United Way of Tarrant County to make community investments of more than $10 million

United Way of Tarrant County announced more than $10 million in funding for 2019-2020, including almost $5 million allocated to address social issues identified in the organization’s recent Community Assessment: basic needs and financial stability; education/workforce; mental, emotional and physical health; affordable housing/homelessness; and transportation.

“The 2018-2019 Community Assessment provided us with a clear directive of where funding is needed in Tarrant County and how the community expects us to allocate resources,” said TD Smyers, president and CEO of United Way of Tarrant County. “Our investment in the community, on behalf of our donors, reflects that directive while continuing to provide funding for Safety Net and other key initiatives, including Systems Change and funding for veterans.”

Community, corporate, government and foundation donations to United Way of Tarrant County make it possible for the organization to invest resources toward the community’s most pressing social issues. Community investments include nearly $6 million toward donor-designated gifts; $2.2 million for Safety Net, which is a network of services offered to the community through the United Way of Tarrant County system of partners; and $1.6 million for Scalable Community Change, which funds programs targeted at communities rather than individuals.

In addition, United Way of Tarrant County allocated more than $355,000 for Systems Change funding, which focuses on the root cause of social issues, more than $370,000 in funding through the Veterans Fund, which supports military service members and their families, and more than $48,000 to Women United programs, which are focused on women and girls. Each initiative works to solve distinct needs for the community.

United Way of Tarrant County’s 2019-2020 allocations:
Donor-Designated Gifts. Directed nearly $6 million to United Way partner agencies based on designations from individual donors to the charities of their choosing. Donor-designated gifts are not subject to processing fees, with 100 percent of the donation going to the selected agency or cause.
Safety Net. Safety Net is a $2.2 million program encompassing a network of services offered to the community through the United Way of Tarrant County system of partner agencies. This funding provides direct support to those temporarily in need and remains the foundation upon which the United Way of Tarrant County was formed in 1922.
Scalable Community Change. Awarded $1.6 million, Scalable Community Change funds programs targeted at replication and expansion of evidence-based models to bring widespread, positive change to specific social problems across Tarrant County.
Systems Change. An almost $1.4 million initiative in its first two years, Systems Change allocates a portion of funding to focus on the root causes of social issues and put universal solutions into motion for ongoing problems that impact large populations. Coalitions, task forces and strategic partnerships were invited to submit a proposal for funding to support collective action resulting in systemic change.

Grants awarded for Year 2:
Workforce Enhancements in Healthy Aging and Independent Living. $88,409 (Year 1: $151,162) for improving integration and coordination of services for persons with dementia and their caregivers via training for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders screening and for policy changes and data sharing.
Early Learning Alliance. $36,000 (Year 1: $60,000) for collaborative early learning efforts focused on racial equity training, early childhood data and school-readiness research.
Healthy Tarrant County Collaboration. $123,300 (Year 1: $205,500) for a systemic approach to expanding healthy food access by eliminating food deserts in targeted Fort Worth neighborhoods via a Healthy Corner Store retail program, asset mapping, mobile fresh markets, community gardens and public awareness.
Regional Superintendent Literacy Initiative. $108,000 (Year 1: $180,000) to expand Lone Star Literacy Institute’s professional development targeted at improving literacy among students and retention rates among new teachers for middle and high school grade levels, as well as new district partners.
Veterans Fund. Launched in 2013, the United Way of Tarrant County Veterans Fund was conceptualized and established by Lockheed Martin, which has continually provided the majority of funding each year. The 2019-2020 allocation amount of $370,000 was made possible by contributions from Lockheed Martin, Bell and individual donors.

