Twelve agencies received a total of $319,991 in Community Impact Grants this week from the Community Foundation of Bloomington and Monroe County, in partnership with the Smithville Charitable Foundation.
The grants, which range in size from $10,000 to $40,210, were awarded Monday during a reception in Fountain Square Ballroom. The average size of the grants was $26,666, said Tina Peterson, president and CEO of the Community Foundation.
The recipients were picked from an original field of 48 applicants. Selectors placed a priority on innovation, collaboration and capacity building.
Grants were made to:
• Area 10 Agency of Aging — The Mobility Management Project will support the continuation of the New Freedom Taxi Voucher Program, development of a volunteer driver program and the creation of educational materials and support for riders who need assistance understanding their transportation options, according to a news release.
• Bloomington Economic Development Corp. — For the Bloomington Code School, which was established in 2014 by the Bloomington Technology Partnership with a goal of rapidly improving skills the existing workforce to meet the needs of local tech companies. Grant funds will support a part-time coordinator to continue the program and to define a sustainability plan.
• Bloomington Hospital Foundation — IU Health-Bloomington, in partnership with IU School of Public Health, and community partners MCCSC, Premier Healthcare and Bloomington Hospital Foundation, will launch a Coordinated School Health Program to connect physical, emotional and social health with education.
• Catholic Charities of Bloomington — The organization will upgrade and expand its nondirective play therapy services, and provide early mental health services to very young children and their families. This project will provide professional training and ongoing supervision to CCB staff in an effort to shorten the wait time for young children and their families in need of services.
• Community Kitchen of Monroe County — The grant will allow Community Kitchen to replace its 16-year-old cargo van, providing the agency with a dependable van that gets much better gas mileage.
• Girls Inc. — Girls Inc. will also be able to replace an old bus with a “new” used bus, enabling more girls than ever before to participate in after-school programming and summer camps.
• Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Foundation — The grant is for the Graduation Coach Initiative, which uses the check-and-connect training model to help at-risk youth in Monroe County stay in school and graduate. In the seven years since the program began, high school graduation rates in Monroe County have risen more than 10 percentage points from 80.53 percent in 2007 to 94.90 percent in 2013.
• Ivy Tech Community College — Ivy Tech-Bloomington will expand its Arts Infused Preschool (AIP) to Highland Park Elementary School’s Title 1 preschool classroom.
• Lotus Education and Arts Foundation Inc. — With its grant, Lotus will upgrade its administrative facilities. That will help the organization achieve a long-time strategic goal to become a more effective partner, and provide a year-round base for innovative, mission-driven programs.
• New Hope Family Shelter, Inc. — The New Hope Early Childhood Center will establish a high-quality care and education program for children experiencing poverty in Bloomington and Monroe County. The mission of the center is to meet low-income families’ needs for excellent, reliable, affordable childcare, thus allowing families a greater chance of attaining and sustaining employment or pursuing educational opportunities to the end of achieving lasting stability, and ensuring children enter school equipped for early success.
• South Central Community Action Program (SCCAP) — The grant will go to SCCAP Thriving Connections (formerly Circles Initiative) in a program in which participants will learn invaluable skills such as workplace communication and etiquette, goal setting and resume writing. The children of participants will receive financial literacy and life skills education from staff, volunteers, partner agencies and peers.
• Sycamore Land Trust — The grant is for Sycamore’s project to protect a high-quality 30-acre nature preserve within the newly created Bean Blossom Conservation Area in Monroe County. This parcel will be part of a larger effort to connect already protected natural areas between Lake Lemon, Griffy Lake and the White River in order to provide landscape-scale conservation benefits — significant habitat for the area’s biodiversity, clean air and water through the filtration of our stormwater and pollution, and enhanced quality of life from scenic beauty and outdoor recreation, according to a news release. The grant will leverage matching funds from the Indiana Bicentennial Nature Trust.
About Ivy Tech Community College
Ivy Tech Community College is Indiana's largest public postsecondary institution and the nation's largest singly accredited statewide community college system, accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Ivy Tech has campuses throughout Indiana and also serves thousands of students annually online. It serves as the state's engine of workforce development, offering associate degrees, long- and short-term certificate programs, industry certifications, and training that aligns with the needs of the community. The College provides a seamless transfer to other colleges and universities in Indiana, as well as out of state, for a more affordable route to a bachelor's degree.