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The Sisters of St. Joseph's Literacy Connection ministry awarded $100K grant

The Literacy Connection, a ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Boston, has received $100,000 grant through Cummings Foundation's "100k for 100" program. Pilot photo/courtesy the Sisters of St. Joseph

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BOSTON -- The Literacy Connection, a ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston, is one of the 100 local nonprofits to receive grants of $100,000 each through Cummings Foundation's 100k for 100 program. The Boston-based organization was chosen from a total of 597 applicants, during a competitive review process.

The Literacy Connection was established by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Boston in 1987 to help low-income, adult immigrants and refugees to learn English and become citizens so they may improve the quality of their lives, become economically self-sufficient, and participate fully in the lives of the families and the community. As a volunteer driven program, it is also the only program in Allston-Brighton offering free individual and small group tutoring sessions for low-income adult immigrants and refugees during weekday mornings and afternoons year round.

Director Jill Uchiyama and Assistant Director Sister Pat Andrews, CSJ, will join approximately 300 other guests at a reception at TradeCenter 128 in Woburn to celebrate the $10 million infusion into Greater Boston's nonprofit sector. With the conclusion of this grant cycle, Cummings Foundation has now awarded more than $220 million to Greater Boston nonprofits alone.

"We are thrilled to be the recipients of the Cummings Foundation's generosity for the next five years as our organization expands. Because of this award, our plan is to grow our adult education network in Boston, offering essential referrals and placements for adults who are in the most need of flexible scheduled tutoring sessions, one on one educational and literacy needs, and citizenship preparation. By expanding our tutor base and on-line presence, we plan to be able to help many more students who are currently in danger of not being served," said Uchiyama.

The $100k for 100 program supports nonprofits that are based in and primarily serve Middlesex, Essex, and Suffolk counties. Through this place-based initiative, Cummings Foundation aims to give back in the area where it owns commercial buildings, all of which are managed, at no cost to the Foundation, by its affiliate Cummings Properties. Founded in 1970 by Bill Cummings of Winchester, the Woburn-based commercial real estate firm leases and manages 11 million square feet of space, the majority of which exclusively benefits the Foundation.

"We are indebted to the nonprofit organizations like The Literacy Connection that have a meaningful positive impact on the local communities where our colleagues and clients live and work," said Joel Swets, Cummings Foundation's executive director. "We are delighted to invest in their important programs and services."

This year's diverse group of grant recipients represents a wide variety of causes, including homelessness prevention and affordable housing, education, violence prevention, and food insecurity. Most of the grants will be paid over two to five years. The complete list of 100 grant winners is available at www.CummingsFoundation.org.

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