Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards $12,000 in grants to local groups |

Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards $12,000 in grants to local groups

Sky-Hi News staff report


The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, parent company of the Sky-Hi News.

Through this year’s grant cycle, the Grand County Library Foundation, Middle Park’s programming class and robotics, the Colorado AeroLab and Headwaters Ecology and Community will each receive $3,000.

The foundation’s annual grants are awarded to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills, as well as programs that focus on languages, sciences and interdisciplinary areas. Since 2008, more than $780,000 has been awarded to deserving organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business.

The deadline for 2021 grant applications was Feb. 15 and more than 47 applications were received. The foundation grant criteria calls for details about the number of people who will be impacted by the organization’s project and how significant a role the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation will play in the program.

Further, applicants must provide a complete description of the project including objectives and strategies to meet those objectives, explain how the project will be evaluated and submit a budget. Recipients will report on their results and insights from their program once the projects are completed.

This year, more than $81,000 has been awarded to 34 organizations from five states. The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation thanks the many groups that took the time and energy to apply and encourages those that were not selected to submit applications in the future.

Applications will be accepted again starting Jan. 1, 2022 with a deadline of Feb. 15, 2022. For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at

As far as the local grants go, funds given to the Grand County Library Foundation will be used to develop a space in Grand County libraries that engages infants and toddlers along with their caregivers. Furniture, board book shelving and interactive walls will facilitate interactive play, writing and speaking. Approximately 360 young people will be served through these purchases.

Middle Park High School’s programming class and robotics provides a general introduction to computer programming, and 100 students will have an opportunity to learn basic programming concepts. Some may choose to enroll in a competition team. Funds will be used to purchase robots, licenses and parts to expand the project and replace some of the costs incurred during COVID-19. Some funds could go to competition expenses for two teams as well.

The Colorado AeroLab in Kremmling will get funding for a program that will provide tuition free hands-on STEM support for students in grades PK-2 to address COVID-19 losses. This will be a tuition-free daily program open to all students who meet the grade requirement. Funds will pay for an instructor stipend, supplies, facility use and getting the word out.

The program spearheaded by Headwaters Ecology and Community will teach the critical role of the headwaters that begin in Grand County and how they impact the environment, economy and lifestyle. Funds will purchase science kits and materials and provide hands-on ecology programming. Support staff time and costs for space use will also be included. They plan to serve over 1,000 students through this program during the coming year.

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