Mesa County Libraries and Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra receive literacy funding

Staff Report
The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation provides grant funding to nonprofits supporting literacy efforts.
Getty Images / moodboard RF |

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awards grants to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs that focus on the arts, languages and sciences. Since 2008, more than $300,000 has been awarded to organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business. Locally, Swift owns Grand Junction Free Press.

This year, more than $67,000 has been awarded to 33 deserving organizations, including two in Colorado’s Grand Valley.

The Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra is receiving $1,500 for expanding library programming. It will increase to more than 20 performances reaching 1,000 Mesa County children (six performances occurred last year). Programs are free and held at libraries and in public schools. This program incorporates an instrument petting zoo.

Mesa County Libraries will receive $3,000 to purchase a book bicycle. Leftover funds will buy accessories and programming supplies for the bicycle and outreach. The Book Bicycle will deliver a wi-fi hotspot, library card creation and checkout programs beyond the walls of their eight locations. The bicycle will appear at public events and in public places.

“Swift Communications and the Grand Junction Free Press firmly believe in supporting our great community,” said Ben Rogers, Free Press general manager. “As your community new media company we are pleased to be able to give back and to help support the efforts of some of the great organizations in the Grand Valley.”

For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at

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