Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards $2,600 to Aspen Center for Environmental Studies |

Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards $2,600 to Aspen Center for Environmental Studies

Staff report

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awards annual grants to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs that focus on the arts, languages and sciences. Since 2008, more than $300,000 has been awarded to organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business.

This year’s local recipient is the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies, with an award amount of $2,625.

“Wild Words” is an after-school nature journaling class engaging at-risk, minority students over eight weeks at four elementary and middle schools in the Roaring Fork School District. This program will serve 50 students in a school district where 40-45 percent qualify for free or reduced lunch and 30 percent of students are English Language Learners.

The Foundation grant criteria calls for details on how many people will be impacted by the organization’s project and how significant a role the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation will play in the program. Further, applicants must provide a complete description of the project including objectives and strategies to meet those objectives, explain how the project will be evaluated and submit a budget. Recipients will report on their results and insights from their program once the projects are completed.

This year, more than $67,000 has been awarded to 33 deserving organizations. The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation thanks the many groups that took the time and energy to apply and encourages those that were not selected to submit applications in the future. Applications will be accepted again starting January 1, 2016 with a deadline of February 15, 2016. For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at