Foundation announces 2018 Fourth Quarter Discretionary Grants

Charleston, WV-The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation (TGKVF) Board of Trustees approved the distribution of 26 grants totaling $887,047.

One of these grants included support to KEYS 4 Healthy Kids to provide garden-based learning and fresh food access to child care centers.  While visiting one of this summer’s pop-up farmers’ markets, held as part of the Farm 2 Child Care project, a child wanted additional food and asked about how to grow his food at home. The KEYS 4 Healthy Kids staff learned this child and his four brothers were experiencing food insecurity. As a result of working together, a farmer, KEYS staff, and WVU Extension developed a plan to assist this family. The farmer donated extra food for the brothers to take home for the weekend, and WVU Extension began discussions with the childcare center to offer low-cost cooking classes for families.

TGKVF awarded one field-of-interest and four responsive grants totaling $92,600 to Basic Needs and Arts & Culture programs; fifteen grants totaling $642,847 in the Foundation’s proactive priority areas of Education, Health, and Community Economic Development (CED); four West Side of Charleston Initiative grants totaling $123,600; and two special initiative grants for a total of $28,000.

Coda Mountain Academy of Music-Coda’s Organizational Growth and Program Support: $42,119 (Education)

This second-year project will continue Coda Mountain Academy’s innovative afterschool tutoring program, Coda Excel, which reinforces foundational concepts of the core curriculum through arts integration. This year’s focus on capacity building and development will increase program support and prepare for significant growth, expected as a result of upcoming school consolidations. Coda is also building a stronger partnership with the health department in drug prevention strategies. Coda programs primarily serve Fayette County.

TEAM for West Virginia Children, Inc.-Fostering Futures for Youth to Thrive: $10,500 (Education)

In its second year of TGKVF support, this Western Regional CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) project will continue to provide mentoring and educational components for older adolescents in Kanawha, Lincoln, Putnam, and Boone counties. The program serves youth ages 14 to 23. Advocates work to improve post-secondary education readiness by connecting each participant with at least one caring, committed adult.  The adults assist the youth in planning for their future. Funds will be used to support advocacy and mentoring efforts.

National Consortium for Entrepreneurship Education-College and Career Readiness Through Entrepreneurship and STREAM: $35,000 (Education)

In its second year with TGKVF, this project will provide educators from Boone, Fayette, and Lincoln counties with resources and support, to increase their students’ college/career readiness. The project incorporates face-to-face teacher training, virtual sustained professional development, and implementation of STREAM-focused entrepreneurial activities. Funding will support teacher stipends, teacher and school mini-grants, and Entrepreneurial School certification.

West Virginia Home Visitation Program-Parents as Teachers Home Visiting Program: $75,000 (Education)

The Parents as Teachers Home Visiting Program is an evidenced-based, school readiness intervention that has received its first grant award from TGKVF. These grant funds will support five new home visitors who will receive referrals from community partners. The program will annually support 100 new families and improve school readiness outcomes for at least 300 children. Additionally, home visitors will give each child a book during each home visit to promote reading. This funding will impact families is all six TGKVF counties.

Step by Step, Inc.-AmeriCorps on The Frontline: $50,000 (Education)

This is a fourth-year grant awarded for AmeriCorps on the Frontline, a dropout prevention, mentor-based intervention that addresses student attendance, behavior, and course performance.  This program is available in Kanawha County through a partnership among Step by Step Inc., Bob Burdette Center, PRO-Kids Inc., Kanawha County Schools, and The Education Alliance.  Funding will support the AmeriCorps mentors and program supplies.

The Appalachian Reading Center, Inc.-Dyslexia Services Coalition for Marginalized Youth in Foster and Kinship Care: $57,953 (Education)

This project, in its fourth year of funding from TGKVF, will provide specialized, high-quality afterschool tutoring to dyslexic and reading deficient youth in foster and kinship care in highly distressed areas, with a special emphasis on Clay County. Additionally, funds will be used to offer partial scholarships to dyslexic students who would not otherwise be able to afford the Appalachian Reading Center in South Charleston. Funds will also be used to hire a part-time Accommodations Specialist who will assist the Director in delivering alternate spelling lists to school teachers throughout the area. These lists reinforce dyslexic students’ work, while they’re using the Wilson Reading System.

