Tuesday, July 27, 2021
 
 
Wood River Women’s Foundation Wants to Give $200,000 to Education-Related Projects
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Several members of the Wood River Women’s Foundation gathered for a membership tea at Renata Beguin’s home in 2017.
   
Friday, July 9, 2021
 

STORY BY JILL GROSSMAN

PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

 The Wood River Women’s Foundation plans to award its first-ever Focus Grant 2022 to a local nonprofit whose proposed program best addresses closing the opportunity gap in education. The Focus Grant is a special-purpose grant of up to $200,000 over a two-year period created to confront a pressing need in the Wood River Valley community. 

Since its founding in 2006, the WRWF has awarded Blaine County nonprofits individual grants typically up to $25,000 for specific projects. The launch of the Focus Grant is the culmination of several years of research and study by volunteer WRWF members and an all-member vote to determine the area of focus earlier this year. 

 “While it is no easy feat to launch a pilot program during a global pandemic, the hardships created by this worldwide crisis make our initiative more critical than ever,” said Terri Bullock, WRWF President. “We expect to learn a lot during the first year. This is a new program and approach for us so we will take our cues from the community as we work to improve the process.”

 “We are acutely aware that many Blaine County nonprofits confront issues that go beyond the scope of our individual grants. FG22 is our first attempt to expand our impact and tackle an important problem head on,” added Bullock. 

According to Idaho Department of Education School District Report Cards, students who are economically disadvantaged are scoring, on average, 20 percent lower than non-economically disadvantaged students. In the fall of 2020, due to COVID and online learning, more than 50% of Blaine County School District’s K-12 students were falling behind. 

“Racial inequities and income disparities have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. By offering a comprehensive grant to address the gap in education, we are focused on moving the needle in this critical area,” said Patti Zebrowski, Grants Committee Co-Chair.

 The winning application should address an area from a variety of topics including decreasing chronic achievement gaps between student sub-populations or providing “catch up” instruction and support for students who have experienced learning loss due to COVID, among others. 

 FG22 will award up to $100,000 in 2022 and an additional grant of up to $100,000 in 2023. The application process opens September 1, 2021, and culminates with a full WRWF membership vote in March 2022 and an announcement shortly thereafter. Applicants may collaborate with other nonprofit organizations. For more information, go to https://woodriverwomensfoundation.org/apply-for-a-grant-2/

 Since its founding 15 years ago, the WRWF has granted more than $3.2 million to Blaine County nonprofits with more than a half a million dollars going to educational programs. Already this year the WRWF awarded a record-breaking $100,000 of individual grants to organizations working on elementary school literacy, assisting students in K-8 who have fallen behind due to the pandemic, and providing summer enrichment programming to keep first and second graders on track.

 WRWF is a collective of women who pool their contributions in order to achieve greater community impact while advancing their philanthropic skills. All women are welcome to join and participate in assessing the dozens of applications received each year, and vote on the awards.

 

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