Swift foundation grants money to Tahoe organizations

Four Lake Tahoe organizations received grants from the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation that focus on literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs that focus on languages, sciences and interdisciplinary areas.

Since 2008, the Tribune’s parent company has awarded more than $700,000 to organizations in communities where Swift Communications conducts business.

The deadline for 2020 grant applications was Feb. 15 and more than 83 applications were received. The foundation grant criteria calls for detail about the number of people who will be impacted by the organization’s project and how significant a role the 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, applications were of exceptional quality and more than $86,000 has been awarded to 39 deserving organizations from five states. The 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, 2021 with a deadline of Feb. 15, 2021.

For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at

2020 Bessie Minor Swift Foundation grant recipients

Tahoe Institute for Natural Science, Incline Village, $2,500

This grant will support program fees, materials and transportation for 19 one-hour classroom programs and 10 bird club sessions (including purchase of journals for birding) over two semesters. These programs will be brought to all K-5 classrooms at Incline Elementary School with the goals of awakening students’ curiosity of the natural world through direct experience and building knowledge over multiple years.

Tahoe’s Connection for Families, Incline Village, $1,326

Tahoe’s Connection for Families musical circle time program will be expanded. The program helps with early language and literacy skills along with listening and attention skills while enriching print awareness. Funds will be used to purchase musical instruments, manipulatives and to support a musical specialist who will implement a structured program focusing on music, literature and play.

Bijou Community School PTA, South Lake Tahoe, $3,000

A burgeoning STEAM program that will bring drumming lessons to 22 classes (k-5) will be supported with these funds. Each lesson introduces a new culture and drum while giving further understanding of musical techniques, rhythm and pulse. Language skills relating rhythms to word syllables and beat sequences relating to mathematics are emphasized. Funds will pay for instruction and serve 540 students.

Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe, South Lake Tahoe, $3,000

A math intervention club will serve five children per session with eight sessions per week (40 children). Students in this district are 48.9 points below the state standards for math. Funds will be used to pay for instruction costs. Sessions will be separated by age and help in English and Spanish. The club will run for one academic year and regular tests will ensure student progress.

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