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20th ANNIVERSARY: 20 Grants That Helped Kids Thrive

Labor Day has come and gone signaling the official end of summer, and the kids have headed back to school to take on the task of learning.

Simply put, the youth of our communities are the future of our communities. When the youth of a country are given the skills, education, safety, and support they need, they are able to perform the magic of making a nation a great one. 

Our Foundation believes in investing in youth and supporting organizations that achieve positive outcomes through mentoring programs that promote learning, leadership, independence training, and teamwork.

To commemorate our twenty-year history of advancing local philanthropy, we are posting special reflections for twenty weeks. Today, we present a selection of twenty Community Foundation grants that have helped the youth of our region thrive.

1.      Bartow Give a Kid a Chance — Our Foundation has awarded several grants to help fund Bartow Give a Kid a Chance. One hundred percent of funds raised are used to purchase backpacks, clothing, and school supplies to help disadvantaged children in Bartow County prepare for the school year.

Among the hundreds of grants awarded by the Community Foundation in the last twenty years, many have helped fund literacy programs throughout the region.

Among the hundreds of grants awarded by the Community Foundation in the last twenty years, many have helped fund literacy programs throughout the region.

2.      Readers to Leaders — This organization helps create and facilitate literacy programs in the region such as community-wide book blasts (literacy events), summer programs, and interactive family engagement activities. Our Foundation awarded a grant to Readers to Leaders to help them promote literacy in our region.

3.      Boys & Girls Clubs — Our Foundation has proudly supported Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the region with grants directed to afterschool tutoring, field trips, and technology enhancements. Our Foundation partnered with fund advisers Kent and Julie Chapman to build a playground at the Calhoun facility.

4.      Friendship House — In 2014, the Foundation awarded a grant to Friendship House to help equip three computer workstations with KidSmart Software that helps teach children how to work cooperatively with others, develop reading skills, learn sequencing, refine hand/eye coordination, etc.

5.      Bartow Bookmobile — A Foundation favorite, the Bartow Bookmobile helps get books into the hands of young readers in the far reaches of Bartow County to increase literacy and access to information for a population that seldom gets to the library. Our Foundation was a founding sponsor of the Bookmobile program in 2017.

6.      SKORE — Another of our favorite grantees, SKORE serves at-risk youth (ages 12 to 17) in Bartow County by providing services to help them succeed. Does the program work? Yes! Earlier this year, SKORE reported that 88 percent of their graduates have not returned to the court system. Our several occasions, our Foundation has awarded grants to help purchase technology equipment and fund academic tutoring programs for SKORE.

7.      Teen Maze (Dalton, Murray, Whitfield, and Bartow) — Our Foundation has supported the Teen Maze program since 2013 through our grants program. Designed for 10th grade students, Teen Maze addresses high risk behaviors (drug misuse, alcohol abuse, sexual misconduct, etc.) and the related consequences (death, injury, pregnancy, etc.) of risky actions through an interactive program.

8.      Boy Scouts, Northwest Georgia Council — Scouting provides youth with learning opportunities galore, builds self-confidence and leadership skills, and reinforces ethical standards. In a recent grant, our Foundation helped underwrite a beekeeping merit badge program at Camp Sidney Dew by funding literature, supplies, and other related expenses.

9.      Girl Scouts — Among many grants awarded to the Girl Scouts, in spring 2015, the Foundation helped fund a ToGetHerThere luncheon, a fundraiser designed to raise money and awareness and ensure the continued success of girl scouting in Northwest Georgia.

10.  Junior Achievement — In fall 2017, the Foundation awarded a grant to help fund Junior Achievement’s Financial Literacy, Entrepreneurship, and Workforce Readiness Program. The program served 930 students.

11.  Big Brothers Big Sisters NWGA Mountains — In 2014, we awarded a grant that helped fund bimonthly group activities for the kids and their matched “buddies” in Whitfield County, fostering interaction and communication for all involved.

12.  Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy — The Foundation has awarded several grants to groups promoting literacy in children. In 2017, we awarded a grant to the Ferst Foundation to provide an age-appropriate book to 111 low-income children (birth to five years). Parents received an informational guide, as well, to reinforce the importance of reading aloud to children during the early developmental years.

13.  Calhoun-Gordon Council for a Literate Community — In the last year, our Foundation has awarded a grant to help the council purchase a thousand dictionaries to give to third grade students in Gordon County.

14.  Camp Kudzu — Our Foundation helped fund the camp’s volunteer recruitment and retention efforts for Camp Kudzu’s three overnight summer camp sessions. The camp serves children living with diabetes and helps them understand, treat, and live with their condition.

15.  Cartersville Schools Foundation — Our Foundation has awarded numerous grants to the Cartersville Schools Foundation to fund teacher mini grants that help students learn in innovative ways. However, in 2014, our Foundation helped fund a college visit to Georgia State University for students in the GateKey Program.

16.  YMCA Camp High Harbour — our Foundation has awarded grants to the YMCA earmarked for Camp High Harbour scholarships so low-income children and teens throughout our region can attend a camp that helps kids gain independence, form relationships, and build leadership skills.

17.  4-H — Throughout our twenty year history, our Foundation has awarded various grants to 4-H including one earlier this year for camp scholarships giving several financially-challenged 4-Hers in Northwest Georgia the opportunity to attend a leadership camp.

