Charleston, WV- The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of grants totaling $858,520. Funding supports programs such as Zion Child Development Center, Inc.

Zion Child Development Center is using the Pyramid Model of child development to promote young children’s healthy social and emotional development. They are also incorporating Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) into Social-Emotional learning to expand children’s ability to problem-solve. As a result of using these methods and working with the individual needs of each child, Zion has seen increased enrollment of children with disabilities.

The Zion staff is seeing promising outcomes from using the positive behavior supports method.  After encouraging discussions with the staff, a mother enrolled her two children who are on the autism spectrum and now, for the first time, she is seeing her children being included in activities and doing well in the childcare environment. At Zion, she found knowledgeable staff who make necessary adjustments for each individual and strive to include every child in every activity.

TGKVF awarded four responsive grants totaling $156,770 to Arts & Culture and Field-of-Interest projects, and awarded seven grants totaling $203,400 in the Foundation’s proactive Education and Health areas. Funding was awarded for three Special Initiative grants and one West Side 2.0 grant in the amount of $356,850. Continued generous support from an anonymous donor provided funding for three Emergency Aid and one Dental grant totaling $141,500.

City of Smithers- Gateway Center Stage Curtains, Lighting Elements of Larger Auditorium Remodel: $10,000 (Arts & Culture)

Funding for this project provides local matching dollars to leverage a State Arts Commission grant already awarded to start auditorium renovations to serve performing arts, arts education, and other public facility needs in the region of Fayette and Kanawha counties that Smithers overlaps.

West Virginia Youth Symphony- Outreach Through the Performing Arts-Dance, Voice, Orchestra, & Theater: $24,320 (Arts & Culture)

To promote performing arts education, West Virginia Youth Symphony, River City Youth Ballet Ensemble, Appalachian Children’s Chorus, and Children’s Theater of Charleston will perform “Sleeping Beauty” at the Clay Center in February 2022. This performance will showcase over 150 young dancers, singers, actors, and musicians. Counties served include Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam. Funding will support tuition assistance, instruments, instructor’s salaries, venue fees, and materials such as stage props, sheet music, and costumes.

West Virginia University Foundation, Inc.-Children’s Vision Rehabilitation Program (CVRP): $103,950 (Field-of-Interest)

Through this program, CVRP will provide visually impaired children with tools to become independent and employable by optimizing visual function both at home and school. The program will also provide access to the visual environment for children with incurable vision loss through medical eye care, devices, assistive technology, educational recommendations, and support to local school systems. Funding will support evaluations, mentoring, low vision, blindness equipment, and programming to address success in higher education and employment.

West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services-Senior Community Service Employment Program-Senior Evolve: $18,500 (Field-of-Interest) 

The Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCEP), authorized by the Older American Act, is a work-based job training program for low-income Americans 55 years or older. The intent of the program is to minimize and eliminate barriers such as transportation and the digital divide that seniors face as they seek unsubsidized employment. Funding will support purchases of technology and bus passes for Kanawha County seniors.

Philanthropy West Virginia-Philanthropy West Virginia’s Education Funders Affinity Group Collaboration to Advance West Virginia’s Climb Program: $20,000 (Education)

This second-year grant will support the conversion of college courses from high-cost textbooks to free or low-cost open educational resource (OER) materials. Funding for this Kanawha County OER effort is part of a larger initiative funded by the Ascendium Education Group and Philanthropy West Virginia Education Funders Affinity Group member foundations.

Zion Child Development Center, Inc.-Pyramid Model Fidelity and Using STEM to Improve Social-Emotional Skills: $21,100 (Education)

This funding will enable Zion Child Development Center to begin using the Pyramid Model, a conceptual framework of evidence-based practices for promoting young children’s healthy social and emotional development. The program incorporates STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) into Social-Emotional Learning to help expand children’s ability to problem-solve. Funding will support coaching strategies and STEM learning opportunities for children.

Fayette County Board of Education-Community Focus on Literacy in Early Childhood: $25,000 (Education)

Fayette County’s A Place to Grow Children’s Center has developed a collaborative community project aimed at increasing school readiness and third grade reading proficiency of participants. This funding will support a literacy curriculum for children under the age of 3; evidenced-based professional development for the early childhood teachers; extra professional staff, such as a literacy coach for individual and small group work; the creation of a child-led publishing company; and family involvement in language and literacy activities.

Community Care of West Virginia-Big Otter Clinic Walking Path and Pocket Park: $18,000 (Health)

Funding for this Clay County program will support the development of a pocket park and walking trail adjacent to the Big Otter Clinic to be utilized by patients, staff, and the community. Funding will support the completion of the trail; development of meditation, habitat and herb gardens; and covered seating areas.

City of Charleston-Celebration Station Community Park: $35,000 (Health)

The City of Charleston, the Charleston Rotary Club, Kanawha County Schools, Piedmont Elementary, Piedmont Parent Teacher Organization, and the Childhood Language Center are collaborating to replace the current Celebration Station, which is more than 25 years old and has outlived its usefulness. The 25,545 square foot area will provide a place for children with disabilities, the area’s low to moderate income families, and others to recreate and socialize.

Cabin Creek Health Systems-CCHS’ Patient Centered Service Extension: $50,000 (Health)

CCHS provides healthcare and support to homeless, underhoused, and underserved populations in the Charleston area. Due to overwhelming social determinants of health, some individuals with the most need do not seek traditional healthcare. Funding will support Service Extension continuing to build trust and rapport in the community, and when a patient is ready, transition them to the broader services that CCHS and other agencies have to offer.

