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Friday, September 24, 2021

Buck Education Grant offers leverage for education system

BEVERLY SANDEEN / YOLO COMMUNITY FOUNDATION

Yolo Community Foundation provides county-wide grants

In support of education advancement, the Yolo Community Foundation is launching a new program called the Buck Education Grant, which will support early childhood and K-12 education efforts in Yolo County. The foundation will consider STEM-related education, literacy and the arts.

The Buck Education Grant stems from the Frank H. and Eva Buck Foundation, which was founded in 1990 to support education. The foundation ceased operations during the spring of 2016, which marked the 25th anniversary of its scholarship program.

Beverly Sandeen, the executive director of the Yolo Community Foundation, explained how they were still able to receive funds for this education grant through the Buck Foundation.

“Since the Buck Foundation closed in 2016, they had to give out their assets to other nonprofits,” Sandeen said.

Meg Stallard, the board president of the Yolo Community Foundation, explained how the two foundations remained connected even after the Buck Foundation closed.

“The Yolo Community Foundation was established around 2001 by people throughout the county who wanted to support philanthropy,” Stallard said. “One of their early programs was giving grants, and they got money from the Buck Foundation and they gave these grants to teachers and specific classroom projects. This was the initial contact with the Buck Foundation.”

Since the Buck Foundation’s closure, the foundation is still looking to distribute its assets to local nonprofit organizations — like the Yolo Community Foundation — that want to be involved in education.

“They were looking for other places to do their grants and reached out to us and gave us money to grant out to the county,” Stallard said.

Nora Moore Jimenez, the grants committee chair for the Yolo Community Foundation, described the foundation’s philanthropic goals to contribute to the community. Education is only a small sector of what the foundation focuses on; the foundation wants to assist all parts of the community in any way that it can.

“The Yolo Community Foundation is a public foundation that focuses on philanthropy, and the way it does that is to help community members pursue their own goals and also distribute funding to local community nonprofits,” Jimenez said.

The Buck Education Grant will focus on the parts of education that have the most need. Jimenez stresses how important education is, especially literacy, in Yolo County. Moreover, the community foundation hopes to provide more support to parents, as they are crucial assets in students’ wellbeing and success.

“The grant is focused on literacy and reading at grade level, which is a need in Yolo County, and it would also support general education, art education, early childhood education and, more importantly, encourage parental involvement,” Jimenez said. “Those are all needs within Yolo County schools, and the fact that this grant can support the initiatives over the long haul and help with those grants inspires me.”

The emphasis on literacy is important because communication is a primary source of human interaction.

“What we are looking for is improvement with literacy and a program or programs that will help kids to learn to read and write and encourage parents to become more involved with their children in schools,” Stallard said. “Studies do show that students with parental involvement tend to do better in school, [especially] with my personal experience, having watched it throughout the years.”

This education grant will contribute to the bigger picture with regards to kids’ futures. It will not only provide assets but will also allow the community to come together and support education more so than it has in the past.

“I’m excited because this is one of the largest grants of its kind, and our mission is to inspire and support giving and provide leadership throughout Yolo County, so we want to live that mission,” Sandeen said.

This education grant could kickstart a new motivation to change the education system and keep improving the community.

Proposals for the grants start on Oct. 31 for those interested in applying, and the Yolo Community Foundation will be making a decision by the end of December.

 

Written by: Stella Tran — city@theaggie.org

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