Valley nonprofits receive grants to promote literacy, writing skills |

Valley nonprofits receive grants to promote literacy, writing skills

Aspen Education Foundation, Roaring Fork Conservancy and VOICES awarded funds to help students

Three Roaring Fork Valley nonprofits that promote literacy, reading and writing skills were awarded grants from the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, it was announced Tuesday.

The Aspen Education Foundation was awarded $2,500 for books and supplies for its summer reading program for elementary and middle school students. Two three-week sessions will focus on reducing screen time and encouraging students to read books. Activities will include acting out scenes from books, creative writing exercises and doing scavenger hunts based on the stories.

Roaring Fork Conservancy in Basalt received $3,000 to support a teen STEAM summer program that 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.

VOICES in Carbondale received $1,250 to support a Visual Journaling Project, which 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.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awards grants to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs that focus on languages, sciences and interdisciplinary areas. The Aspen Times is part of Swift Communications.

Since 2008, more than $780,000 has been awarded to deserving organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business. This year, more than $81,000 was awarded to 34 organizations from five states. For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at


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