Grants support educational programs

The Idaho Community Foundation granted over $350,000 to educational programs throughout Idaho this summer, with money supporting preschools, libraries and countering summer learning loss.

A student from the Boys & Girls Club in Nampa uses a tablet during a summer class, which was funded in-part from an Idaho Community Foundation grant. Photo courtesy of the Boys & Girls Club

More than 30 grants were distributed to educational entities across the state this year, according to a news release from the ICF.

Ideas for where to send the grant funding comes from regional counsels, which are made up of volunteers all over the state, said ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith.

“(The money) is meant to support the needs in those communities, as identified by those communities,” Bilowith said. “We are trusting the people at the community level to best deploy those resources.”

The regional counsels submit grant requests and the IFC’s board of directors approves them.

The ICF has been helping distribute grant money through Idaho for over 30 years.

One of this year’s biggest allocations was $20,000 to the Boys and Girls Club of Nampa — money that was “critical” for local kids, Nampa club CEO Melissa Gentry said. “These programs continue to close the gaps when the kids are not in school and may not have the support system at home.”

This year’s grantees:

  • Teton County School District: $10,000 for an after-school program for at-risk children at Victor Elementary.
  • American Falls School District: $18,000 in local preschool scholarships.
  • Boys and Girls Club of Nampa: $20,000 for summer and after-school programs combatting summer learning loss.
  • Children’s Village Foundation (Kootenai County): $18,717 for a youth summer activities program.
  • Council Junior-Senior High School (Adams County): $19,685 for library renovations.
  • Greenleaf Friends Academy (Canyon County): $12,536 for a morning preschool class.
  • Hailey Public Library: $15,000 for a summer reading program.
  • Lee Pesky Learning Center (Bannock and Fremont Counties): $19,800 for kindergarten readiness kits for families, digital materials and access to online training.
  • Memorial Community Center (Bonner County): $25,000 for preschool scholarship aid.
  • Moscow School District: $20,000 to combat learning loss during the pandemic.
  • North Idaho College: $15,000 for discounted preschool tuition at the local children’s center.
  • Priest Lake Community Education Foundation: $8,000 for a Ready! for Kindergarten program.
  • REACH Club (Idaho County): $7,750 to cover one year of preschool payroll expenses.
  • South Fremont Junior High (Fremont County): $15,000 to update and add digital content to the school’s library.
  • Sugar-Salem School District: $17,550 for middle school library books.
  • The Salvation Army Boise Corps: $10,000 for teen tutoring support, life skills classes and childcare for babies.
  • United Way of South Central Idaho (Jerome County): $20,000 for a Ready! for Kindergarten program.
  • United Way of Southeastern Idaho (Bannock and Power counties): $16,500 to expand early learning for low income students.
  • University of Idaho Foundation: $10,000 to provide experimental STEM learning and exploration each school year for five years to approximately 150 underserved students on the Nez Perce and Coeur d’Alene reservations.

There were also “Forever Idaho” grants distributed to the north region:

  • CDA Public Library Foundation: $5,000
  • Consolidated Free Library District: $5,000
  • Culdesac School: $5,000
  • Human Rights Education Institute: $2,000
  • Kids Klub, Inc.: $5,267
  • Kootenai Elementary School: $2,563
  • Kootenai Joint School District: $5,000
  • Memorial Community Center: $3,000
  • Sacajawea Junior High: $5,000
  • TESH INC: $5,000
  • University of Idaho Extension: $13,849
  • West Bonner County School District: $6,000

In total, the ICF had four areas where grant funding is allocated. The largest one is for education. But money is also given to help with housing and homelessness, mental and physical health and access to other healthcare- and transportation-related services.

Rural Idaho school set to open following renovations

Students and staff in the rural Western Idaho Midvale School District are inviting community members to celebrate the opening of a new high school and gymnasium.

The gym dedication, followed by an open house, will be on Sept. 7 starting at 7 p.m. The gym is being named after longtime Midvale teacher and superintendent Jim Warren.

Midvale’s old high school opened in 1930.

Rob and Nancy Roberts of R&M Steel in Caldwell donated a 24,200 square-foot steel building to the district as part of the project.

The district also tapped into a $1.75 million plant facilities levy.

Career-technical students also performed some of the work, including framing, drywalling and insulating.

ICHA to celebrate state’s Latino culture

The Idaho Commission on Hispanic Affairs will kick off a celebration for Hispanic Heritage Month on Sept. 15.

The event will be on the first floor of the Idaho State Capitol and start at 10 a.m.

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15.

STEM event postponed due to COVID spread

Due to COVID-related concerns, the Idaho STEM Action Center has postponed its in-person statewide convention set to happen in eastern Idaho on Oct. 14-15.

No make-up date has been announced, but the center said it hopes to run the in-person program in the coming months.

A survey from the center regarding what topics patrons would like to explore or receive assistance on is available here.

About Nik Streng

Nik Streng graduated with his bachelors degree in creative writing from Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore., in 2013 and graduated with his master’s in journalism from the University of Oregon. 

Read more stories by Nik Streng »

You may also be interested in