City Council approves grants ranging from $3,500 to $6,500 for organizations serving at-risk youth
By Reggie Ellis
VISALIA – A dozen Visalia-based nonprofits will start the year with a little bit extra in their bank account.
At its Dec. 16 meeting, the Visalia City Council approved grants for 12 nonprofits supporting youth activities in town. The nonprofits ranged from arts and literature to nature field trips and agriculture education. In all, 17 organizations applied for more than $102,000 in funding but just $65,000 was awarded with the average grant size being just over $6,000. These projects serve a diverse population and age range, including juvenile justice/gang involvement, teen pregnancy, students K-12, and at-risk children. Of the 12 recommended grants, three provided “seed” money for new programs, one is for scholarships, seven are ongoing programs, and two are new applicants. This year’s recipients were as follows:
- Arts Visalia received $5,000 for to subsidize its afterschool and summer art classes enrollment.
- Assistance League received $5,000 to buy children’s clothing and books for Visalia Unified School District students.
- Care Pregnancy Resource Center received $5,000 an incentive-driven parenting program and one-on-one parenting coaching.
- Christ Lutheran Institute of Performing Arts (CLIPArts) received $6,000 for a performing arts summer day camp for ages 7 through 14.
- Family Services of Tulare County received $3,500 for program supplies for supervised visits between children and their non-custodial parents.
- Friends of Tulare received $5,000 to purchase toys for children and teens that are victims of abuse and neglect.
- Nehemiah Project received $6,500 for a North Visalia mentoring program for at risk youth.
- Quaker Oaks Farm received $6,000 for a peace garden to teach youth about native plants and techniques.
- Read for Life received $6,500 to buy bilingual books for at-risk students.
- Boy Scouts of America received $5,000 for good citizenship and character building programs.
- Sequoia Symphony received $5,000 for its annual Young Person’s Concert for students in grades 3-5.
- Visalia Police Activities League received $6,500 to provide leadership and crime prevention to seriously at-risk teenagers.
The awardees reflect changes that were made to the application and selection process last summer. This year the Citizens Advisory Committee gave extra points to new projects and projects with effective results; broadened services to other disadvantaged youth in addition to gang involved youth such as homeless youth, foster youth and first time offenders.
The subcommittee members read and rated each application based on how well the proposed outcomes, actions, and measures were interconnected and also met the requirements of the grant’s stated purposes. The five applicants not recommended for funding were ranked at a lower level (four applicants) or did not provide all required documents (one applicant).