PRESIDENT’S NEWS BRIEF
IMPACT – What Does That Mean for WRWCF
The question was asked, “How do we become aware of the impact of our grants?” In 2013, Board Member Gail Wilkie took on the assignment of researching how other women’s giving circles were assessing the impact of their grants.
The result of Gail’s research was the formulation of our Impact Charter:
The WRWCF Impact Committee develops and implements the process of monitoring the use of WRWCF dollars awarded to non-profits in our community and their effectiveness in impacting social change in the community.
Gail succinctly summarizes last years Impact process:
“During the past year, WRWCF implemented a pilot project which assigned Impact Teams to follow seven 2013 grantees with awards over $8,000. The purpose of the teams was to collaborate with the grantees in learning more about their activities and how together we impact our community. Through increased involvement with these nonprofits, we had opportunities to visit their activities, experience the impact on their constituencies and discuss their objectives at mid-year and their accomplishment at the end of the grant. These experiences were meaningful ones for us, deepening our appreciation of their community impact and realizing just what WRWCF funding means to each nonprofit. …What was a pilot project is now being integrated into our annual grant process.”
A prerequisite for serving on an Impact Team is to have served on a Grant’s Committee.
Below, please see three of our Impact Team member’s impressions.
~ Getting to Know Our Members ~
WRWCF IMPACT TEAM MEMBERS ARE COMMUNITY LIASONS
In order to build a collaborative relationship with our grantees, Impact Team members serve as community liaisons to the 2014 -15 WRWCF grantees with awards of $10,000 or more. Here are three of our WRWCF Impact Team members:
Impact Team Chair
Implementing the Impact Teams, a WRWCF initiative in its second year, is a real delight. The role of the teams is to get involved with our grantees by attending activities of the nonprofits to which they are assigned and making mid- and end-of-year visits to discuss the progress and outcomes of the grants. The teams voice how the experience broadens their understanding and appreciation of the nonprofits in our valley. They’re finding it exciting to visit activities at nonprofits such as the Senior Connection, Swiftsure, school classes, the Advocates, etc., to see what our WRWCF dollars do for our community! Being involved with this project is one of the great volunteer roles of my life!
Impact Team Committee
I am so committed to the work of the WRWCF that the Impact Teams seemed like a good way to see our work in closer perspective. Last year I was a member of the Impact Team for the Flourish Foundation and this past year have been a member of the Impact Team with NAMI.
Even though I was thoroughly familiar with the programs of Flourish and knew what our funds were going toward, there was nothing quite like visiting a classroom at the Hailey Elementary School and observing the Flourish staff conducting a Mindful Awareness Program session. Likewise, my association with NAMI was heightened when I attended one of their community meetings. These experiences affirm my conviction that WRWCF monies support organizations that have a huge impact in our community.
Clearly, the Impact Teams promote open communication with our grantees, and the nonprofits with whom I have been associated are grateful for this evidence of our continuing interest in and appreciation of their work.
Impact Team Committee
I was lucky enough to have grown up with parents who were philanthropists in the mid Peninsula area south of San Francisco. I began volunteering at age 13 and have given time and financial support to many non-profit organizations in the Bay Area, Seattle, WA, Atlanta, GA and here in the Wood River Valley. I have volunteered as a horse handler for over 10 years at Swiftsure Ranch in the therapeutic riding program and for the past 2 years have worked in the summer with teens in the Ranch Hand Program which the WRWCF has helped fund.
I truly enjoy serving on the Grants Committee and the Impact Teams. I was on the Impact Team for the ETC program of the Advocates last year and am currently serving on the Impact Team for the BRAVE program for the Drug Coalition. I love skiing with the teens and will continue to “help out” with their winter sports program. Interacting with the youth in our valley and being a positive adult role model is very fulfilling and special to me.
Sandra Flattery with BRAVE participants
Achieving Early Childhood Literacy in Blaine County:
What Will Work?
Co-Sponsored with The Community School, the WRWCF Winter Educational Forum featured three specialists who informed the audience about the critical importance of childhood reading. Louisa Moats, Ed.D. and WRWCF member spoke about science-based research in education, informing us as to the critical need to begin childhood reading much earlier than most of us realized. Beth Oppenheimer, Executive Director Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children talked about the early reading programs available in Idaho, and Evelyn Johnson, Ed.D., Executive Director of the Lee Pesky Learning Center, described exciting work being done in early education in the Blaine County Head Start program funded by our Women’s Foundation.
