Education grant requests sought

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A local foundation is looking for more grants requests for education projects and programs in Routt County.

Twice a year, the Legacy Education Foundation doles out funds to school-related projects that take a meaningful and hands-on approach to learning and, when possible, connect students to the community at large.

The deadline for the next grant cycle is Wednesday. The deadline for the next grant cycle will be Jan. 31.

The board looks for projects that are "place-based" or make content more relevant to students through local people or historical figures, geology, ecology, business, government and political structures, said Marcia Martin, vice president of the foundation board.

Projects funded with large and mini-grants include the Yampa River Ecology Project, which pairs older and younger students as "study buddies" to learn about fish, wildlife and vegetation while tackling stewardship projects along the Yampa River.

Other examples are photo-journal projects, in which elementary school students document people, places and events in their lives with a disposable camera, and a project involving high school freshmen using GPS technology to map historical buildings in South Routt County.

Foundation funds also are being used to develop a searchable database on yampavalley.info -- the foundation's host Web site -- where teachers and students can find examples of place-based and other projects.

The place-based qualification is flexible. The foundation also has funded climbing walls, cultural festivals and educational games.

Eligible projects must be associated with a public school in Routt County.

"We really try to look at grants in terms of what it will do for students," Martin said.

Funds for the grants come from the annual Spirit Challenge, a student walk-a-thon that accompanies the first Steamboat Springs Running Series race. Entry fees from that event go to the foundation.

In May, despite rain and snow, students and runners raised nearly $8,000, Martin said.

The foundation typically re----ceives about 10 grant requests each cycle, but board members would like to see more.

"We don't get nearly enough requests," she said.

Applications are available at www.yampavalleylegacy.org.

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