Eight grantees were awarded funds to support military service members and their families who are returning to civilian life in the Tarrant County area. The services funded through the Veterans Fund include counseling, career and financial coaching, addiction treatment and other high-priority needs. The grantees are:
Recovery Resource Council. $100,000 for evidence-based mental health services to veterans and family members. Program services are designed to address the identified needs such as PTSD, depression, anxiety, negative coping skills and interpersonal relationships.
22Kil. $30,000 to assist in funding a full-time master’s-level child and adolescent counselor who will provide treatment to children and adolescent family members of veterans who are dealing with the challenges associated with military life.
CLC Inc. $75,000 to provide training and employment services to veterans and their families, including female and hard-to-reach veterans. Participants work with employment specialists to create individualized plans and undergo training and placement activities that lead to employment.
Tarrant County Veterans Treatment Court. $50,000 for an alternative program for veterans returning from combat who face prosecution for nonviolent offenses. The program locates veterans, assesses their needs and diverts them to supervised, intensive treatment. Upon successful completion of the program, veterans’ records are expunged.
Pathfinders. $30,000 for employment and financial coaching and for peer-to-peer mentoring. By providing a stable support system of staff, coaches, mentors and other veterans, the program addresses veterans’ needs for positive associations and peer-to-peer relationships during their transition back to civilian life.
Wholy Works CDC. $10,000 to assist in funding the women’s veterans program. The program will focus on outreach and peer support as an exploratory focus group at the grassroots level. The program will highlight the importance of building trust through peer group communication and positive relationship behavior.
Marriage Management. $15,000 for marriage management classes with a peer-to-peer approach. The mission is to have participants model tools that strengthen relational and emotional integration skills to minimize returning veterans’ marriages becoming a hidden casualty of war.
Tarrant County Homeless Coalition. $60,000 for a veteran services coordinator who will coordinate services through the homeless services system of care. Veterans and the agencies that directly serve them will be provided support and coordination, ensuring each veteran who experiences homelessness receives services tailored to his or her unique needs and builds on his or her individual assets and strengths.
Women’s Fund. This fund was established by Women United, a United Way of Tarrant County Donor Network, focused on igniting the power of women. This fund awarded nearly $48,000 this year to four targeted projects:

  • Fort Worth ISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy. $15,000 for gap stipends to alleviate the unmet financial needs of young female students attending college.
  • The Women’s Center. $15,000 for career development scholarships for women interested in pursuing careers in high-demand fields.
  • Tarrant County College Foundation. $12,000 for two-year stipends to low-income mothers who are seeking to better their lives through earning an associate degree, a certificate of completion or requisite job training at Tarrant County College.
  • Camp Fire First Texas. $5,393 for scholarships for women who are pursuing a Child Development Associate credential.

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More Activity Coming for Phase 2 of N. White Chapel Widening Project

While it’s been hard to miss the work on Phase 1 of the N. White Chapel widening project, Phase 2 of the project has been quietly chugging along in the background. In just a few weeks, passersby will start to see more crews working in the right of ways along N. White Chapel as they begin to build a new screening wall along the east side of N. White Chapel.

In the coming days, crews will begin installing temporary fencing just east of the existing screening wall and fences to create a construction barrier. Once that is complete they will begin the demolition of current structures. The new screening wall is expected to be completed in about a year. Crews are anticipating starting on the section between Emerald and E. Chapel Downs.

Phase 2 of the project will include a new screening wall, widening of the roadway, building new sidewalks and installing landscaping. Phase 1 of the project is the widening from Highland to SH 114. All part of the Southlake 2030 Master Mobility Plan, the widening project will leave N. White Chapel a four-lane roadway from Emerald to SH 114. This includes a dual-lane roundabout at Highland and N. White Chapel, a landscaped median and new sidewalks.

After the construction of the wall and relocation of utilities, the next significant milestone for Phase 2 will being in summer 2020 with the start of demolition of the current roadway and construction of the new traffic lanes.

Although it seems like all of the work has been focused on Phase 1, there have been some significant milestones for Phase 2 along the way. In January of this year, City Council approved an Engineering Services Agreement with Freese and Nichols to provide third-party construction management services. And in May, Council approved a construction contract with Tiseo Paving to act as the general contractor.

Stay in-the-know with this project by following Southlake Mobility on Facebook, visiting the website at www.ConnectSouthlake.com and signing up for the Mobility Newsletter.

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Summer Scholars Collaborative students to receive more than 15,000 books

More than 3,000 students participating in the 2019 Summer Scholars Collaborative will receive more than 15,000 books from Read Fort Worth in conjunction with the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge.

Read Fort Worth delivered the first batch of more than 100 books to students taking part in Read2Win Inc.’s summer program at Westcliff Elementary and West Handley Elementary. Read2Win is one of 12 programs making up the collaborative, which is working with kids at more than 60 sites across the city.

