This was a very different year for all of us, and the Foundation was no exception.  Some of last year’s recipients have been unable to finish their programs and we have (of course) allowed them to keep the funds while they wait for better conditions.  Others made creative adjustments in order to complete their programs.

New applications this year were also different.  While quite a few matched well with our criteria, in other cases some basic infrastructure (internet connectivity, sprinkling systems) was simply what was needed in order to move existing programs ahead.  And so this year we granted some of those critical requests.

We are so thankful to all of the people who contribute to their communities through the programs they imagine, plan and then bring to fruition.  They are all our heroes.

In 2021 34 awards were granted for a total of $81,519.73. The category numbers and dollars were:

2021 numbers and dollars

This year’s recipients are as follows:


Adventure Risk Challenge
Collections of students’ essay writing and poetry will be designed, printed and distributed. The poems and essays are crafted during a month-long summer course integrating English instruction with outdoor adventure. The primary objective of the program is to amplify the voices of the community’s underserved youth. 500 books will be printed and distributed.

Bijou Community School Library
South Lake Tahoe
Books purchased for the Library will be used by over 400 students in this school with a 70% disadvantaged population. The Library has been reading books via zoom and encouraging remote checkout of books during the pandemic, but these new book purchases will allow students to be fully involved and engaged as they return to school.

Boys and Girls Club of Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe
Funds will cover operational fees and internet costs for an online learning program that serves at-risk youth and the children of essential workers. This space provides children with a safe place to be while their school is closed due to COVID-19. Learning extends to include two-way immersion programs and social and emotional learning.

Chicago Park Community Charter School
Grass Valley
An irrigation system will be installed in the garden at a disadvantaged rural school in order to expand use of the garden and add a chicken farm. Funds will be used for the irrigation system, and if there are enough volunteers, leftover funds will be used for curriculum needs and/or supplies. All 160 children at this school with a 54% free/reduced lunch program will take advantage of this program.

Full-Circle Learning
Grass Valley
Student supplies will be purchased for 10 students as part of a week long Climate Change Agents Camp. Underserved students aged 11-14 develop STEAM capabilities to address sustainable development goals and to teach their local and global community new concepts through exhibits and service learning projects.

Headwaters Science Institute
Soda Springs
This program exposes students to real working STEM professionals so they can see what a career in science might look like. Ten special sessions with scientists in schools in three counties would be funded. Each teacher usually works with 25-30 students per class and sees up to  three classes during a visit. Funds will be used for stipends for the scientists delivering the program.

NSJ Community Center
North San Juan
Funds will cover Internet costs and a tech volunteer stipend in a community that falls short in internet access and parental support during the day for at-home learning. 3-5 students are served each day through this program.

Sierra Community House
Funds will purchase bi-lingual preschool books (including STEM focused books) and activity bags containing art project materials. 25 parents and 30 children are supported through virtual programs and outdoor activities providing a healthy context for STEM. This free Early Learning Program also reduces social isolation and increases networking among families.

Sierra Gold Parks Foundation
Grass Valley
A video and classroom materials will be created for use as part of a “virtual field trip” so K-12 students can learn about the Nisenan Tribe and their connection to the land that now makes up the South Yuba River State Park. 5,000 students are anticipated to participate in the program which will connect them to California State Parks through the historic lens of the area’s indigenous tribe.

Sierra House Elementary School
South Lake Tahoe
Repairs will be made to the water tank and irrigation in the STEAM garden and greenhouse that will allow the pollinator and vegetable gardens to remain healthy. The gardens have suffered due to a school fire and the pandemic, and these funds will help revive them and allow their continued use in conjunction with a STEAM Lab. The school operates with just over 50% free and reduced lunch program and serves well over 300 students.

Tahoe Truckee School of Music
Funds will purchase instruments to be used in a free “library” of musical instruments and sheet music available to the Tahoe Truckee community. The objective is to make sure all students in the School District have the opportunity to develop their life skills by learning music, regardless of their age, experience, ability or financial means. These funds will serve an estimated 500 people.

Union Hill School District
Grass Valley
Tier 1 language intervention materials will be purchased for use in weekly small group meetings. The objective of this project is to increase K-1st grade student listening and reading comprehension, oral language skills and writing skills. Success will be measured by pre- and post-tests given to the approximately 200 students who will participate in this project.


Aspen Education Foundation
Books and supplies will be used in a summer reading program for elementary and middle school students. Two three-week sessions will focus on reducing screen time and encouraging students to get back to reading books.  Activities will include acting out scenes from books, creative writing exercises and doing scavenger hunts based on the stories.

Colorado AeroLab
Funds will be used for a program that will provide tuition free hands-on STEM support for students in grades PK-2 to address COVID-19 losses. This will be a tuition-free daily program open to all students who meet the grade requirement. Funds will pay for an instructor stipend, supplies, facility use and getting the word out.

Colorado Foundation for Agriculture
A book will be developed that will share a story of kindness and Colorado peaches. Students will gain knowledge in the areas of reading, writing, communicating, geography, history and nutrition when farmers and ranchers visit classes to share and donate a copy of the book. Funds will be used to pay for illustration of the book and to purchase 215 copies of the book. 10,000 students and 400 teachers are expected to benefit from this program.

Eagle Valley Elementary School PTA
A school-wide program will be hosted in the fall celebrating El diá de los niños/diá de los libros. 350 students will receive a culturally relevant book and reading guide that students will take home and work through with their families. Topics of focus will include tolerance, acceptance, respect, responsibility and making mistakes. Funds will be used for books, reading guides and supplies.