Charleston Area Medical Center Health Education & Research Institute, Inc./Keys 4 Healthy Kids-Growing Healthy Kids through Farm 2 Child Care: $32,130 (Health)

In its fourth year of funding, Keys 4 Healthy Kids will continue to offer Farm 2 Child Care opportunities for childcare centers in Kanawha, Putnam, and Fayette counties, enabling them to continue garden-based learning while adding pop-up farmer’s markets. This project will address childhood obesity, food insecurity, and economic development through local farmers in West Virginia. 

Fairness West Virginia Institute-WV Transgender Health Initiative: $25,125 (Health)

Fairness West Virginia (FWV) will address the significant health care disparities faced by transgender people, through a series of training sessions for health care professionals in the six-county region covered by TGKVF. FWV will then compile the providers who have undergone training into a transgender-inclusive health care guide.

Alum Creek Lions Club Sight Foundation-Alum Creek Lions Club Park Project: $35,853 (Health)

This project is a community effort to improve park elements and increase the number and quality of community events that are hosted. The park is a popular community hub and serves residents of Lincoln and Kanawha counties. This funding will support the installation of a new donated play structure; the resurfacing the basketball and tennis courts; the installation of signage to label and describe native plants; the installation of a maintenance shed; and the addition of natural learning elements.

American Heart Association-WV Stroke Systems of Care-Greater Kanawha Valley Region: $35,514 (Health)

In this newly funded initiative, the American Heart Association’s Stroke Systems of Care program will work with regional hospital and EMS partners in TGKVF’s six-county service area.  The partners will collect and evaluate treatment data using Get With The Guidelines-Stroke, provide training to improve outcomes, and coordinate efforts to build and enhance the system of care for strokes through regional task group collaborations. 

Mountaineer Food Bank, Inc.-Fresh Initiative Pop-Up Markets: $20,000 (Health)

Mountaineer Food Bank will partner with local producers and WVU extension agents to host pop-up markets. The markets will provide fresh produce to selected elementary schools in Boone, Clay, and Fayette counties. This first year of funding from TGKVF will help improve access to nutrient-dense foods that make up a healthy eating pattern, provide education, food samplings, and increase food insecurity awareness and empathy.

West Virginia Healthy Kids and Families Coalition, Inc.-Try This! Empowering Communities to take back their Health!: $54,100 (Health)

In its fourth year of TGKVF funding, Try This! will support 63 community-led projects in Boone, Clay, Fayette, Kanawha, Lincoln, and Putnam counties. The 2018 mini-grant cycle welcomed ten new projects in these six counties in TGKVF’s footprint.

Goodwill-Good Host: $45,000 (CED)

In its second year of TGKVF funding, the Good Host program will continue to provide comprehensive training for community members seeking employment in West Virginia’s growing hospitality industry. Students will develop a series of robust skills needed to succeed in the hospitality industry. The program is currently recruiting students for its third cohort.

BridgeValley Community Technical College-The GRID: $71,953 (CED)

The GRID, an acronym for Generate, Renew, Innovate, and Design, is a newly funded initiative that is led by BridgeValley. Located in Montgomery, the GRID offers academic programs utilizing face-to-face, hybrid, and online modalities that support small business development, technology, and creative expression. The GRID also provides space and access to machinery/technology for classes and workshops on a rental basis. Access to Wi-Fi, as well as dedicated office and retail space, are included in the rentals. The GRID is working to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem that capitalizes on the region’s artisan heritage. TGKVF funding will support instruction, coordination, and supplies.

West Virginia Women Work!-Step UP Women Construction Pre-Apprenticeship Program: $52,600 (CED)

This second year of TGKVF funding will be used to support the Step Up for Women Construction Pre-Apprenticeship, a tuition-free 12-week training program of West Virginia Women Work, Inc. The course prepares adult students for nontraditional careers in the construction industry while helping participants overcome barriers to employment.

womanSong-womanSong’s 21st Season 2018/2019: $4,000 (Arts & Culture)

womanSong’s 21st season will offer a diverse array of music with four main concerts in collaboration with local musicians. Performances will include a winter concert, spring concert, and two GoodNight New Year’s Eve concerts. womanSong will utilize this grant funding to purchase music, pay guest instrumentalists, and for scholarship funding.

