Rhode Island Women’s Council Cares About Education
Focusing its community outreach efforts on education, the Rhode Island Builders Association (RIBA) Women’s Council is making a difference in improving the lives of young residents in the Providence area.
“To make a difference in our world, we must appeal to the minds and hearts of its future, the children,” said Mary Giordano, president of the council and a lifelong educator.
Program support by the council includes:
- YouthBuild Providence, an alternative educational program for out-of-school, low-income youths that integrates construction training, academic courses and community service. For a recent YouthBuild project, council members supplied construction materials for students to build bird houses for the elderly in the community.
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- The council awards an annual scholarship to an outstanding student in the RIBA student program at the Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center for college-level training in a residential construction career.
- In support of the International Gallery for Heritage and Culture, Providence, which is affiliated with the AmeriCorps volunteer program, the council raised funds for art education in 22 inner-city schools. Matching funds from a local organization are being used to build a facility for a new gallery, homeless shelter and center for training children and the homeless in the arts and trades.
- Participating in the Power Lunch Program, a literacy program developed through the Public Education Fund, council members meet once a week with individual students to read a book together. The members serve as informal mentors, and students acquire comprehensive skills, improve their vocabulary and cultivate a love of reading.
The local women’s council has been working to promote NAHB’s Homes of Our Own program in local schools. Giordano says that one of the missions of the council is to help children who are interested in becoming involved in the home building industry and its trades.
Other community efforts include:
- Providing trees to inner-city elementary school children as a horticultural learning experience and helping a local girl scout troop’s clean-up in conjunction with Earth Day
- Joining volunteers at Providence’s McAuley House to help in the soup kitchen and to make donations
- Hosting a day in the park for seniors at South Side Community Centers
- Helping with the local library’s “English as a Second Language” program
- Sponsoring a “Dress for Success” program at the YMCA
To find out how you can get involved with the NAHB Women’s Council in your area, e-mail Amy Larrabee or call her at 800-368-5242 x8455.
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