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It Takes a Village to Help Our Children receives $30,000 grant for new youth center

Pyeth Vernel Cottman, Village Board President; Jim Jones, CFES Board President; Julian Berard, Site Director; Michael Berard, Project Director; Robin Evans, CFES Board member; Duke Marshall, CFES Board member; Darlene Taylor, Village Executive Director; Erica Joseph, CFES President; Shema’yah Berard, upcoming Pre-K student.

It Takes a Village to Help Our Children (It Takes a Village) is $30,000 closer to completing a new youth center in Crisfield, Maryland following receipt of a grant from the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore (CFES). After Hurricane Sandy destroyed their original location, It Takes a Village was forced to move its youth programs to a converted bank building, with limited indoor space and no outdoor recreation space.


Since 2017, Executive Director Darlene Taylor and her dedicated staff and Board have been working to raise funds and finish construction of a new 8,495 square foot facility where local youth will have access to year-round out-of-school-time academic and enrichment programs, along with an extensive outdoor recreation area. After five years of effort, It Takes a Village is just $130,000 away from making this dream a reality. The total project will cost $1.65 million.


“It is our hope that this leadership gift motivates others in the community to assist with making this project a reality for children and families in Crisfield,” says Community Foundation President Erica Joseph.


The completion of this new facility will be a blessing to the many Crisfield children currently on a waiting list due to lack of space and capacity in the existing building. The new space will serve 80 students from pre-kindergarten through 9th grade. High school students participate in college access programs and to receive community service hours. The goal is to complete construction before the end of 2023.


“This amazing gift moves our kids right up to the front door of their new facility and we couldn’t be more grateful,” says ITAVTHOC Executive Director Darlene Taylor. “Just a few more steps and we’re in! Thanks Community Foundation for all you do!”.