Reading, PA − September 8, 2021 − Two Reading area non-profits, RIZE and The Village of Reading, received a total of $420,000 in Gun Violence Reduction Grant Program funding from the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).

RIZE, a youth arts non-profit organization, was awarded $225,000 to support the Above Bar initiative, which serves inner-city youths and children with incarcerated parents. The funding will go towards growing programs that address social adversity, trauma, keep families connected.

The Village of Reading, a non-profit organization that seeks to create a safe place for youth ages 13 to 18, was awarded $195,023 in grant funding. The funding will be used to hire a full-time director, one part-time assistant, two part-time violence interpreters, consultants and to purchase supplies and secure an operating space.

“This is exactly the type of community engagement we need to address gun violence,” Schwank said. “Both groups receiving funding understand that these issues are best addressed through cooperation with other local entities, are well known in the community and offer a grassroots approach that reaches young people where they live. I’m very grateful to the leadership at RIZE and The Village of Reading for taking action to make the City of Reading and Berks County a safer place for everyone. I know they will put the funding to good use.”