New $100,000 focus grant to improve early childhood education
With views of Bald Mountain, a manicured lawn spread beyond French window walls and the smell of fresh-baked bread in the air, about 300 women gathered under the Trail Creek Cabin tent last Wednesday—as they do every year—to honor more than a dozen local nonprofit organizations.
The philanthropists—members of the Wood River Women’s Foundation—were there to celebrate the beneficiaries of the foundation’s record-high $348,000 grant cycle this year.
Since its founding in 2005, the foundation has awarded over $3 million to nonprofit groups in the Wood River Valley. Of its annual $1,100 membership fee, $1,000 is distributed among all grant recipients, and $100 goes to operating expenses.
This year’s pooled grants—between $6,500 and $20,000 each—went to 14 nonprofits, and five additional nonprofits received $2,400 unrestricted grants. The funding will directly support housing for essential workers, tutoring for disadvantaged youth, outdoor initiatives, and various local healthcare, social and mental health services.
One new cause for celebration at the Trail Creek luncheon was the foundation’s pilot Focus Grant, a special-purpose, two-year grant of up to $200,000 intended to raise test scores and increase kindergarten readiness.
The Focus Grant recipient—Boise-based Idaho Association for the Education of Young Children—will use the $100,000 provided by the women’s foundation this year to help form the pilot Wood River Valley Early Learning Collaborative program.