Read Fort Worth has encouraged the 12 programs to promote the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge as another avenue to curb “summer slide,” the loss of literacy levels over the summer. The challenge encourages readers of all ages to earn rewards this summer by reading.

“Bringing together the resources of the Summer Scholars Collaborative and the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge is a natural fit that builds on the significant literacy work being done by the collaborative program partners,” Read Fort Worth Executive Director Anel Mercado said. “Putting more books in the hands of students is a win-win as we tackle summer slide.”

The Read2Win students at Westcliff and West Handley received five books each. Read Forth Worth will continue to donate books to Collaborative programs throughout the summer.

“Having a library at home gives every child an advantage,” Read2Win Executive Director and CEO Sultan Cole said. “Reading at home prevents summer slide, but also consistently stimulates a child’s mind during the most critical and formidable years of their lives. I am convinced that the commitment towards eradicating illiteracy is not a moment, it’s a movement.”

The Read Fort Worth Summer Scholars Collaborative is an opportunity for programs serving Fort Worth ISD students to align best practices and share data in an effort to ensure students gain or maintain literacy levels over the summer. It is a critical piece of the 100×25 initiative and collaborative work of Read Fort Worth and its partners.

Through the Mayor’s Summer Reading Challenge, readers of all ages can earn rewards this summer. Download a reading log and start earning your way toward fun prizes.

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WGU Texas, Tarrant County College District Sign Agreement to Make Higher Education More Accessible

Partnership streamlines process for students, employees and graduates to pursue bachelor’s and master’s degrees

WGU Texas, and Tarrant County College District (TCCD) announced today the signing of an agreement that creates pathways for students, employees and graduates to work toward a bachelor’s or master’s degree and further their education at WGU Texas.

“Thanks to this new transfer option, TCC students now have a seamless, cost-effective pathway to earn a bachelor’s degree through WGU Texas and enter the workforce,” said TCC Chancellor Eugene Giovannini. “WGU has an

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New Dream Park helps make Fort Worth a better, more inclusive community for future generations

On Monday, April 15, the long-held dream of three passionate community members will finally be realized with the ribbon-cutting celebration for Frank Kent’s Dream Park, a play space custom-designed for children of all abilities to explore, learn and play.

Located in the heart of Fort Worth’s Trinity Park, this 57,000 square-foot playground is set to become the city’s largest, as well as one of the largest play spaces of its kind in the state. Its size is only surpassed by its ambitious, inclusive vision: a place where kids of all abilities can share adventures together.

The state-of-the-art park far exceeds guidelines established by the Americans With Disabilities Act: its amenities include poured-in-place rubber surfacing for wheelchairs and individuals with limited mobility, adaptive swings for toddlers and children with low muscle tone, a stainless-steel roller slide that won’t short-out kids’ hearing devices, and much more. In addition, there are interactive and musical elements scattered throughout the playground to provide a truly sensory-rich environment that sparks curiosity and imagination.

This park couldn’t have arrived at a better time for the 15th largest city in the country. According to the Texas Workforce Investment Council, 203,041 individuals in Tarrant County have a disability. Approximately 29,000 students in Tarrant County are in need of special education services, according to Growing Up in North Texas’ community assessment.

A dream becomes a reality

The development of the park has involved an ongoing collaboration between dedicated community members Rachael Churchill, Sandy Mesch and Corrie Watson, and the City of Fort Worth. Almost $3 million was raised for the park’s creation through grassroots fundraising efforts, bolstered through generous contributions from the title sponsor Frank Kent and many other community organizations.

“Dream Park represents what Fort Worth strives to be: a generous, inclusive and active community where every child can thrive,” said Mayor Betsy Price. “Opening Dream Park in the heart of our city represents our vision for a better Fort Worth that all families can be proud of for generations to come.”

“Fort Worth’s park system has existed for over a century, and we are thrilled to add to that legacy through the creation of this Dream Park,” added Richard Zavala, director of Fort Worth’s Park & Recreation Department.

“This project is a testament to what can be accomplished through cooperation and the pursuit of a shared dream. Moreover, it perpetuates the legacy of community giving in support of Trinity Park, which has benefitted from the generous contributions of many organizations throughout its history. I am certain that the project sponsors’ deep compassion, generosity, and determination to build a more inclusive Fort Worth will echo in the happy smiles of the children – and their caregivers – who visit this park for many years.”

