Community Foundation of NCW and Chelan-Douglas United Way partner through a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grant
The Community Foundation of NCW and Chelan-Douglas United Way have partnered to develop an Ending Poverty through Education initiative that is focusing on improving K-12 reading levels and increasing student engagement in schools across North Central Washington.
Through a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, CFNCW, and United Way of Chelan and Douglas Counties are working with Intermountain AmeriCorps to develop a reading program that will work to achieve 90% of students reading at grade level in 15 of the region’s low income elementary schools. Out of 35 elementary schools in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties, 29 have greater than 50% of their students on the free and reduced lunch program and 25 schools have less than 70% reading at grade level. Requests for proposals will be sent to schools with the greatest needs, and 15 will be chosen for the program. Each will receive one Reading Corps volunteer that will work with students over the next 4 years to achieve the reading goal. “The Gates Foundation investment of $340,000 to our region will provide the opportunity to advance the reading skills of many more students,” said Alan Walker, Executive Director for United Way of Chelan and Douglas Counties. “The Community Foundation and United Way are excited to work closer with area schools and Intermountain AmeriCorps to improve the lives and open doors of opportunity for our youth.”
The grant will also provide funds for CFNCW’s new annual grant program, Classrooms Can!, which will grant $1,000 to 50 K-12 teachers in North Central Washington for entrepreneurial projects in math and science, technology, arts education, literacy, or obesity prevention. Successful projects will excite and engage students, especially the hard to reach learner. “The Gates Foundation grant has allowed us to focus in on an issue that affects all of the communities we serve in North Central Washington.” said Beth Stipe, CFNCW executive director. “Success in life is tied directly to success in school. We hope that this program will help our teachers to reach those kids who are struggling, keep them excited about learning, and ultimately see their reading and achievement in school improve.”
These programs have been funded because of their innovation in providing educational opportunities and increased student engagement in low income schools. According to a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, “children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of third grade are four times as likely to drop out of high school.” CFNCW and the United Way of Chelan-Douglas Counties believe our communities can reduce local poverty through stronger education for our children and greater opportunities for their continued educational success.
Applications for Classrooms Can! grants will be available in February 2013, due April 2013, and awards will be made at the end of the school year with project implementation for the 2013-2014 academic school year
The Community Foundation of North Central Washington announces two new members have joined the Methow Valley Fund Advisory Board: Danica Ready and Julie Tate-Libby.
Danica Ready has lived in the Methow since 2001 and holds degrees in education, geology, and conservation biology. Her professional experience includes community outreach, organizational development, fundraising and public relations. She has been involved in the Valley’s non-profit community as staff, volunteer, and board member. Danica believes that our community has great potential to increase the capacity and impact of Methow Valley non-profits, and sees the Methow Valley Fund as a tool to simplify and amplify the philanthropic wishes of Methow Valley supporters. Danica loves to bake, hike, run, ski and climb with her kids and friends, and her most recent passion is poetry. She is the Program Director for the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association and lives near Mazama.
Julie Tate-Libby grew up in the Methow Valley. Following completion of her Masters, PhD, and extensive travel, she returned to the Methow Valley to raise her family. Julie’s research and writings are strongly focused on the role of place in our lives. She has studied and written about amenity migration, specifically in the Methow Valley. She feels that broad involvement in community is integral to a sense of belonging and place, and because of this, Julie is drawn to working with the Methow Valley Fund. Julie teaches anthropology and sociology at Wenatchee Valley College, and lives with her family near Carlton.
The Methow Valley Fund was established in 2006 in partnership with the Community Foundation of NCW to serve the specific needs of the Methow Valley through its nonprofit organizations. Its mission is “sustainable funding for a healthy, vibrant Methow Valley”. The Fund is advised by a diverse group of local volunteers that live and work in the valley and are passionate about the charitable work being done in the community. They have first-hand knowledge of local needs and opportunities.
A permanent endowment managed by the Community Foundation, the Methow Valley Fund offers grants up to $5,000 each spring to fund nonprofit projects that address community needs. In 2012, the Methow Valley Fund awarded $42,800 to 20 nonprofits in the valley, including Aero Methow Rescue Service, Classroom in Bloom, Merc Playhouse, Room One, and more. The Community Foundation of NCW is currently accepting grant applications for the Methow Valley Fund with a deadline of January 15.
Applications are now open for nearly 70 scholarships from the Community Foundation of North Central Washington. Scholarships vary in criteria and intent and are available to high school and college students in Chelan, Douglas and Okanogan counties. Application deadline is February 15, 2013 (unless otherwise indicated in scholarship description). Awards are distributed for students planning to attend college or university in the fall of 2013.