The Center for Rural Health Development, Inc.-Wild, Wonderful and Healthy Charleston West Side: $34,300 (Health)

In its second year of funding, Wild Wonderful and Healthy Charleston West Side will continue implementation of the community health improvement process. The program will work to strengthen the capacity of residents and community leaders to develop a culture of health in their community that also supports community economic development on the West Side of Charleston in Kanawha County. Funding will support conducting community health improvement planning and implementing-term changes to improve community health.

Kanawha County Dental Health Council, Inc.: $70,000 (Dental Health)

The Kanawha County Dental Health Council promotes dental health for children through education within Kanawha County Schools and provides comprehensive dental services for children of low-income families. The program accepts Medicaid and CHIP insurance. TGKVF funding will support expenses related to treating patients, purchasing medical supplies and required Personal Protection Equipment, and operating, thus easing the cost of treating uninsured children. Additionally, funding will be used for payroll expenses of essential employees as well as tools they need to provide education.

Walking Miracles Family Foundation-Country Roads Care Assistance Program: $16,500 (Emergency Aid)

The various costs associated with travel can be a major barrier for people living in rural areas or areas without a public transportation system to access cancer treatment in West Virginia. Walking Miracles works in conjunction with hospital social workers to identify patients in need of travel assistance. The project will utilize a Care Assistance Program to provide each family with $500 travel cards to cover the personal costs of getting medical care, which can include transportation, lodging, meals, and other necessary expenses, thus ensuring every West Virginia child receives cutting-edge cancer care. Funding will support families who reside in Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties.

The Salvation Army-Social Services Emergency Assistance Program: $50,000 (Emergency Aid)

The Charleston Area Command offers assistance to people of all ages, races, and backgrounds in Boone, Clay, Kanawha, and Putnam counties. Funding will support food assistance, utility and rental expenses, clothing, furniture and household items, prescription medicine assistance, blankets and hygiene products for homeless people, warming centers, and Christmas assistance. These social services are administered through client appointments and client walk-ins.

The Healing House, Inc.-Minority Impact Initiative: $5,000 (Emergency Aid)

The Healing House supports a focused and prioritized approach to minority mental health and recovery through the Minority Impact Initiative. Funding will support addressing Epigenetics, Historical and Generational Trauma, and Social and Emotional Intelligence to break cycles of learned helplessness, close mental health gaps, and reduce the stigma of counseling and mental health support in the minority community.

West Virginia State University Foundation, Inc.-Opening Soon Inc.: $49,450 (Special Initiatives)

In its second year of support, the entrepreneurial program will be a business and product development program for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and micro-enterprises in Kanawha County and surrounding areas. Planned activities include ten weeks of instructional delivery that will incorporate product development, credit counseling, financial literacy, and marketing. Funding for the program will be utilized to pay fees to develop and deliver instructional content, materials, and marketing of the program.

Charleston Main Streets-West Side Gateway Lighting Initiative: $50,000 (West Side Initiative) 

This initiative was designed to create a safe destination district to promote further growth and development that attracts residents and visitors from inside and outside the city of Charleston. Working with area businesses, property owners, and collaborative partners, Charleston Main Streets will create a gateway that will not only protect the millions of dollars of investments that have occurred over the past decade, but also encourage and incentivize new investments for the enhancement of public spaces throughout the business district.

Kanawha Valley Council on Philanthropy (KVCOP)-West Side Community Initiative: $25,000 (West Side Initiative)

The KVCOP provides support through this initiative for projects on Charleston’s West Side. It is the Council’s goal to support programs that meet the interest of its members who may contribute to its multifaceted place-based philanthropic campaign. The funding raised in 2020 supported mental health, education, and COVID-19 related needs.

YWCA Charleston-Building Racial Justice Capacity in the Community: $57,400 (Special Initiative)

This program operates in Boone, Clay, and Kanawha counties to increase capacity to mitigate the effects of racism and to understand the root causes. Funds will be used to strengthen internal and community capacity, support training, and expand outreach through programs and consciousness-raising events celebrating communities of color in Charleston. Funding will also support train-the-trainer education in anti-racism to strengthen internal YWCA and external volunteer anti-racism knowledge and actions.

Step By Step-Step By Step WV, INROADS Charleston Students Career Project: $175,000 (Special Initiative) 

This project aims to provide Charleston’s most at-risk high school youth with career and college readiness opportunities by providing safe afterschool environments provided by Step By Step coupled with the INROADS national model of creating pathways to careers for diverse high school students. The program will provide college readiness curriculum, parental involvement, academic support, mentoring, peer interaction, and access to local internships and jobs in the greater Charleston area.

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation is grateful to our community of generous donors who make these and other grants possible. The programs and work approved for the third quarter of 2021 distributions is supported by the following funds: Anonymous, Anonymous-Dental, Anonymous-Emergency Aid, Mary Frances Bannerot, West Virginia Justice Reform Fund (CZI), James F. Duncan Charitable, Lloyd Jr. and Margaret B. Erhard, Mr. and Mrs. William L. Goldsmith, George and Patty Herscher, J.W. Jr. and Gabrielle P. Hubbard, Bernard H. Jacobson Cultural, Blanche E. Jacobson, Lois and Lawrence C. Jr. Kaufman, Loweinstein #1, Lillian M. Mairs, Alfred and Lucy W. McClung, Nancy Gay Randolph Rogers, and F. Waldo Craig.