Bloomington, IN – January 13, 2017
The Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, in collaboration with the Smithville Charitable Foundation, has chosen 14 recipients for $325,650 in grant money.
Fourteen of the 2017 Community Impact Grants’s 53 applicants were awarded grants ranging in size from $10,000 to $38,500 this week. According to a news release, the grants “focus on funding charitable efforts that address pressing problems, have the potential for encouraging change and create solutions to the issues that impact our community.” Priority was given to projects focusing on youth empowerment this year, with several quality-of-life grants also awarded for benefiting all age groups in the community.
“This year, we asked for grant projects designed to allow nonprofits and other exempt organizations to prepare young people for success and provide them with the skills, knowledge and awareness to inspire and equip them to reach their full potential,” Tina Peterson, president and CEO of the Community Foundation, said in the release.
In its sixth year, the Community Impact Grants program aims to enrich the lives of the people in Monroe County, Darby McCarty, a governor on the Smithville Charitable Foundation Board of Directors and president and CEO of Smithville Communications, said in the release.
Youth programs to receive grants include: the Bloomington Hospital Foundation for Bloom360, a program designed to give infants a healthy start through prenatal and postpartum care in addition to encouraging healthy behaviors among adults and children; the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington, for a new program to enable youth deciding their educational pathways; Centerstone’s Nurturing Parenting Program, which provides positive parenting skills and promotes intentional family nurturing time as an alternative to abusive and neglectful parenting practices; and the Bloomington Playwrights Project, and its youth programs to involve kids ages 5-17 in the theatrical process.
The largest dropout prevention organization in the nation, Communities in Schools, also was chosen for a grant. Through the program, site coordinators at Templeton and Fairview elementary schools can assess student needs and provide resources such as food, school supplies, health care, counseling, academic assistance and positive role models. Girls Inc. and Big Brothers Big Sisters of South Central Indiana were given a grant to expand and strengthen the Girls Inc. mentoring program, which will match 50 high-risk girls with 50 caring Big Sister adult mentors in 2017.
The Ohio River Foundation received an award for its Youth Conservation Teams. The work-study program supports local high school students who will protect and restore Hoosier National Forest habitats during the summer. The Harmony Education Center won a grant for Rhino’s Youth Center, which will support the Rhino’s after-school programming connecting area youth with mentors, art, music, media projects and more. The Support Yes! Youth Empowerment Services program through Middle Way House also received funding, to provide after-school and holiday care, remedial education and academic enrichment, and experiences designed to foster social-emotional growth for Middle Way’s school-age residents.
The Monroe County Community School Corp.’s FIRST Robotics program will be funded by a grant to allow the competitive, international high school robotics program to promote science, technology, engineering and math education. The final youth program to receive a grant, the Project School’s Maker Space program, will use its grant to fund equipment and classroom use. Furthermore, the Project School will invite the community to special events throughout the year and to use its Maker Space.
All-ages community grants went to the New Hope Family Shelter, which will provide seed funding for a development professional who will secure future funding for the organization’s new location; and the Ellettsville Main Street program, to pay for a parcel of land adjacent to the Heritage Trail to allow for parking. Finally, the Monroe County Fair Association will match the grant it received to hire an engineering firm to assess its infrastructure. To support future development and events, the association will evaluate and map its electrical, communications speaker, gas, stormwater, water and sanitary sewer systems.