Grant money awarded

Craig-Scheckman announces seven recipients Monday

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Visit the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation at www.yap4rc.org>

Grants for November 2007

- City of Steamboat Springs, $4,500

- Yampa Valley Autism Program, $6,000

- Yampatika, $3,000

- Laurel Street School, $3,500

- Heritage Park Preschool, $5,000

- Discovery Learning Center, $4,500

- Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, $1,500

Saying no to funding requests is the most difficult part of Sara Craig-Scheckman's job as executive director of her family's charitable foundation.

On Monday, Craig-Scheckman announced grant recipients for the November 2007 funding cycle, and to her delight, every petitioning nonprofit received at least partial funding for the first time in the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation's two-year history.

"We granted full or partial funding to everyone who applied because all seven applications were really outstanding quality," she said. "When we have said 'no' previously, we always try to work with them on how to submit a more competitive request in the future. It seems that the nonprofits are really learning."

This year, the foundation is giving a total of $150,000 in two funding cycles, which is a $50,000 increase from what it gave in 2006. The foundation's beneficiary agencies - First Impressions of Routt County, Partners in Routt County and Rocky Mountain Youth Corps - each received a check for $25,000 for their work with the foundation and their continued work with Routt County youths.

Craig-Scheckman said developing relationships with Routt County nonprofits involves much more than awarding or denying funds. A hands-on approach to giving ensures that the nonprofits receive what they need and that the funds are properly spent.

"I'm here for the long haul, so I want to build genuine relationships with all agencies that work with at-risk youth, children with special needs and low-income youth," she said. "If you can make an impact in the lives of children, it is just work, and it is what we are here to help nonprofits do."

The Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation was established in 2005 for charitable purposes to ensure that the health, well-being and developmental assets for area children will be enhanced and nurtured.

Yampatika Executive Director Jenn Wright said the $3,000 awarded to her environmental stewardship program will help Yampatika provide South Routt and Hayden elementary students additional access to environmental education classes.

"The whole goal is to get the kids out of the classroom and into a place-based education program," she said. "The reason why we are targeting South Routt and Hayden is because these are two communities that are at risk because of isolation and lack of opportunities."

Tami Havener, executive director of the Discovery Learning Center, said the foundation's $4,500 gift would help fund the "Parents as Teachers" program that provides parenting education to Routt County teens.

"We have had a whole lot of teen pregnancies and teen parents in Routt County - across all three school districts" she said. "It really helps teen parents know what they can do at each developmental stage to increase a child's potential. I think it's a matter of teen parents still being technically children themselves."

Other organizations receiving funds include the city of Steamboat Springs' after-school program, the Yampa Valley Autism Program, Laurel Street School, Heritage Park Preschool, and the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

- To reach Mike McCollum, call 871-4208

or e-mail mmccollum@steamboatpilot.com

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