FITCHBURG -- The Community Foundation of North Central Massachusetts has announced 17 grants of nearly $200,000 from its general endowment.
Among them was ShirleyArts! Inc., which received $750 for its Ukuleles for Kids program that provides no-cost instruments for children.
Also receiving grants were:
l Historical Piano Concerts, Inc. of Ashburnham, $10,325 to support the growth of its Concerts and Study Center, which offers classes, lecture-recitals, workshops, seminars and panel discussions.
l Fitchburg-based Literacy Volunteers of Montachusett Area, $6,000 to train volunteer literacy tutors, providing services throughout the region.
l Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Networks, based in Leominster, $17,000 for its community outreach coordinator, who will provide vital services to homeless families.
l Montachusett Opportunity Council, Inc., $20,000 to provide homework assistance to at-risk youth at Green Acres Village Homework Help Center in Fitchburg.
l Orange-based North Quabbin Citizen Advocacy, Inc., $10,000 grant for its Capacity Building 2012 initiative, which will assist with the transition to a new executive director.
l The United Arc of Franklin and Hampshire Counties, Inc., $20,000 for its Positive Parenting Program, which provides education and support for parents with intellectual or functional disabilities.
l United Neighbors of Fitchburg, $15,000
l Youth Opportunities Upheld, Inc., $10,000, to launch a pilot program in the Gardner Middle School designed to prevent substance abuse through a self-advocacy group. Animal Shelter Inc., $20,000 for expansion and redesign of its nonprofit no-kill animal shelter and dog boarding facility in Sterling.
l Friends of Sholan Farms, $10,000, to develop a master plan to assist in the construction of farm areas in manageable and logical phases.
l Merrimack River Feline Rescue Society, $6,000, for its Catmobile, which will provide spay and neuter services for free or a reduced service fee depending on need throughout the region.
l Leominster-based North County Land Trust, Inc., $18,000, to create and implement a three-year strategic plan for its NCLT Capacity Building Project.
l Pat Brody Shelter for Cats, Inc. in Lunenburg, $5,000, to repair its floor.
l SisuCare in Gardner, $5,000, which will provide financial assistance to 20 to 30 people who have an animal in need of medical care.
l Windows on Wildlife, Inc., in Littleton, $4,000, for its wildlife education programs conducted at area elementary schools.
Since its inception, the foundation has awarded more than $25 million in grants and distributions from 130 funds that have been established by individuals, families and organizations.