Youth services groups receive $49,000 grant |

Youth services groups receive $49,000 grant

Christine Ina Casillas

The Eagle River Youth Coalition, and eight other organizations in the valley, have received a $49,000 state grant to fund youth services.

“We got the grant, and it’s going to make a huge difference to youth and kids in the valley,” said Beth Reilly, director of the Eagle River Youth Coalition.

The youth coalition will use the grant for its assets model and building social capital, Reilly said. But the youth coalition is looking for a little extra help with the project. The coalition is seeking help through the next grant period through June.

“We’re excited and we want it to continue,” Reilly said.

The Eagle County School District will benefit from the grant in three areas. Battle Mountain High School will receive partial funds for its special education program and training teachers. The school district’s early childhood program will increase its after school hours for school readiness classes. Avon Elementary School will also get funding for its readiness classes and support program.

The Snowboard Outreach Society will receive funds to enhance its university program, and Meet the Wilderness will partner with the Buddy’s Program to enhance the life-skills project at Minturn Middle School. The Literacy Program also will receive a portion of the funds for its study-buddy program.

Last year, youth service programs were cut from federal grant funds because of budget cuts and declining economy. But in July, the federal government gave states money to continue with the programs and about $4.3 million went back into youth services.

“The state will try to renew its commitment to youth services but it’s not as close to the funding level as it was two years ago,” Reilly said. “When they do (renew), we will resubmit our proposal and continue to extend the grant.”

Christine Ina Casillas can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 607 or at

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