18.  First Presbyterian Church Hands of Christ Afterschool Program — Among other grants, our Foundation helped establish three new classes (classroom materials and supplies) in 2015 which increased their enrollment by 36 students. FPC Hands of Christ Afterschool Program provides a safe, nurturing environment during the out-of-school hours for underserved children in Cartersville.

19.  NIMBY — Through our grants program, our Foundation has been a proud supporter of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard), a “Saturday Sacks” program that provides weekend food assistance to disadvantaged school children at Valley Point Elementary School in Whitfield County.

20.  Paxen — In fall of last year, our Foundation awarded a grant to Paxen, a program of Eckerd, that provides fundamental life, education, and workforce skills for youth (16 to 24 years of age). The grant helped fund community-based outings to regional museums and colleges.

Thank you for being part of the Foundation’s history. Please help us share our story by sharing our posts with others. And as always, if we can be of service to you, your family, or your company, please contact us at (706) 275-9117.

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20th ANNIVERSARY: 20 Arts and Culture Grants

Jennifer Grafe and three young art collectors admire a decorative sculpture at the Creative Arts Guild's annual FESTIVAL.

Jennifer Grafe and three young art collectors admire a decorative sculpture at the Creative Arts Guild's annual FESTIVAL.

From listening to a spirited bluegrass band play at Burr Performing Arts Park to browsing the expansive cowboy art collection at the Booth Western Art Museum to exploring the whimsical stone structures of Calhoun’s Rock Garden, our region celebrates creative expression with a healthy appreciation for music, visual arts, dance, and plays.

Promoting the arts is part of who we are, and our Foundation places great importance on partnering with and assisting organizations and projects that advocate for arts and culture.

To commemorate our twenty-year history of advancing local philanthropy, we are posting special reflections for twenty weeks. Today, we present a selection of twenty Community Foundation grants that have helped fuel the vibrant arts and culture scene in Northwest Georgia.

1.       Artistic Civic Theatre (ACT) — in 2013, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to help fund the replacement of the ACT stage.

2.       Gordon Central Performing Arts — in 2013, the Calhoun-Gordon affiliate awarded a grant to help bring professional voice coaches to Gordon Central High School to work privately with students in the performing arts program at the school.

3.       Bluegrass Bands Helping Hands — in 2013, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to help fund the Woodsongs Coffee House Concert Series fundraiser (proceeds benefiting the DEO Clinic).

4.       Art of Giving — in 2013, the Foundation awarded a grant to host the Art of Giving competition, which invited members of the community to create art that demonstrated a “giving community.”

5.       Seventh-day Adventist Church (The Rock Garden) — in 2013, the Calhoun-Gordon affiliate awarded a grant to help build a large, raised gazebo in The Rock Garden allowing the garden to be used for events like concerts and weddings.

6.       Burr Performing Arts Park — in 2017, Foundation Fund Advisor Jeanne Burr made a significant gift to build a park in Downtown Dalton.

7.       Creative Arts Guild — in 2014, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to the Creative Arts Guild to help fund their summer FESTIVAL. Through the years, our Foundation has awarded thousands of dollars in grants to help the CAG continue their mission of promoting the arts throughout Northwest Georgia.

8.       Oscar N. Jonas Foundation — in 2014, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to help fund the ON Jonas Foundation’s Artist in Residency Program to help expose students in Whitfield and Murray County schools to the arts.

9.       Royal Oaks — in 2014, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to help fund “An Exploration of Appalachian Culture Through Arts” program, which included bluegrass music, Celtic music, and pottery demonstrations.

10.   1000 Words — Dalton Public Art Project—in 2015, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to help fund public art projects and murals around Dalton.

11.   Booth Western Art Museum — in 2015, the Cartersville-Bartow affiliate awarded a grant to help with transportation costs to bring buses of children from schools to the museum to experience the collection. Through the years, the Foundation has awarded several grants to the Booth to help promote art appreciation throughout the region.

12.   Downtown Dalton Development Authority — in 2015, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to help fund the Liberty Tree Festival, a music and arts and crafts festival that draws thousands of visitors each year.

13.   Burr Performing Arts Park — in 2018, in partnership with the Dalton Convention and Visitors Center and the Downtown Dalton Development Authority, the Foundation awarded a grant to help fund thirteen performances at the new Burr performing Arts Park.

14.   Bartow Arts Guild — in 2005, our Catersville-Bartow affiliate awarded a gift to the Bartow Arts Guild to help them fulfill their mission of promoting the arts.

15.   Woodland High School Drama Department — our Cartersville-Bartow affiliate awarded a grant to help fund a program sponsored by the drama department at Woodland High.

16.   Calhoun Arts Council — In 2009, our Calhoun-Gordon affiliate awarded a grant to help further the mission of the Calhoun Arts Council in Gordon County.

17.   Pumphouse Players — the Cartersville-Bartow affiliate awarded a grant to the Pumphouse Players, one of Georgia’s oldest community theatre groups.

18.   Howard Finster’s Paradise Gardens — the Foundation awarded a grant to help Paradise Gardens to open the other side of their Air Bed & Breakfaast, which they use to raise funds to maintain Finster’s art garden and surrounding structures.

19.   Thrive Regional Partnership — In 2017, the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant to the Partnership to help further its visioning work in Northwest Georgia.

20.   Dalton Little Theatre — the Dalton-Whitfield affiliate awarded a grant a few years ago to restore the theatre seats at the Dalton Little Theatre.

Thank you for being part of the Foundation’s history. Please help us share our story by sharing our posts with others. And as always, if we can be of service to you, your family, or your company, please contact us at (706) 275-9117.

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