Grinnell College fall community mini-grant program awards $21,724 in grants to local initiatives

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Grants support local projects enhancing the quality of life in Grinnell

GRINNELL, Iowa – This December, Grinnell College awarded community mini-grants totaling $21,724 to three local initiatives and a fourth through the smaller donation grant program. Since 2002, the mini-grant program has directed over $528,000 to 209 community-driven initiatives.

“I am very happy to announce the awards for our 2022 fall grant cycle,” said Donnette Ellis, community relations and grant coordinator at Grinnell College. “The committee did an amazing job working through all of the applications and making excellent recommendations about which projects would have the greatest impact on area residents. We are excited to see the impact these projects will have on our beloved Grinnell Community.”

Fall 2022 Grant Recipients

Four Oaks Children and Family Services—$7,000 for a storage shed to house donation items. Four Oaks is nonprofit contracted by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to provide home services to families involved with HHS in some capacity. The Grinnell office serves Poweshiek County, along with surrounding areas, and having a storage shed will allow Four Oaks to provide more tangible goods locally, such as furniture, baby items, household items, clothing, etc., to the families it serves.

Grinnell Newburg School Foundation (GNSF)—$7,500 for the STRIPES Fund toward digital equity. The GNSF STRIPES Fund tackles various equity obstacles for low-income students that may prevent a child from fully participating in the K-12 educational experience. Fund organizers are currently working with the Grinnell Education Partnership (GEP) to enroll GNCSD families who qualify for the Affordable Connectivity Plan (ACP). Under this plan, families who qualify for free/reduced lunch would also be eligible for the ACP. These funds will allow the GNSF STRIPES fund to create and sustain an internet assistance program to assist families with children in the Grinnell School District with the cost of home internet. The STRIPES Fund will reduce how much qualifying low-income parents pay on their internet bill.

Grinnell Rotary Club—$1,000 for the annual Kites over Grinnell event held on the last Saturday of September. Kites over Grinnell is a free family fun day that offers kids the opportunity to build and fly kites, play games, and watch professionals fly their huge, unique kites. The event enhances the social vitality of the community by providing a fun, free event for all area residents and visitors. It contributes to the economic vitality of Grinnell by bringing professional kite fliers to Grinnell; these visitors stay at area hotels and eat at local restaurants.

LINK Grinnell—$6,244 for Videography and Cooking Vignettes. Organizers are expanding enrichment opportunities within LINK Grinnell’s after-school, no-school, and summer programming to foster creativity and imagination in our young people, to invite them to try new experiences, and to provide them with the opportunity to expand their life skills.

LINK’s videography vignette supports student videographers through the planning, recording, and editing process. It scaffolds them through a spectrum of organizing, visioning, planning, setting interviews, thinking things through logically, connecting and engaging with various places/persons throughout the community, being accountable and responsible, taking pride in their work and building confidence, and so much more. Students can also pursue their own creative music production or build their musical repertoire through engagement with the Grinnell School of Music, one of the intended program partners for LINK Summer 2023.

LINK’s cooking vignette will encourage participating youth to read and follow recipes, measure ingredients, understand how ingredients combine to create new flavors and effects, try new foods and explore different flavors, and build skills around food preparation, cooking, and baking. Helping with meal preparation has been shown to increase children’s willingness to try new foods and flavors, expanding their palates and reducing picky eating. Creating a dish from start to finish builds confidence and pride and develops important life skills.

Spring 2023 Community Mini-Grants

Grinnell College is now accepting applications for the spring cycle of community mini-grants. Grant applications are due by April 7, 2023, and awards will be announced by May 19, 2023. A volunteer committee of faculty, staff, local Grinnell College students, and community members will review the applications. Preference is given to proposals that leverage collaborative partnerships within the community. Grants typically range from $1,000 to $7,500. For more information or to download an application, visit: grinnell.edu/about/offices-services/community-enhancement/investments/mini-grants, or contact the Office of Community Partnerships, Planning, and Research at 641-269-3900.

About Grinnell College Mini-Grants

Since 2002, the Grinnell College mini-grants program has awarded grants ranging from $1,000 to $7,500, supporting local initiatives to enhance the quality of life in our community by addressing issues of importance to the campus and community at large. Grants are awarded to organizations working to enhance the social and economic vitality of our community, including cultural, recreational, and educational projects; those addressing human needs; and those enhancing the safety and beauty of our surroundings. Recognizing that local organizations are critical to identify and develop the community’s quality-of-life initiatives, the program also supports efforts that strengthen organizational capacity.

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