City of Charleston-The stART Project: $12,500 (Arts & Culture)

The stART Project is an arts initiative for people experiencing homelessness or at high risk for homelessness in Charleston and surrounding areas. The initiative will provide an environment that encourages creativity and nurtures community positivity. Covenant House and the City of Charleston’s Office of Public Art will provide studio space for individuals to create art with assistance from artist facilitators. Long-term goals include workshops, exhibition, and retail opportunities, and public art projects. Funds will be used to hire artist facilitators for workshops, develop a public art project, and purchase art supplies for project activity.

American Red Cross-Disaster Relief: $35,000 (Basic Needs)

The American Red Cross responds to disasters big and small, from flooding to home fires. The Red Cross provides those affected by disasters with shelter, clothing, and food when they need them most. Planned activities include responding to emergencies quickly to aid in client recovery, as well as public outreach regarding available Red Cross services. Funding will be used to cover the financial assistance given directly to Disaster Service Program clients via assistance cards in TGKVF’s service area.

Tyler Mountain/Cross Lanes Community Services-Basic Needs Program: $18,000 (Basic Needs)

Tyler Mountain/Cross Lanes Community Services (TMCLCS) is a social service agency formed in 1980 by the Cross Lanes Ministerial Association. TGKVF funding will assist low-income households in Cross Lanes and the surrounding area with basic needs through a food pantry, utility assistance, a weekend snack program for students, community garden maintenance, and holiday food baskets.

Housing Innovations Corporation-Meeting the Needs of Older Adults in Our Community: $23,100 (Field-of-Interest)

Funding from this grant will serve Housing Innovations Corporation’s senior communities in Kanawha County. These residents often do not have the financial means to meet their basic needs when other unexpected expenses arise. Without these funds, residents are vulnerable to homelessness and unable to remain independent and active in their communities. This grant will provide pantry items (food, cleaning supplies, and personal care) and assistance with acute emergency needs, such as transportation, utilities, and prescriptions. Additionally, grant funds will cover supplies for social/emotional wellness clubs, including games, quilting/sewing, or art.

Report for America- Report for America: $16,000 (Special Initiative)

The Gazette-Mail was one of the three original Report for America newsrooms based in Appalachia. In January 2018, Caity Coyne joined the newsroom, tasked explicitly with covering Southern West Virginia, including the areas directly south of Charleston into Boone and Lincoln counties and further south. The Gazette-Mail has many readers in this target area, but the paper has been unable to devote enough resources in recent years. Funding will help to support Coyne’s salary in 2019 as well as employ a second journalist to focus more on Lincoln and Boone counties.

Capital Area Development Corporation Foundation – Regional Opportunity Zone Marketing: $12,000 (Special Initiative)

Advantage Valley will work with its partners to develop a “pitch book” on potential Opportunity Zone projects within the Kanawha County region. Communities across the country are aggressively documenting real estate and business development opportunities within these newly designated zones and marketing them to newly created Opportunity Funds that are attracting investors interested in limiting their current tax liabilities and looking for returns on their investments. Funding will be used to develop a coordinated marketing plan in order to compete for investment funds adequately.

Partnership of African American Churches – West Side Ward 4 Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition: $35,000 (West Side Initiative)

This project will provide the funding to advance the work of the West Side Ward 4 Substance Abuse Prevention Coalition. Specific activities will include the continuation of the monthly and bi-monthly Coalition and Youth Task Force meetings; educational substance abuse prevention presentations to middle school youth in health classes; and the implementation of Teen Summit, Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) activities, and drug-free community activities for youth.

Zion Child Development Center, Inc. – Building Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports: $40,000 (West Side Initiative)

Zion and the Boys & Girls Club (BGC) seek to improve the Social-Emotional Health of the youth of Charleston’s West Side. Zion staff will gain valuable training and coaching experience while sharing their knowledge of the “Pyramid Model” with BGC. BGC will also host family fun nights and workshops. Additionally, Zion will expand their program with the addition of the Second Step curriculum and increase their trauma-informed practices. These interventions will improve vital skills in children, including problem-solving and emotion management. They will also encourage a climate of social-emotional safety and support. Grant funds will be used to purchase materials and fund training.

Keep Your Faith Corporation, Inc. – West Side Grown: $28,600 (West Side Initiative)

In its third year of funding, the West Side Grown project will focus on nurturing partnerships that extend the reach of student-focused learning opportunities such as school-based farmers’ markets, and nutritional and agricultural education at nearby schools and out of school time education settings. This project will also secure a permanent location for a farmers’ market on Charleston’s West Side.