The Dream Park’s playground equipment was provided by Landscape Structures, an industry leader in creating inclusive play environments, and Dean Construction. The playground itself was designed by Arlington-based Schrickel, Rollins & Associates.

Frank Kent’s Dream Park joins Patricia La Blanc Park in southwest Fort Worth as the city’s second inclusive playground.

Dedication information and Mayfest schedule

The public is invited to the ribbon-cutting celebration of Frank Kent’s Dream Park at noon Monday, April 15. Kona Ice will be on-site from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. giving away free shaved ice.

The playground will remain open through Easter weekend, April 21, before temporarily closing on Monday, April 22, to accommodate preparations for the 47th annual Mayfest festival. The playground will be open to all Mayfest attendees during the festival, and will reopen to the public on May 9.

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Champions Club Public Grand Opening is Saturday, April 6, 2019! View the Experience Southlake Magazine for Champions Club Grand Opening Details, Spring 2019 Programs and More!

Champions Club at The Marq Southlake will celebrate its public grand opening on Saturday, April 6, 2019. Check out the special edition of Experience Southlake Magazine to learn more about Champions Club and see all the fun things happening in Southlake Parks and Recreation this spring!

Join us for the official public grand opening of Champions Club on Saturday, April 6 from 9:00am-8:00pm! Members and non-member are invited to tour the facility, learn about available memberships, try out our equipment, take a fitness class and enjoy activities for the whole family. More information will be available soon, so be sure to follow Champions Club on Facebook to stay up-to-date or visit www.ExperienceChampionsClub.com.

The Winter/Spring Experience Southlake Magazine is now live with Champions Club information! You can register online for all of our spring programs and athletic leagues, and you can also book your Champions Club rentals now for use once the facility opens.

Inside this issue of Experience Southlake Magazine, you’ll find more information about the programs and services we’ll be offering at Champions Club, including:

  • Group fitness classes
  • Personal training packages
  • Learn to swim classes and schedules
  • Rentals and party packages

You’ll also find information about our spring 2019 Parks and Recreation programming, including:

  • Youth and family programs
  • Nature programs at the Bob Jones Nature Center
  • Youth and adult athletics
  • Special events

As we put the final touches on Champions Club, in-person registration has been temporarily relocated to Legends Hall at The Marq Southlake.

To learn more about Champions Club services, rentals and memberships, please call (817) 748-8955. For information about our recreational programs, leagues and events, please call (817) 748-8019.

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2019 Brings More Progress on N. White Chapel Widening Project

With the New Year comes the excitement for new things to come. In Southlake, 2019 will bring a new and improved N. White Chapel Boulevard.

Crews have been steadily making progress on the widening of N. White Chapel between Highland Street and SH 114. Part of a larger N. White Chapel improvement project, when completed there will be a new dual-lane roundabout at Highland and N. White Chapel. Gone will be the two-lane road motorists are used to, and in its place will be landscaped divided four-lane road.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The second part of this Capital Improvement Project will be the widening of N. White Chapel from Emerald Boulevard to Highland. When completed, N. White Chapel will be a four-lane road from FM 1709 to SH 114.

Since spring 2018 crews have:

  • Installed a new 12-inch water line
  • Installed new sanitary sewer lines
  • Installed new storm drains
  • Paved portions of the roundabout, and
  • Paved portions of north and southbound lanes

“We are pleased with the progress of this project. It will be a much-needed improvement,” noted Public Works Director Rob Cohen. “It was a wet fall, but despite the rain, we still made significant progress and are still on track for a fall 2019 completion of this phase of the overall improvement. The additional lanes and new roundabout will make a positive difference for motorists on this section of N. White Chapel.”

As the project continues to move forward, motorists can expect lane switches and lane closures, however, two-way traffic will be maintained throughout the project. As always, motorists are reminded to use caution and be aware of their surroundings as they drive through the construction zone.

For updates follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and visit www.ConnectSouthlake.com.

NWC No border utilities

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MedStar: Flu cases more than double last year’s count

MedStar crews are responding to more than double the number of patients with flulike illnesses than last year. In November 2018, MedStar crews treated 123 patients with influenza-like illness. This compares to 50 patients in November 2017.

