Valley Settlement Project gets $1.2M grant |

Valley Settlement Project gets $1.2M grant

Staff Report

The Manaus Fund has been awarded a second, three-year, $1.2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to further its investment in the work of the Valley Settlement Project from 2015-2018.

The Valley Settlement Project is a multigenerational approach to improving the lives of low-income families in the Roaring Fork School District.

Valley Settlement focuses on school readiness, elementary school achievement, economic stability and community engagement. Valley Settlement works to support and empower these low-income families through community organizing and partnerships with government entities, businesses, other nonprofits and the Roaring Fork School District.

An initial planning grant in 2011 from the Kellogg Foundation enabled the Manaus Fund to conduct extensive interviews and to develop an understanding of the needs of the region’s most vulnerable families. Using a community-organizing approach, families were invited to share their stories with bilingual, bicultural community organizers. One-on-one interviews of 270 families found that Latino immigrants had multiple barriers to settling in the Roaring Fork valley.

In 2012, the Manaus Fund, in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation and other funders, launched the Valley Settlement Project. The project runs multiple programs including: two mobile preschool classrooms, early childhood development and training for parents of infants and toddlers, training for parent volunteers in elementary school classrooms, adult education and leadership training. Over the last three years, the Valley Settlement Project has grown rapidly and is serving more than 300 families annually.

With the Kellogg Foundation’s new three-year grant, the Manaus Fund will continue to expand and refine the Valley Settlement Project based on evaluation, feedback and experience. The Manaus Fund will also help to educate other organizations by sharing its process, understandings and results.

“We are excited to award this new investment because the work of Valley Settlement Project has matured tremendously in just three years,” said Jon-Paul Bianchi, Kellogg Foundation program officer. “Manaus has proven that they can implement successful programs and can help local service providers and schools to change their practices and ultimately their strategies for working with diverse families. We have seen a change in practices but more importantly, in the culture of organizations in the Roaring Fork valley and how they work.”

Said Jon Fox Rubin, Manaus Fund executive director, “We are so grateful to have the Kellogg Foundation by our side and to work with them to not only expand our reach but to also foment enduring change for our low-income families in the Roaring Fork School District and beyond.”

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