EAGLE COUNTY — The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation (formerly Bessie Minor Charitable Fund), formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awards grants to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs focusing on the arts, languages and sciences. Since 2008, more than $234,000 has been awarded to nonprofit organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business.
The deadline for 2014 grant applications was Feb. 15, and over 220 applications were received. The foundation grant criteria calls for detail on how many people will be impacted by the organization’s project and how significant a role the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation will play in the program. Further, applicants must provide a complete description of the project including objectives and strategies to meet those objectives, explain how the project will be evaluated and submit a budget. Recipients will report on their results and insights from their program once the projects are completed.
This year, applications were of even higher quality than previous years and more than $61,000 has been awarded to those organizations that shined a little brighter than the others. The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation thanks the many groups that took the time and energy to apply and encourages those that were not selected this year to submit applications in the future. Applications will be accepted again starting Jan. 1 with a deadline of Feb. 15. For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at www.bessieminorswift.org.
The Eagle Valley recipients are:
• Eagle County Schools Exceptional Student Services. Grant of $572.27 will allow teachers to utilize Literacy Tubs to read and work with the most at-risk students across the Eagle Valley. Literacy Tubs will include texts, magnetic letters and dry erase boards that provide hands-on learning opportunities.
• I Can Read, Inc. Grant of $750 for a bilingual I Can Read Songs project for Kindergarten teachers at Gypsum Elementary School. The books, DVDs and Word Fun will go to help families increase early literacy learning and fun at home.
• Vail Valley Foundation’s Youth Foundation. Grant of $2,500 for the bi-monthly Raising a Reader program that serves 54 families with children aged 0-3. Families receive a bag with developmentally appropriate books, instruction, modeling and coaching.