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Cambios, Inc. receives grants for Project READ Expansion


Adrian, MI: Cambios, Inc., a not-for-profit community organization, is pleased to announce the receipt of funding from the Toledo Community Foundation to expand its Project READ (Reading to Eliminate All Discrimination) Program.  The Board of Trustees of the Toledo Community Foundation has approved a grant to Cambios in the amount of $8,500.


Project READ is a program that trains and places volunteer readers in private and public classrooms in Lenawee County.   The volunteers read multicultural books that Cambios has donated to the elementary school libraries to the children and facilitate discussion.  To date, Cambios has donated a total of 54 multicultural children’s books to every elementary school in Lenawee County, at a cost of over $20,000.  To learn more about Cambios, go to www.cambios.org.


The Toledo Community Foundation funds will be used to begin recruiting, training and placing youth readers in elementary classrooms in Blissfield, Hudson, Addison and Morenci.  Toledo Community Foundation funds will also be used to develop and publish an Educator Diversity Guide for area educators. 


Funds from the Lenawee Youth Council are being used to recruit, train and place youth readers at Clinton, Deerfield, Madison and Tecumseh middle schools.  Cambios has already trained more than 30 middle and high school youth at Deerfield and Tecumseh schools. Cambios, Inc. is working in conjunction with Tecumseh Communities-In-Schools, and the Lenawee Area Communities-In-Schools to facilitate training opportunities to students in targeted districts.


In addition, Adrian College students enrolled in Dr. Agnes Caldwell’s Race and Ethnicity course, are already reading to elementary children at Lincoln, Garfield and McKinley schools in Adrian.   Several other Adrian College student volunteers are reading to children at Madison Elementary School and St. Joseph Academy.


Cambios wrote these grant proposals to begin addressing several issues identified in the Lenawee Youth Assets survey, a study of 2000 youth, ages 12 – 21, conducted by the United Way and Volunteer Center, several years ago.


These 40 developmental assets have been identified as critical to the formation of our youth and help them make positive choices, become confident, responsible, healthy, and caring citizens.  The more assets young people have, the less likely they are to engage in risky behaviors, and the more likely they are to succeed in school.


Of particular concern to Cambios are the following youth survey responses:


1.   Only 40% of the students surveyed reported that they “have knowledge of and feel comfortable with people of different backgrounds.”

2.   Only 24% of the youth responded that they perceive that “young people are given useful roles in the community.”

3.   Only 21% of the youth surveyed indicated that they read for pleasure three or more hours per week. 

4.   Only 40% of the youth reported that “young persons seek to resolve conflict non-violently.”


“We need to listen to the voices of our youth and we need to implement programs that positively impact our children and youth,” stated Idalí Feliciano, Director of Cambios.  Feliciano is the primary person responsible for providing training opportunities to youth volunteer readers through Project READ.  Katelin Wahl, serves as the youth coordinator and is assisting with the training of young volunteers.


The Toledo Community Foundation, Inc. is a public charitable organization created by citizens of our community to enrich the quality of life for individuals and families in our area. In existence since 1973, the Foundation now has over 320 funds with assets of approximately $110 million. The Foundation provides philanthropic services for individuals, families, businesses and corporations to meet their charitable giving needs.


Dr. Don Cellini, President of the Cambios, Inc. Board of Directors, stated that, “the concerns raised in the survey are very similar to our mission and objectives, and we know that Cambios has the expertise and the programs that can make a difference in the lives of our youth. We are grateful to the Toledo Community Foundation for providing funds to enable us to address these issues.”  The mission of Cambios, Inc. is, “to celebrate diversity and eliminate discrimination by providing educational programs and resources to communities.”


For further information, please contact Idalí Feliciano, Cambios, Inc. director, at 517 264-3883. Or email her at [email protected]






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