CIF Awarded Beth Emet Tzedakah Fund Grant

Beth Emet, The Free Synagogue has awarded Center for Independent Futures (CIF) a 2014 Tzedakah Fund Grant for its heARTwords workshop activity. CIF Life Skills Tutor, Barry Siegel is the founder and facilitator of heARTwords workshop, a program created to encourage participants with special needs, gifts and disabilities to express their feelings, observations, and imaginations through the written word. Barry has been leading heARTwords workshops for CIF Participants and Community Members as part of CIF monthly activities offerings since October, 2009.

Knowing that the written word is as powerful an expressive art form as drawing, painting, sculpture, dance or theatre, heARTwords aims to bring out each participant’s voice, empowering their creativity and self-expression, while creating a close and inclusive participant community. This is significant, because helping individuals with disabilities build communication skills is critical to their effective self-advocacy.Tzedakah Grant funding will enable acquisition of inspirational books and media for a heARTwords resource library, providing a broad selection of creative prompts to spark imagination and writing, along with books for participants to guide writing style. Tzedakah Grant funding will also provide refreshments for heARTwords Workshops, promoting social interaction and friendship as they are shared.

Center for Independent Futures is grateful to the foundations and philanthropic organizations whose partnership enables its continued innovation and program expansion supporting individuals with disabilities in living full and community-integrated lives. Contact Gerilyn Miller-Brown, Development Manager of Grants & Foundations, at or 847-328-2044 for more information.

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