Craig-Scheckman awards grants

School districts and area nonprofit organizations receive needed money

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Grants, May 2007

Advocates Against Battering and Abuse, $7,000

Comunidad Integrada, $5,000

Humble Ranch, $4,800

Hayden School District, $5,000

Hayden Activity Center, $1,000

NW Colorado Dental Coalition, $5,000

South Routt School District, $10,000

Steamboat Springs School District, $5,000

Totally Kids Summer Day Camp, $1,700

Yampatika, $2,500

— Sara Craig-Scheckman aspires to be more than a face with a checkbook.

As executive director of the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation, Craig-Scheckman wants to visit with agencies serving Routt County children who are at risk, come from low-income families or have special needs.

But that's not all. Craig-Scheckman wants to see the work being done. She wants to help those agencies get money from her family's foundation. And she wants to be available.

"We are very grassroots, so people are encouraged to meet with myself or the advisory directors," Craig-Scheckman said. "We focus on making sure the fit is really good."

On Wednesday, Craig-Scheckman announced the grant recipients for the May 2007 funding cycle, the third funding cycle in the second year of the program. The Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation oversees the Youth Advocacy Project for Routt County, which provides funding and development support for local agencies that work with at-risk, low-income or special-needs children.

It is Craig-Scheckman's passion.

"We really know what we are doing now and feel like we are developing relationships that are growing and expanding," Craig-Scheckman said about the YAP grant process.

This year, the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation is giving a total of $150,000, which is a $50,000 increase from what it gave in 2006. YAP's three 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 Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation and their continued work with YAP's target population.

"We are very local and long-term," Craig-Scheckman said.

The Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation was established in 2005 for charitable purposes. The hope is that, through YAP funds, the health, well-being and developmental assets for area youths will be enhanced and nurtured.

Each county public school district received funding this cycle, including $10,000 awarded to the South Routt School District to expand and enhance its counseling services for at-risk youths who are school-referred to the Day Treatment Program.

"Obviously, we're very grateful," South Routt Superintendent Kelly Reed said. "It's a much-needed service our kids benefit from. We're very excited because this will allow us to continue providing these services at the level we deem necessary."

A similar program is running in Hayden.

The Steamboat Springs School District received $5,000 to provide scholarships for English Language Learners in elementary school, so they can participate in English as a Second Language summer school.

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