Education Foundation of the Summit
Funds will be used to purchase up to 2 books per month for up to 250 students at 3 elementary schools. The project’s objective is to develop lifelong and enthusiastic readers among high risk groups. The principal strategy is for students to have a library of books available in their homes.

Grand County Library Foundation
Funds will be used to develop a space in Grand County libraries that engages infants and toddlers along with their caregivers. Furniture, board book shelving and interactive walls will facilitate interactive play, writing and speaking. Approximately 360 young people will be served through these purchases.

Headwaters Ecology and Community
Winter Park
This program will teach the critical role of the headwaters that begin in Grand County and how they impact the environment, economy and lifestyle. Funds will purchase science kits and materials and provide hands-on ecology programming. Support staff time and costs for space use will also be included. They plan to serve over 1,000 students through this program during the coming year.

Horizons Specialized Services
Steamboat Springs
Funds will purchase a range of tools and technologies to be used with children aged birth to three who have at least one delay in cognitive, communication, social/emotional, physical or adaptive skills. Items address a range of skills including senses, feelings, vocabulary, music, rhyming and STEM skills. 80-90 children across three counties are typically served through this program.

Integrated Community
Steamboat Springs
Funds will be used for training and materials as part of a volunteer tutoring program for youth who are at-risk academically. Over 50 students will be paired with a tutor following an application by a teacher and a parent, teacher and student meeting. This is a new program started during COVID-19, but Integrated Community plans to make this a permanent program.

Kathryn Senor Elementary New Castle
A Phonics Core Program for Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grades will be purchased. These materials will be organized, professional development will be provided and the program will be delivered in the coming months. An increasing number of students are falling behind in their literacy skills, and metrics will be established to measure progress. Approximately 100 students will be impacted through this program.

Middle Park High School – Programming Class/Robotics
This project will provide a general introduction to computer programming. 100 students will have an opportunity to learn basic programming concepts. Some may choose to enroll in a competition team. Funds will be used to purchase robots, licenses and parts to expand the project and replace some of the costs incurred during COVID-19.  Some funds could go to competition expenses for two teams as well.

Mountain Top Exploratorium
A 1-on-1 math and language tutoring program will help keep Summit County students on track during COVID-19. This program has 65 regular attendees, and funds will be used for curriculum, manipulatives and books along with tutoring costs.

Roaring Fork Conservancy
A STEAM summer program for teens will combine scientific observations with an Augmented Reality Sand Table and direct art instruction. Students will create a series of artwork that will be displayed at the River Center’s Riverscapes Exhibit. Funds will cover supplies and 30 hours of instruction.

Silverthorne Elementary School
Funds will be used to purchase bikes, bike stands and repair tools so students can learn maintenance techniques and then get outside to enhance learnings from their STEM lab. The 5E instructional model allows students from all backgrounds to learn STEM skills while experiencing activities they couldn’t otherwise access. 300 students will participate in this project. This Title 1 school has 70% free and reduced lunch program participation and 60% English Language Learners.

Silverthorne Elementary School
Two levels of a Reading Milestones program will be purchased and delivered to students with disabilities in the RTI process along with second language learners. An objective is to help students turn reading from a hardship into something they can feel confident about and enjoy. All are two or more grade levels behind in reading.

Steamboat Montessori
Steamboat Springs
Lego Mindstorm kits will be purchased for use in a fourth through sixth grade robotics program. Four eight-week sessions will be held, allowing 60 students to benefit across the three grades, and some in the sixth grade will advance to competitions.  Students will communicate their experiences and challenges via a social media platform.

Summit County Library
The Library will purchase an AWE computer to be used for language and STEM engagement with pre-school and elementary school children. Funds will be used to purchase a Bilingual Early Literacy Station and will serve approximately 40 students per month. The program will be augmented  by bilingual instructional materials, signage and programming provided in the Library budget.

Summit Historical Society
Funds will be used for a hands-on education program focused on Colorado’s Ute history. It utilizes STEM skills to teach students how the Ute solved problems in the past and how they are solving them in the present. Project materials are already available, so funds will be used for training, coordination and delivery of the program in schools. Some additional supplies and materials will also be required.

A Visual Journaling Project will help approximately 100 new immigrant students learn writing, reading and speaking skills while expressing themselves creatively through art. Funds will be used for journals and art kits and some administration along with support for a bilingual and bicultural teacher.


Park City Reads
Park City
Book purchases will assist educators in learning new techniques for reading instruction, including overcoming dyslexia and other reading challenges. Funds will be used as part of the Educator Resource Book Project to purchase books that will be used by 10-20 teachers with the objective of improving reading for hundreds of students.


Forgotten Farms
Funds will be used for a hands-on soil literacy curriculum for children, parents and educators alike. This program will be easily replicated for farm field trips to the Forgotten Farms Network and can be customized for other farms outside their network as well. Funds will cover curriculum development expenses including the  materials  that will be developed for the program. Forgotten Farms is a member of the Acres, Inc. community.


Colby Community Library
A variety of large print, audio books, totes and outreach materials will serve library patrons who have vision issues or need to develop new skills because of declining vision. Materials will be supplemented by an online book discussion group and programs offered on-site in nursing homes. Over 200 current and new patrons are expected to use the purchased materials, and a subset of those will benefit from programs in nursing homes and the online book discussion group.