Some of the most interesting facts we learned at the Educational Forum:
• Reading failure, which affects about 1/3 of Idaho’s children, is considered a public health problem by the National Institute of Health.
• Failure to read well is associated with teen pregnancy, underemployment, adjudication, and diminished health.
• If a child is not reading by the time they are four years old, risk factors can already be identified.
• By kindergarten, if students are in the lower 20% of the population in school readiness, they are likely to remain at that level throughout their school years unless intervention is intensive.
• Kindergarten scores on the Idaho Reading Indicator show that 45.7% of children starting school in Blain County scored “at risk” or “seriously at risk”. Among low income students, 94.12% scored below the level that predicts academic success.
• Reading at grade level by the end of third grade is a critical marker for graduating from high school.
• Third grade scores for the spring Idaho Reading Indicator indicate that 30.38% of students overall are below the level necessary for success. Among low income students, 65.86% scored below grade level. (It should be noted that 11.7% of children here in Blaine County live below poverty level and 34.1% live just at poverty level.)
• In Blaine County, 255 children are eligible for Head Start. This year, only 35 children are actually enrolled. Thus, 86% of low income children are underserved.
Below, in our “Recommended Readings” section, are only a few of the ways to approach and instill a love for reading in early childhood.
Jana Fitzpatrick, a Reading Specialist at Hemingway Elementary, has these recommendations for teaching your child to read. She says, paraphrased, “Screen-time can wait, learning to read cannot. To help prepare your child to read, keep conversing with the child 24/7. Sing songs, say nursery rhymes, sing the alphabet, over and over. Use words describing the child’s natural surroundings…“Label the Kitchen” is a fun activity – take post-it notes and label specifics in that room. Read to your child, go to the library.”
Her favorite all time books are:
Raising Lifelong Learners by Lucy Calkins
Good Night Moon for babies by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd
I Am Reading by Cathy Collins and Matt Glover
Another suggestion by Alice Calvert about early childhood learning:
• Messaging Impact was the topic of the dynamic Nonprofit Educational Initiative program held at CSI in January. Forty-five nonprofit staff attended to learn new ways of Impact. The Theory of Change program involved replacing the concept of ‘donating’ to ‘investment in community change based on the social change that will result’. Marcia (past President of WRWCF) & Don Liebich are the sponsors of the NEI series as their sustainability gift to WRWCF.
• Winter Educational Forum – Co-Sponsored with The Community School, our Winter Educational Forum featured three specialists who spoke regarding the importance of childhood reading.
• Apres-ski tea and orientation for new members – Was held on February 12th – at Dede Huish’s home. More than fifty new members and several guests attended the event. Information on the Grant’s process was presented by Dede. Gail Wilkie, Impact Chair, & Georgia Stewart described the importance of the Impact Program. (See article on Impact above) Cheryl Bennett, Executive Director of Swiftsure described the meaningful programs WRWCF supports.
Our Funded Agencies and Our Members
• Marcia Leibich & Janet DeBard are featured in the new Big Life Magazine – ‘Generosity is Epidemic in Mountain Towns – What Gives’ by Sabina Dana Plasse.
• Family of Woman 8th Film Festival, founded by Peggy Goldwyn (WRWCF Grant’s Exec. Comm.) will take place Monday, Feb.23 thru March 1. It was founded to bring: ‘attention to issues confronting women & girls around the world through compelling cinematic stories.’ The theme this year is Women and Their Dreams, with films of exceptional women and girls who have taken control of their destinies.
• Swiftsure Ranch, one of WRWCF’s grantees, has become a premier-accredited center with the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International .
• Woman of the Year nominations are coming up. Past recipients include Kim Coonis, Senior Connection Executive Director and Wendy Norbom, former Executive Director of NAMI, women who were Executive Directors of two non-profits which have been WRWCF grantees.
In order to meet a balanced administrative budget, the Board has voted to raise the 2015 Administrative Fee to $100. We do not foresee additional increases.
As we approach our 10th giving year, watch for changes, growth & new approaches to best serve our community.
Our Mission Statement
The WRWF inspires and educates women to become leaders in philanthropy and brings significant, positive change to the community by pooling and distributing its members’ resources.
PO Box 3686
Ketchum, ID 83340
Mark Your Calendars
Final Presentations for the Grants Finalists
Wednesday, March 18th @ Light on the Mountain
All WRWCF members are urged to attend the presentations of the Grant finalists on this day.
Peggy Grove ~ Editor and Communications Co-Chair Alice Calvert ~ News Brief Co-Editor