Among the 123 cases this year, the average age was 47, with the youngest 9 months and the oldest 90 years old. More than half (58 percent) of the patients were female. The highest-prevalence ZIP code is 76112 in far east Fort Worth.

MedStar urges everyone to take precautions to prevent possible transmission of viruses:

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.

To help reverse this early trend, MedStar is offering a mobile flu vaccination clinic at any location with 10 or more people who would like to be vaccinated.

Learn more about flu prevention from the Tarrant County Public Health Department.

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Expanding Mobility: More Improvements to come on Continental Boulevard

The drive on Continental Boulevard will continue to make progress thanks to two new engineering agreements approved at the December 4 City Council meeting. Improvements are coming to the Continental intersections at FM 1938 and Peytonville Avenue.

As a major Southlake thoroughfare, Continental Boulevard improvements were included in the Mobility Master Plan adopted in 2016. The mobility plan identifies the transportation needs of the City and provides solutions to help make improvements to roads, sidewalks and trails.

The new engineering agreements will allow for the design work on these projects to begin. Construction is not expected to begin before FY2020.

FM 1938 and Continental Boulevard

Improvements to this intersection include widening Union Church Road to add dedicated right and left turn lanes as well as a dedicated eastbound through lane onto FM 1938. Sidewalks will also be added to the existing sidewalks along the north side of Union Church Road.

On the other side of FM 1938, two dedicated left-turn lanes for westbound traffic will be added to Continental. FM 1938 will get a dedicated right turn lane onto Continental, an extension of existing sidewalks and improvements to pedestrian crossings.

Peytonville Avenue and Continental Boulevard

A single-lane roundabout will be built to help aid the traffic congestion at the intersection, especially during school traffic peaks and added traffic from Koalaty Park visitors.

“We know this roundabout project will cause some traffic concerns during construction. But we already have a plan in place to install temporary traffic signals to maintain mobility through the intersection during the construction phase,” said Public Works Director Rob Cohen.

Both of these projects are part of the City’s Capital Improvement Projects program. Visit ConnectSouthlake.com to stay up-to-date on these projects and all other Southlake mobility news.

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School is back in session. Give yourself more time for your commute.

Schools haven’t been the only ones saying goodbye to summer break and preparing for the new school year. The City of Southlake has been gearing up too! Back to school means more traffic and more sharing of the road.

With the increase in traffic as school starts again, be sure to give yourself more time to travel. Traffic congestion will pick up as more parents and school buses are delivering students to school. And don’t forget about all the excited new drivers, driving to school for the first time. Ten extra minutes can go a long way during your commute.

“Students are not the only ones who have to rethink their priorities when school starts,” notes Southlake Transportation Manager Stephanie Taylor. “This time of year is a great reminder that getting somewhere safely is more important than getting somewhere quickly. A child’s life is worth far more than cutting down your commute. Slow down and stay alert.”

Safety is a top priority in Southlake. As part of the City’s back to school efforts, Southlake Public Works checks school zones every year before the start of the new school year. School zone flashers and crosswalks are inspected to make sure they are in good condition for students.

This year, four CISD schools had crosswalks restriped and signs updated: Carroll High School, Rockenbaugh Elementary, Carroll Elementary and Old Union Elementary Schools.

Several roadway updates over the summer will also help with the increased traffic as school starts again. Portions of Continental Boulevard were resurfaced, and the Kirkwood Boulevard improvements added more traffic lanes, sidewalks and traffic signals on the north end of Southlake. The North White Chapel widening project moved along on schedule over the summer as well. While work on North White Chapel will continue throughout the school year, the hours of possible construction lane closures will take place between 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. to avoid school arrival and dismissal traffic.

Roadway improvements will help with commutes, but Taylor encourages motorists to take an active role in ensuring safe travel.

“With more motorists, pedestrians and cyclists on the road, all of us have to step it up when it comes to traffic safety,” says Taylor. “Back-to-school traffic means we all have to be more patient and pay more attention.”

The City offers several ways to stay connected to mobility in Southlake. Follow Southlake Mobility on Facebook and check out the ConnectSouthlake.com site for traffic, construction updates and all things mobility.

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