Swift charity targets literacy efforts
The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation is accepting grant applications from nonprofit organizations in Garfield County and the region.
Grants will be awarded to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills and programs in the arts, languages and sciences. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15, and recipients will be announced May 1. The fund will consider applications for grants requesting a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $3,000.
The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation was formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, which owns and operates the Post Independent, the Aspen Times and Vail Daily, along with several other publications, mostly across the West.
The foundation awards grants to organizations that provide direct services to help with the expansion of literacy programs for children who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading and also to develop reading and writing skills at all age levels. The foundation also supports programs in the arts, languages and sciences for preschool, primary and secondary school-age children.
Last year, Literacy Outreach of Glenwood Springs was awarded $2,250 to teach basic literacy or English speaking skills to adult students and their family members who are at the lowest levels of literacy or English speaking proficiencies. Community volunteers work with adult students in the program.
More than $234,000 in grants has been awarded since 2008. The foundation prefers to consider grants for programs instead of grants strictly for technology. It also prefers to award grants to organizations that do not have access to large fundraising budgets and are local in nature. Grants are made only to nonprofit organizations certified as tax-exempt.
Bessie Minor Swift was the mother of Philip Swift, the founder of Swift Communications. Bessie was born in Onaga, Kansas, on June 29, 1887. She was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and then moved to Blackburn, Missouri, where she taught school in a one-room schoolhouse. Philip recalls that the importance of education was reinforced throughout his upbringing not so much through statements or concrete expectations but more through the example of his mother’s interest in English, reading, history and music.
Nonprofit organizations in the area are encouraged to apply.
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