Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards grants to Vail Valley groups |

Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards grants to Vail Valley groups

Daily staff report

VAIL — The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awards grants to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs that focus on the arts, languages and sciences. Since 2008, more than $375,000 has been awarded to 145 organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business.

The deadline for grant applications was Feb. 15 and more than 160 applications were received. The 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.

This year, more than $74,500 has been awarded to 36 deserving organizations. Applications will be accepted again starting Jan. 1 with a deadline of Feb. 15. For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website, http://www.bessie

Vail Valley recipients are:

• Homestake Peak School, $3,000. A reading challenge that will take place from the first day of school in August through Read Across America Day on March 2 (the birth date of Dr. Seuss). The school will provide students with weekly charts to keep track of their daily reading goals and hold monthly reading assemblies where students would have opportunities to experience author visits. Funds will be used to purchase books in English and Spanish and to support author visits.

• Red Sandstone Elementary School, $2,000. Fountas and Pinnell’s Leveled Literacy Intervention system will support a reading intervention program in the second grade by enabling teachers to target students who are reading below grade level and provide small group supplemental instruction. Take-home versions of the kits extend the experience beyond the school.

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