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Thursday, Nov 20, 2014

Plant City-based charities to receive Children’s Board’s help

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PLANT CITY Two local charities have been awarded $50,000 grants each by the Children’s Board of Hillsborough County.

The Family Literacy Academy of Tampa Bay and the Pregnancy Care Center of Plant City were among six organizations receiving funding from the tax-supported Children’s Board. A total of 19 charities applied for grants.

“I couldn’t stop jumping up and down,” said Angelica Ibarra, executive director of the Family Literacy Academy.

The academy at 415 Walter Drive will use the money to expand its literacy programs to more children, Ibarra said.

Darlene Davis, executive director of the Pregnancy Care Center at 304 N. Collins St., said the grant will help her add a staff member, increase her agency’s hours from 30 to 40 hours per week and help provide necessities such as car seats and cribs to mothers who take the center’s parenting classes.

The center saw a monthly record 213 clients in July so it can use all the help it can get, Davis said.

The contracts for the grants are effective Oct. 1, pending routine board approval of the agency’s overall budget.

The Children’s Board was created by the voters in 1988 to provide funding for services and support for pregnant women and children up to 8 years old. On average, the Children’s Board gets less than 3 cents of every dollar paid in property taxes.

Children’s Board spokeswoman Joanna Cheshire said a committee evaluated the requests for funding and recommended the six that were selected for the grants.

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