Swift Foundation awards 9 grants
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Seven nonprofit organizations and schools in Garfield County, and nine total from Aspen to Parachute, will benefit from more than $16,000 in grants awarded by the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation.
The grants are awarded each year in communities where Nevada-based Swift Communications — owner of the Glenwood Springs Post Independent, Rifle Citizen Telegram, The Aspen Times and Snowmass Sun newspapers — conducts business.
“Grants are provided to selected programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills, as well as to programs focusing on the arts, languages and sciences,” said Valerie Richardson, program coordinator for Colorado Mountain News Media, a subsidiary of Swift.
Out of 240 applications received this year from communities in the six states where Swift operates, 29 recipients were selected to receive more than $48,000. Garfield County schools and organizations received the most of any Swift market.
The late Bessie Minor Swift was the mother of Swift Communications founder Phil Swift.
Following are the Garfield County and Roaring Fork Valley recipients, and descriptions of the various projects for which the money will be used.
• Family Visitor Programs, Aspen to Parachute, $2,500 — Promotes pre-literacy skills in young children. The grant will be used to conduct a “Read to Me” program by providing books during in-home visits.
• Raising A Reader, Aspen to Parachute, $2,500 — This program identifies and provides early literacy development programs. The funds will provide for two new cohorts of at-risk children to ensure a successful transition into kindergarten through book bags, weekly group meetings, family literacy nights and a library introduction.
• Yampah Mountain High School, Glenwood Springs, $1,850 — The money will be used to start a student newspaper at the alternative high school, with valley-wide distribution possible via the Post Independent. The newspaper will use the best creative, analytical and expository writing from writing classes to showcase student work, in turn motivating students to write. Several co-sponsors are participating.
• Carbondale Council on Arts and Humanities, $2,000 — The CCAH “Bridging the Gap” program provides creative opportunities that promote literacy and academic skills to economically challenged youth. Access to art and music facilitates the integration of the many cultures living in the community.
• Science in Schools at Crystal River Elementary School, Carbondale, $2,250 — This program brings hands-on science into the classroom through student driven experiments organized around the scientific method and integrating literacy exercises within the process.
• Roaring Fork High School, Carbondale, $1,250 — In response to student demand, RFHS is expanding its themed book club program. This grant will purchase books to supplement current inventory and provide enough copies for groups of 10-15 participating in clubs. Roaring Fork is the only high school in the valley to incorporate a silent, sustained reading period in its daily schedule.
• Garfield County School District 16 FUEL Academy, Parachute, $2,500 — This program will inspire learning by connecting reading with high-interest science topics. Science Family Nights will allow 100 students and their families to take home science kits that can be completed as a family.
• Fat City Farmers, Basalt, $2,500 — Fat City Farmers will develop and execute a creative program to train teachers to use garden journals and gardening activities to increase literacy, nature observation, art and writing skills. Elementary and middle school students are the focus of this program.
• Aspen Elementary School, $1,594.55 — This grant will fund books and book bags for each kindergarten and first-grade classroom at AES, along with ideas and tips for parents to use in reading to their children. Books will be included in each bag that suit different reading levels. Over the course of a year, each child in 12 classrooms will be able to take home 300 books to read.
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