Line4Line is thankful to our supporters who provide their talents, services, expertise, connections, and funds to make our programs a reality. Since becoming a non-profit in 2017, Line4Line has been the recipient of several grants providing the organization with funds that expand our capacity beyond our volunteers. These funds allow us to re-imagine, dig deeper, and turn our attention to developing more impactful programs that creatively response to need. We are all about making a difference one letter, one word, one book, one haircut, one student, one family member, one friend at a time, to creatively serve the needs of our city’s minoritized populations.
In 2019 Line4Line received support from Mid-City Redevelopment Alliance to help support an AmeriCorps VISTA. This position was instrumental in creating organizational capacity to strengthen and build out programs. Also that year 2019 Line4Line was awarded its second Project Assistance Grant from The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge to fund the Clip Tips Project. In 2017 it was through the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s support that Line4Line was able to bring internationally recognized Chicago based artist’s Rahmin Statik and Cujo Dah to Baton Rouge to create three large murals at the barbershop complex that celebrate literacy and heroes. The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge recognizes the creative potential of Line4Line’s programs and we are thankful for their ongoing support of our work.
The Junior League of Baton Rouge provided Line4Line with our first official grant award in 2017 through their Community Assistance Fund. This grant was instrumental in building our Line4Line’s book collection, providing funds to collaborate with The Conscious Kid and starting the 449 Book Club. In 2020 Line4Line received support from JLBR to build out on our website an interactive database of our Community Lending Library. This initiative “Line4Line: Online” creates greater access to our entire book collection, provides each title’s location, and includes direct links to purchase titles from Independent Black Owned Booksellers. Our Library is open to any member of the public to borrow books. Currently books are available to check out when the Backspace is open, or by contacting program staff. In 2021 plans to make this collection even more accessible through our Mobile Outreach initiative.
The Blue Cross Blue Shield Louisiana Foundation is Line4Line’s most significant funded. In 2019 BCBSLA Foundation recognized the work of Line4Line program founder O’Neil Curtis with an Angel Award. providing funds which allowed us to renovate and create a dedicated program space within the barbershop complex. This area know as The Backspace, is where Line4Line presents the majority of its out-of-school time and learning support programs and also houses the Community Lending Library. This vibrant workspace is also open to community partners to host classes and workshops. In 2020 Line4Line along with several former Angel Award winners including Gaylynne Mack of Big Buddy, Destiny Cooper of Humanities Amped and Dustin LaFont of Front Yard Bikes were awarded a $250,000 Angel of Change Grant. This two-year grant supports the creation of a dedicated youth workforce program space. In November 2020 The Angel Coalition, as it is known, signed an MOU to purchase and renovate a large church on Government Street in Baton Rouge. Plans to transform the space into a vibrant youth center will being in 2021. In the late Spring of 2020, BCBSLA Foundation awarded Line4Line with a $100,000 Special Projects Grant for “Change the Narrative” an initiative that creatively explores new ways of engaging older youth to identify as readers. This grant includes several interconnected initiatives including a program focusing on high school students that embeds reading with barber training opportunities for scholarship support and paid apprentices, along with relatable role model youth mentoring and parent support programs. This grant also provides funds to design and conduct a formal evaluation of the impact of Line4Line’s haircut for reading program, and supports the expansion of the Line4Line program new barbershops.
In 2020 New Schools for Greater Baton Rouge.awarded Line4Line with a Community Building Grant to support the creation of a parent resource space within O’Neil’s Barbershop, to further develop Line4Line’s Community Lending Library adding new titles for adult readers, to create digital and printed parenting tips and to support Line4Line’s community outreach initiatives, including the annual Back to School Giveaway.
The Boo Grigsby Foundation awarded its second grant to Line4Line to support a summer creative program which was further supported by grants from Louisiana Health Care Connections and the Baton Rouge State Fair Foundation. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, this free summer camp took place Monday – Thursday providing creative opportunities for children to work, create and play together in a small, CDC compliant format. This joyful program was essential for the social and emotional wellbeing of youth who found life radically different with Covid. Funds from these grants also allowed for the purchase of STEAM materials and tech supplies, brought WIFI connectivity to the building, creating a mobile hotspot for neighborhood children.
In the late Summer of 2020, Line4Line was awarded a Covid Relief Grant from Capital Area United Way for Bounce Back: Learning@Line4Line a free in-person small format school support program, open to elementary age students who’s parents need assistance with remote learning while working. This program led by caring vetted instructors versed in Social Emotional Learning and Trauma Informed Teaching techniques takes place throughout the week for the entire 20-21 school year.
in 2021 Line4Line begins work on a Mobile Outreach Program, which bring books, reading support, haircuts, mentors, wifi and creative activities into neighborhoods and community spaces most affected by Covid-19. A grant from the Huey and Angelina Wilson Foundation has provided funds to begin this important project which creates real access to children, youth, families and others who are currently underserved by any quality meaningful program. To find out how you can support this project email us.
Line4Line also recognizes additional funders including: The Laborde Foundation; The Albemarle Foundation, Whole Foods, and The Mayor President of Baton Rouge, along with individual donors who support us through online contributions and year end donations. In addition to financial support Line4Line also welcomes donations of services, materials and gently used books. For information on how to donate books, including hosting a book drive Click Here.
Covid-19 has created a shift for many non-profits and Line4Line is finding a space to deepen the impact of our work. Racial inequity and systemic racism are once again part of the national conversation and many funders and donors are beginning to see how their organizations can support needed systemic change. As more and more white people learn about and become aware of the historic and ongoing inequities that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) experience and that underpin America, we must push them to make change.
Line4Line cannot do this work without support of organizations and individuals who see the value in our work. Following the status quo will not change the narrative around youth success in Baton Rouge. We know that it takes a village, Please do your part to help. Click Here to Support our Work.