By Lois R. Shea, Senior Writer and Content Manager |
Susan Griffin has taught at least a thousand students who have come through Brown Elementary School in Berlin over the last four decades.
When she does errands, she is probably the most frequently hugged person in the city. She has students now whose parents she taught. She remembers all of their names.
One former pupil, bagging her groceries, challenged: “I bet you don’t remember my name” She didn’t hesitate. “Mark, how could I forget you?”
Susan has devoted her life to the children of Berlin, and in 2017 was awarded the Louise Tillotson Teaching Fellowship, a $10,000 stipend intended to support public school teachers. (Some of which she used immediately to replace chapter books in her second-grade classroom.)
Susan has never considered teaching, or living, anywhere else.
“I was born and brought up here and just wanted to remain true to my sense of community,” she said. “I love this area, I love the people and I wanted to dedicate my work to the community of Berlin.”
A few examples of recent grants making a difference in communities around the Granite State: Portsmouth Music and Arts Center builds community through the arts; Christa McAuliffe's legacy continues; Kids in Chichester get new playground equipment; Empower Coös Youth Grant Committee makes its first round of grants; Veterans get support and services; History is preserved in Manchester; The largest remaining dairy farm in the Monadnock region is conserved
Project LAUNCH, a coalition of nonprofits and public agencies, has been building a coordinated system of services and care to make sure that every child in Manchester has the social and emotional supports she needs to learn, thrive and grow: developmental screening that leads to earlier interventions; professional coaching and development for early childhood teachers; making behavioral health a routine part of pediatric visits; parenting classes and home visiting; a rapid-response team for children who have been affected by trauma.
White Mountain Science, Inc.'s Mobile STEM Lab crisscrosses the North Country to bring STEM — Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics — programs to students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to dive into this modern curriculum. The mobile lab was launched with support from the Charitable Foundation's Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund
Tilly Players, after-school program at Boys & Girls Club of the North Country and After School Kids in Whitefield receive support from youth-led program of the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund
The Charitable Foundation invested $17.5 million to increase opportunities for young people through its New Hampshire Tomorrow initiative last year. Read our 2018 progress report
Kearsarge Elementary School teacher plans to make the traditional three R’s more meaningful to young students by exposing their teachers to three C’s — creating, collaborating and connecting
The Coös Cycling Club is providing outdoor recreation opportunities for local residents, drawing tourists, and contributing to economic revival in the Gorham area. The group has now joined forces with the Borderlands Trail System, which is promoting trail networks and communities across the Northern Forest region. Grants from the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation support this work and other efforts to promote sustainable economic development for the North Country
The 350-acre Chickering Farm, on the Connecticut River in Westmoreland, will remain intact in perpetuity
Coös Family Dental, on Berlin's Main Street, is open to anyone in the community who needs care. The clinic is filling a need that is particularly acute in the North Country, where more than two in ten adults have not seen a dentist in the past five years, and very few dental practices are accepting new Medicaid patients. The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has supported the clinic with a grant to upgrade equipment
A decade-long collaboration funded by the Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has resulted in a coordinated system of care and services aimed at improving outcomes for every child in Coös County. A research brief about that work, “By Us and For Us, A Story of Early Childhood Development Systems Change and Results in a Rural Context,” has been published in the The Foundation Review, a national, peer-reviewed journal. Now, lessons learned in Coös County can be applied to other rural communities around the country to improve outcomes for children
The Neil and Louise Tillotson Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation made more than 70 grants and totaling $3.3 million in 2018. Read the stories of just a few of those grants in the Tillotson Fund's annual Report to the Community
Gretchen Carlson, program manager at the Gundalow Company in Portsmouth, teaches children about the science and history of Seacoast waterways