Idaho community

Bridging the Gap: Community Foundation of Idaho funds innovation and education needs

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) – The Idaho Community Foundation (ICF) awarded more than $350,000 to educational programs across Idaho this summer to support preschool programs, school districts, libraries and more.

The grants — more than 30 in total — are part of its commitment to providing educational opportunities and filling educational gaps in all communities across Idaho.

Many programs across Idaho providing community benefits to local students are facing funding shortages due to conditions beyond their control, including the pandemic. Organizations like ICF can respond to these needs with agility, making their funding models an important part of Idaho’s educational promise.

Funds like those administered by the ICF and other charities have an inherent flexibility, which educators say can be the first step toward new programs that deliver academic success.

“Without grants, we wouldn’t be able to do the extensive work with our community partners across the state of Idaho,” said Evelyn Johnson, CEO of the Lee Pesky Learning Center. “Grants have been most important in supporting our training as early childhood educators.

Lee Pesky Learning Center has received $19,800 to provide families and early childhood educators in Bannock and Fremont counties with kindergarten readiness kits, accompanying digital materials, and access to online training modules. asynchronous line.

In 2020, more than $4.5 million in ICF grants went to support education, which is one of ICF’s philanthropic focuses.

Grants from ICF’s Idaho Future Fund and Forever Idaho grant cycles go through a competitive application process and decisions are made by ICF’s regional councils – the residents of the communities receiving the grants – and are approved by the ICF Board of Directors.

The regional council model ensures that local voices play a crucial role in determining the individual needs of communities and sharing that information with ICF.

“All communities in Idaho care about and support education,” said ICF President and CEO Karen Bilowith. “Our model ensures that local voices determine how grants are distributed.”

List of 2021 Grants (East Idaho)

Idaho Future Fund

ABC – Above and Beyond the Classroom (Teton County) – $10,000 for ABC to launch an after-school program at Victor Elementary School for at-risk children. Due to lack of transportation, many Victor families who need after-school care are unable to use ABC’s Driggs Center.

American Falls School District #381 (Power County) – $18,000 to provide 30 preschool students with a $600 scholarship to help cover the cost of attending a high-quality preschool.

Lee Pesky Learning Center (Bannock and Fremont Counties) – $19,800 to provide families and early childhood educators in Bannock and Fremont counties with kindergarten readiness kits, accompanying digital materials and access to asynchronous online training modules.

South Fremont Junior High (Fremont County) – $15,000 to update the school’s library collection and add digital content to the library.

Sugar-Salem School District #322 (Madison County) – $17,550 to purchase library books for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at the district’s new Sugar-Salem High School.

United Way of Southeastern Idaho (Bannock and Power counties) – $16,500 to expand access to high-quality early learning spaces for low-to-moderate income (ALICE) children in Power and Bannock counties.