A local grant maker was inspired to help the Hazel Park Literacy Project after reading a SEEN story.
Photography by Sylvia Jarrus
The Hazel Park Literacy Project is the recipient of the $10,000 grant award, in part due to a SEEN story that highlighted grassroots literacy programs in Metro Detroit.
Jack and Annette Aronson, the founders of Garden Fresh Gourmet in Ferndale, launched the Ferndale Literacy Project in 2016 to improve the reading levels of Ferndale students who are behind their grade level. A year later, they launched the Hazel Park Literacy Project to work with Hazel Park students.
After Mary Paquin read “4 Grassroots Programs Lifting Literacy Rates in Metro Detroit” published in SEEN’s August issue, she contacted Hazel Park Literacy Project administrator Carol Jackson to offer the nonproft the opportunity to apply for a grant worth up to $10,000. As chair of the Board of the Elizabeth Filmer Memorial Charitable Trust, Paquin is tasked with finding worthy causes in Oakland County that can benefit from the grant.
Paquin is a former trust officer at Comerica Bank, where she managed high net-worth individual accounts and trusts. Since her retirement from Comerica, she has continued to work for the Filmer Memorial Trust.
“We have given to organizations in Ferndale in the past, and I saw the article about the Aronsons in SEEN working on the Hazel Park Literacy Project.” Paquin says. “We haven’t done anything in Hazel Park, so when I saw this article, I called Carol.”
Jackson followed up and placed the grant request through Comerica. Paquin and the board met in mid November and shortly after called Jackson to tell her that the Hazel Park Literacy Project is the recipient of the $10,000 grant award.
Jackson, who also serves as administrator for the Ferndale Literacy Project, says the grant money will go a long way in helping purchase books and software for the Hazel Park Literacy Project.
If you are interested in more information about or contributing to the Hazel Park Literacy Project, contact Carol Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pictured above: Jack and Annette Aronson of Bloomfield Hills founded the Ferndale Literacy Project and the Hazel Park Literacy Project.