Each Community Foundation scholarship is unique, with varying GPA and extra-curricular requirements. Many of the Community Foundation scholarships seek to assist students that may have struggled, but express intent to work hard to achieve their educational goals and dreams.
Community Foundation scholarships are created for many reasons – in memory of a loved one, to honor a special skill or field, or to provide assistance to those who need it most. Scholarship funds at the Community Foundation are established during a lifetime or are a fulfillment of one’s will. They are invested and grow over time so they can be offered to students for years to come.
In 2012, the Community Foundation of NCW awarded over $341,000 to 260 students now attending college or university.
The Woods Family and Woods House Music and Arts Fund has awarded $36,800 to local nonprofits to support and enhance music and arts culture and education in the community. Up to $5,000 is available to 501c3 nonprofits that provide music and/or arts related services to support citizens in Cashmere, Leavenworth, Wenatchee or East Wenatchee. The grant was established to provide support for local music and arts that focus on: fostering and improving cultural awareness and education; music performance; music education direction; participation in coordination of regional arts events; or seminars and workshops for music educators and art professionals.
The grant is available annually through the Community Foundation of NCW with applications being accepted August 1st and deadline August 31st.
Those awarded this year’s grants include:
- Arts on the Avenue $2,500 – Beauty of Bronze, a program that introduces 5th graders to community art while giving them an opportunity to work with artist Kevin Pettelle to create a small sculpture
- Cashmere Music Boosters (Vale Elem. PTO, sponsor) $2,700 – Small group lessons and sectionals for all wind instrumentalists in Cashmere Middle School bands
- Dancing with Birds (Wenatchee Valley Museum, sponsor)$2,500 – Six sessions in Wenatchee elementary schools and citizenship classes using music, dance, art, and science curriculum to engage Latinos with science and nature
- Icicle Creek Center for the Arts $2,500 – Expand the Icicle Creek Chamber Music Festival to mark the 20th anniversary
- Mariachi Northwest Festival (Wenatchee Valley Museum, sponsor)$2,000 – Expand the educational and public performance components of the 15th annual Mariachi Northwest Festival
- North Central ESD Educational Foundation $2,500 – Grants to teachers for music and arts classroom learning aids
- Performing Arts Center $5,000 – Educational outreach “Breaking with the Masters” workshops by Break! Urban Funk Spectacular for middle and high school youth
- Upper Valley Connection $2,000 – Scholarships and stipends for 2013 theatre arts camp
- Wenatchee Jazz Workshop (Wenatchee Valley Museum, sponsor) $5,000 – Support for 13th annual Jazz Workshop
- Wenatchee Valley Symphony $5,000 – engage Mark O’Connor (critically acclaimed violinist, fiddler, and composer) to perform as a guest artist with the symphony and present a fiddling workshop to local string musicians
- Wenatchee Valley Symphony $2,500 – Annual Young Artist Competition
- YWCA Wenatchee Valley $2,600 – staffing and promotional costs for six month of Open Mic and Klean Karaoke at Café AZs.
The Methow Valley Sport Trails Association (MVSTA) has been awarded the $50,000 Endowment Grant from the Community Foundation of NCW. “We really wanted this grant to take an organization to the next level,” said Beth Stipe, the foundation’s executive director, “it was a unanimous decision.”
Of the 31 applicants, 5 finalists were selected for final interviews that were conducted in early September. The finalists were: Methow Conservancy, Methow Valley Sport Trails Association, Okanogan Transportation and Nutrition, Upper Valley Connection, and The Women’s Resource Center. “They are all outstanding organizations,” said Stipe, “it was a really hard decision for our board to make.” The award winner was announced at the 3rd annual Board Celebration Dinner at Sun Mountain in Winthrop and presented to the board president, Midge Cross. “We think we are a pretty cool organization,” said an enthusiastic Cross, “and you guys haven’t seen anything yet!” The Endowment Grant provides the MVSTA a permanent fund at the Community Foundation of NCW that will give them permanent, annual income. As the fund grows through gifts and investments, so will their income, giving the MVSTA greater sustainability and potential for impacting their community long term.
The MVSTA provides 120 miles of recreation trails across the Methow Valley. “These trails are the life blood of the local economy, which contributed an estimated $13.5 million in the 2011/2012 season” stated their grant application. MVSTA saw the most trail use ever during the last season, with 45,000 skier days and anticipates over 45,000 users this summer. Their trail model is recognized nationally for sustaining a vibrant economy and promoting healthy living. They just secured new office space close to one of the main trailheads that will now give them more exposure and better opportunity to meet and interact with trail users.
