MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Your Community Foundation of North Central West Virginia has awarded grants valued at more than $145,000 to local charitable organizations as part of National Community Foundation Week.
The grants range from $400 up to $15,000 and are intended to support organizations in Harrison, Marion, Monongalia, Preston and Taylor counties.
One of the recipients is Planned Approach to Community Health Coalition of Taylor County (PATCH). The agency across the county to help other nonprofits fill gaps in need. The organization provides feminine/personal hygiene products through blessing boxes and also focuses on getting young people interested in reading, according to Alicia Lyon.
“We contribute to the little lending libraries in our area,” Lyon said. “We’ve tried to put up a few more- we have two up and another two are going up.”
Morgantown-based Mountaineer Area Robotics (MARS) is a group of students from all grades competing in tournaments locally and in other states. The competitions challenge teams to master a task with a robot they must design, program and troubleshoot. Matias Romero is a grant writer from MARS and said they have a scrimmage planned locally in December as a tune up for national competitions in Cincinnati, Knoxville and Houston for the world championship in 2023.
MARS establishes feeder teams in lower grades and will use their grant to purchase laptops, Romero said.
“These are called the FLL Teams, or First Lego League teams,” Romero said. “These teams focus on making robots using Lego parts and instilling STEM skills and ideas in younger kids.”
The Mason Dixon Elementary School in Monongalia County received a grant to encourage reading in grades 3 through 5. Fourth grade teacher Nicole Wright said they will allow the students to develop their own reading lists and the grant will be used to purchase and maintain the books.
“We’re going to make Google forms for the kids and have them make choices of what they want to see in the classroom for the classroom libraries,” Wright said.
Wright said her students already have a taste reading, but these title will add more variety to their reading lists.
“Picking more books that are on their level that they can read and they enjoy,” Wright said. “They love graphic novels and The I Survive books they really like, so getting more of those things and more variety.”
Mason Dixon Elementary School principal Denice Corder said before the grant teachers operated a network of hand-me-down books purchased at garage sales, thrift stores or passed on from their children.
“To get kids to love reading and seek out things they want to read, so I like that there’s going to be some student choice in some materials we purchase,” Corder said.
Other groups to receive grants at a Tuesday night ceremony include:
CASA For Kids of Monongalia and Preston Counties
Children’s Home Society of West Virginia
The Change Initiative
Fetterman UM Church/Anna Jarvis Backpack Program
Girls on the Run of North Central West Virginia
The Homestead Farm Center, Inc.
Milan Puskar Health Right
Mon County Starting Points Family Service Center
Monongalia County Child Advocacy Center
Mountain Stewardship and Outdoor Leadership School
Mountaineers for Mutts
Mylan Park Elementary School
Nazareth Farm, Inc.
Pantry Plus More, Inc.
Preston County Caring Council
Shack Neighborhood House, Inc.
Ursula Food Pantry and Outreach
Stars and Strides Therapeutic Equine Center
Summit Chamber Music Series, Inc.
Taylor County Arts Council, Inc.
Taylor County Board of Education
Taylor County Family Resources
United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties
West Virginia Golf Association
West Virginia Sound Foundry
YCF manages more than 150 endowment funds valued at more than $20 million. For more information about establishing an endowment fund call 304-296-3433.