The Spartanburg County Foundation awarded $100,000 in education grants to four nonprofit organizations serving Spartanburg County – Adult Learning Center, Inc., Hope Remains Youth Ranch, Spartanburg County First Steps, and United Way of the Piedmont. Recipients were recognized at an awards ceremony Thursday, May 15, 2014, at The Spartanburg County Foundation.
Each year, The Spartanburg County Foundation Trustees set an unrestricted grant budget to award funding to nonprofit organizations and institutions providing services to the residents of Spartanburg County. For the past two years, the Trustees and staff at the Foundation have been working diligently to identify and redefine the Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking Program – setting specific grantmaking priorities, and improving both the applicant and reviewer process.
In December 2013, the Foundation announced that it would focus its grantmaking efforts on the areas of Education and Social Environment, two of the Indicator Areas identified through the Spartanburg Community Indicators Project. The Foundation held two training sessions and invited proposals from nonprofit organizations seeking to improve the quality, effectiveness, and access to education for Spartanburg County residents. The Grants Review Committee met in March to review proposals. The following organizations were awarded grants at the ceremony:
Adult Learning Center
The Adult Learning Center, Inc., is the recipient of a $25,000 grant to begin GED, Pre-GED, and basic literacy classes in the Kelly Acres, an apartment community in Woodruff that provides subsidized housing to individuals and families living in poverty. The grant will provide funding for certified teachers, instructional materials, volunteer recruitment, and incentives for classes.
Hope Remains Youth Ranch
Hope Remains Youth Ranch is the recipient of a $25,000 grant to fund its Marvelous Mini’s program, an Equine Experiential Education program that utilizes a research-based, state standards educational curriculum with miniature horses. The grant will be used to provide a second mobile unit that will travel to local Spartanburg County schools to work with special needs, at-risk, and behavioral students identified in each district.
Spartanburg County First Steps
Spartanburg County First Steps is the recipient of a $25,000 grant to fund its What Matters Most program to incorporate evidence-based research in a systems approach to improve child readiness for first grade. The grant will be used to provide broad-based training along with a focused effort on transforming teacher skills in child care centers to improve early learning outcomes that support school readiness and life-long educational attainment.
United Way of the Piedmont
The United Way of the Piedmont is the recipient of a $25,000 grant to install 14 Born Learning Trails in parks and walking trails throughout Spartanburg County. Each trail consists of 10 fun outdoor games on engaging signs to help parents and caregivers create learning opportunities for a young child.
The grants were funded through The Spartanburg County Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking Program from the following funds: The Community Fund, the William Stuart Allen Memorial Fund, The Powell Family Fund, and the Harry W. Sanders Fund.
In the Fall, the Foundation will award 10 capacity-building grants of up to $10,000 each for strategic planning, fundraising/fund diversification, technology/social media, or organizational development to nonprofit organizations working to improve the overall social well-being of Spartanburg County residents in the area of Social Environment. The Request for Proposal will be released in June.