Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation awards $44,000 in grants to area schools, nonprofits |

Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation awards $44,000 in grants to area schools, nonprofits

Jack Houlihan works on a computer during a class last month at Steamboat Springs Middle School. The campus, along with 10 other schools and nonprofit groups, is the beneficiary of a grant from the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation.

— The Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation’s impact on area youths continues to be profound and far reaching.

Preschoolers in Clark will benefit from the $3,000 grant the foundation recently awarded to North Routt Preschool to support speech therapy and scholarships for low-income youths. Yampa Valley School students can take an intensive field study trip thanks to their own $3,000 grant. And in Hayden, more at-risk elementary school students now are able to attend a growing after-school program.

"It’s a lifesaver for us," Totally Kids Director Carolyn Gregory said about the $3,500 grant her organization received last month. "There’s a lot of need out there. The funding makes it possible for at-risk kids to attend an after-school program in a safe, supervised environment."

Gregory said the grant likely will allow about 10 students to receive full and partial scholarships to the after-school program that costs $35 per week.

The foundation recently announced the recipients of the grants that are doled out twice each year as part of the Youth Advocacy Project for Routt County.

This grant cycle, the foundation awarded $44,000 to 11 schools and nonprofit organizations.

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"It’s a very grass-roots process," Rocky Mountain Youth Corps Director Gretchen Van De Carr said.

Van De Carr is one of the four representatives who serve on the foundation’s grant review committee that helps decide which organizations to support.

Van De Carr said Tuesday that for some of the nonprofits and schools, the grants represent 10 to 20 percent of their total budgets.

But for other recipients, including the after-school programs in the Steamboat Springs School District, the awards can be a primary source of funding.

"It’s a huge impact," Van De Carr said about the grants. "They make a huge difference in our community.”

She added that the foundation’s reach doesn’t end when the dollars are distributed in the summer and fall.

Nonprofit leaders who work with the foundation also volunteer their time to help nurture the nonprofits that receive funding. That can mean help with recruiting and developing a board of directors or bolstering a grant application, Van De Carr said.

"It isn’t just about giving money out," she said.

The Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation was launched about seven years ago with $2 million of the Craig-Scheckman family's money. It is led by Executive Director Sara Craig-Scheckman.

"We’re just really thankful for their continued support," Totally Kids’ Gregory said.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email

Grant recipients

Advocates Building Peaceful Communities: $3,500

LIFT-UP of Routt County: $10,000

North Routt Preschool: $3,000

Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition: $5,000

Northwest Rocky Mountain CASA: $1,500

Routt County Department of Human Services: $1,000

STARS/Humble Ranch Education and Therapy Center: $10,000

Steamboat Springs elementary schools: $2,000

Steamboat Springs Middle School: $1,500

Totally Kids: $3,500

Yampa Valley School: $3,000

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