The criteria evaluated for the endowment grant included: the organization makes a significant impact in the community served; the organization has an endowment grant as part of their strategic plan; fiscal board participation and commitment from their board; and receiving the grant would move the organization to the next level.
“We are truly honored to have been chosen for such a substantial award” said James DeSalvo, MVSTA’s Executive Director. “The significance of an endowment to our organization and our community is truly inspiring. While I was excited to tell our board and our staff about this award I was most excited to tell my kids since they are the true beneficiaries” Said DeSalvo.
The Community Foundation of NCW plans to offer an endowment grant every other year and any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization is eligible to apply.
The Community Foundation of NCW (CFNCW) has awarded $99,921 in grants to 28 nonprofits across North Central Washington through the fall cycle of its Regional Impact Grants. This cycle’s grants will fund programs to support military families, provide laundry services for the homeless, bring legislative sessions into the classroom, help with children’s reading programs, expand access to art, and much more.
Regional Impact Grants, offered twice a year in spring and fall, provide up to $5,000 in funding for general programs, special projects, start-up funding, and small equipment. Any 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Chelan, Douglas, or Okanogan county is eligible to apply. Grant applications are reviewed by the CFNCW grants committee, comprised of select board members and staff, who visit each applicant to review the proposal, ask questions, and learn more about the project or program for which they are requesting funds. All final grant decisions are made by the Board of Trustees.
Congratulations to the following grant recipients:
American Red Cross Apple Valley Chapter – $5,000
AmeriCorps volunteer to head a program to support local military families, local veterans, and local service members.
Art on the Avenues – $2,500
Recondition bronze sculptures that are part of the permanent community collection.
Cascade Medical Center – $4,250
Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) training at several sites throughout the area severed by the center.
Cashmere Art and Activity Center – $1,500
Audio/visual equipment and advertising to increase visibility in the community.
Chelan Douglas CASA Program – $4,550
Recruit and train mentors for Adolescents in Transition to Education and Employment through Mentoring (ATEEM), specific to foster youth.
Chelan Douglas Volunteer Attorney Services – $2,500
Matching grant for general operations.
City of Pateros – $1,500
Picnic tables for the Pateros Pedestrian Mall.
Entiat Community Historical Society – $5,000
Raising Slumbering Voices Project recording memories of Entiat’s longtime residents, a partnership with Entiat Schools.
Heritage Heights at Lake Chelan – $3,021
HVAC testing equipment to allow better monitoring of resident’s rooms.
Junior Achievement of Washington – $2,500
Scholarships for Westside and Manson High students to attend JA World in Yakima.
Leavenworth Winter Sports Club – $4,250
Upgrade the website.
Life Choices of Wenatchee Valley – $2,700
Earn While You Learn program that offers an award of new baby equipment upon completion of 12 classes of prenatal/newborn parenting education.
Mansfield Museum and Historical Society – $5,000
Renovate a portion of the basement for additional displays.
Manson Parks and Recreation – $5,000
Initiate Phase I of a construction project addressing water drainage issues at Singleton Park.
Methow Arts Alliance – $5,000
Access to Art, an arts education partnership in Okanogan county for school districts outside the Methow Valley School District.
Okanogan Land Trust – $3,500
Update office infrastructure to allow networking and remote access.
Omak Performing Arts Center Foundation – $4,500
Series of 3 performances for 2012-2013 for students and the general public.
Rock Island Elementary School – $1,000
AmeriCorps volunteer for the 2012-2013 school year to focus on improving student reading skills.
Rotary First Harvest – $5,000
VISTA volunteer for Wenatchee.
Shalom Church of Wenatchee – $2,000
Washer and dryer for the ministry center to launder used clothing for free giveaway to the poor and also to provide a place for the homeless to do laundry.
Suicide Prevention Coalition of NCW – $5,000
Connect Program, a “train the trainer” program educating community members to recognize and respond to suicide warning signs.
Trust for Public Land – $2,500
Living Landscapes program.
Upper Valley Connection – $3,000
Support general operations.
Washington Public Affairs Network – $2,500
Capital Classroom for Wenatchee High School, connecting legislative sessions to the classroom.
Washington Trust for Historic Preservation – $1,650
Support 3 participants from Chelan County to attend the National Preservation Conference in Spokane.
Wenatchee Jazz Workshop – $5,000
Support for 2013 Jazz Festival.
Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center – $5,000
Support general operations.
YWCA – $5,000
Maintenance, insurance, and expense involved with 3 vehicles used to transport equipment, personnel, and other items that directly support the local mission.