Aspen programs awarded grants from Swift foundation to help children, families |

Aspen programs awarded grants from Swift foundation to help children, families

Staff report

Two Aspen organizations have received grants as part of $83,000 awarded in funds from the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, which promotes literacy and educational enrichment.

The Aspen Art Museum and the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies each received $3,000 grants for programs that support children and families.

The Art Museum grant will help with the expansion of Story Art, a free program that includes storytelling and art making to 180 low-income, Spanish-speaking migrant children through collaboration with the nonprofit Valley Settlement. The grant will help the program leverage art to alleviate issues of illiteracy and isolation.

The grant for ACES will help fund four Family Science Nights programs at Crystal River Elementary School in Carbondale and in RE-2 (Garfield County) district. ACES offers multi-generational learning for students and their parents, grandparents and siblings. More than 200 families are expected to participate in Family Science Nights.

The foundation supports grants for programs that promote literacy, reading, writing skills, languages and sciences and is apart of Swift Communications, owner of The Aspen Times and other Colorado mountain-town newspapers. Grants were awarded to programs in Eagle, Garfield, Summit, Grand, Routt and Weld counties as well as in Nevada and Utah.

This year, $83,156 was awarded to 37 organizations. Since 2008, more than $620,000 has been awarded to organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business. There were more than 185 applications this year. Next year, applications for grants will be accepted from Jan. 1 to Feb. 15 and can be found at

Bessie Minor Swift was mother of Philip Swift, the founder of Swift Communications. Bessie was born in Onaga, Kansas, on June 29, 1887. She was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and taught school in a one-room schoolhouse.