Moffat County nonprofits encouraged to apply for Bessie Minor Swift Foundation grants | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County nonprofits encouraged to apply for Bessie Minor Swift Foundation grants

Craig Press staff report

CRAIG — Nonprofits that promote literacy, reading and writing skills and programs in the languages, sciences and interdisciplinary areas might get a little help in 2018.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation is accepting grant applications through Feb. 15 from tax-exempt organizations that provide direct service to help with the implementation or expansion of literacy programs for children who are below grade level or experiencing difficulty reading and to develop reading and writing skills at all age levels.

Awards range from $500 to $3,000.

The foundation was formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications — owners and operators of the Craig Press and CraigDailyPress.com.

"The Craig Press is very proud to be owned by such a wonderful company as Swift Communications that believes in giving back to the communities we live in," said Craig Press Publisher Renee Campbell.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation also supports Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, or STEM, and Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, or STEAM, and, occasionally, programs for adults.

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In 2017, the Moffat County High School Agricultural Education program received a $2,700 grant from the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation. From more than 175 applications, MCHS was among 35 entities — 17 of which were in Colorado — to be awarded grant money.

The foundation prefers to consider grants for programs rather than the purchase of technology and prefers to award grants to local organizations that do not have access to large fundraising budgets.

The grant awarded to MCHS helped students learn about the skeletal, muscular, digestive and reproduction systems of stock animals through the purchase of two life-sized fiberglass animals.

Through multiple years, the program will help students develop their technical writing skills and their journaling abilities, in addition to learning about animal science.

More than $450,000 in grants has been awarded since 2008 to more than 165 organizations in communities in which Swift Communications conducts business.

Bessie Minor Swift was the mother of Philip Swift, founder of Swift Communications.

She was born in Onaga, Kansas, on June 29, 1887, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She later moved to Blackburn, Missouri, where she taught school in a one-room schoolhouse.

Philip Swift recalls that the importance of education was reinforced throughout his upbringing, not so much through statements or concrete expectations, but more through the example of his mother's interest in English, reading, history and music.

"We encourage all Moffat County nonprofits fitting the criteria to apply for a grant from The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation,” Campbell said.

For more information and to apply, visit the foundation website at bessieminorswift.org

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or snelson@CraigDailyPress.com.

2018 Bessie Minor Swift Foundation grants

Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15. Recipients will be announced May 1. For more information and to apply, email the foundation at grants@bessieminorswift.org or visit bessieminorswift.org.