focused on mentoring, development, education, and recreation.

Funding for Friends of the Children Tacoma will be used to launch a new youth cohort of 16 children. Plans include hiring and training two new friends whose full-time jobs are to support youth to succeed, despite the extremely challenging situations most experience, from as early as age 4 through high school graduation. Activities for youth in the cohort include exploring all the South Sound has to offer from arts and culture, and land and sea exploration to stewardship.

Tacoma Arts Live will use funds to create four new scripts for their Civil Rights Legacy Tour and offer two free performances for two years outside the City of Tacoma. Tacoma Arts Live has a 12-year history of taking professionally produced, original plays on tour to K-12 campuses across Pierce County. These commissioned short theatrical performances actively involve young audiences in exploring U.S. civil rights history while inspiring them to advocate for justice for themselves and others.

Funds provided to Greentrike will support the Child and Youth Centered Communities (CYC) initiative, allowing for the creation of a stand-alone website to promote this countywide effort to make Pierce County a great place for our youngest community members to learn, play, and grow. Nearly two dozen cross-sector organizations have pledged to drive this movement and determine priorities, activities, and funding. The website will educate, celebrate, and connect community members through news and resources, a child- and youth-friendly business directory, opportunities to support CYC projects, and more.

We look forward to seeing these projects launch in 2024.

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