The 2013-14 GYAC officers look over the pile of grant applications they received for the 2014 GYAC grant cycle.  Pictured from left to right: Mikayla Davis, Co-Chair; Wanda Sankey, Co-Chair;  Jake Januzelli, Treasurer/Grant Chair; and not pictured Hailey MacMillen, Secretary/PR Chair

The 2013-14 GYAC officers look over the pile of grant applications they received for the 2014 GYAC grant cycle. Pictured from left to right: Mikayla Davis, Co-Chair; Wanda Sankey, Co-Chair; Jake Januzelli, Treasurer/Grant Chair; and not pictured Hailey MacMillen, Secretary/PR Chair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  December 20, 2013

GREENVILLE YOUTH ADVISORY COUNCIL AWARDS OVER $46,000 IN GRANTS FOR 2014

(Greenville) – The Greenville Youth Advisory Council (GYAC) and the Greenville Area Community Foundation (GACF) Board of Trustees are pleased to announce grants totaling $46,117 to seven organizations for 2014.  Grants are awarded from the Kellogg Youth Fund. 

Through an opportunity provided by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, GACF was able to start an arm of our community foundation in May of 1993 to specifically provide youth participation in philanthropy. That group is called the Greenville Youth Advisory Council or GYAC. With an endowment of over $1,000,000, the GYAC awards grants that benefit youth-related needs in the community.   Members of this very active and involved group from Greenville high school & middle school are learning first-hand about the importance of community involvement and philanthropy.

One of the more significant grants, a $6,962 award went to the Montcalm Area Intermediate School District (MAISD) to support I’M Kids Food, a cross-county collaboration striving to build local, sustainable feeding solutions that work to end childhood hunger and food insecurity.  The grant will provide funding for a walk-in refrigerator cooler and kitchen storage equipment, which will allow for collecting and storing food donations.  The MAISD also received a $5,000 grant for the Making it Cool to be Kind in Montcalm County program – a county-wide anti-bullying initiative. 

Another large grant for $6,800 was awarded to Greenville High School teacher Janet LaLonde to fund the addition of a robotics engineering unit to the Advanced Physics Curriculum.

The Greenville Recreation Department received funding to update and improve coaching supplies for their many youth programs, and Special Olympics Michigan received a grant to help pay for the cost of ski rentals for approximately 107 Greenville K-12 students in the Special Education Cognitively Impaired program, as well as, send children and adults to the Special Olympics State Competition in February 2014.

The Community Hope Christian Counseling & Mental Health Center will once again be able to offer substance abuse prevention and self-esteem groups at the Greenville Middle School because of a $1,800 grant, while an $843 grant to the Spectrum Health Foundation will fund Parent Post Cards for the Project Save Our Children Against Drunk Driving Program.

Many more grants were awarded to Greenville Public Schools teachers and administrators, including a $1,263  grant for a computer and software that will allow Middle School band students to self-assess their performance; a GHS Clothes Closet grant will fund the purchase of new clothing and hygiene products for any high school students who are in need; and a grant to Cedar Crest Elementary school Social Worker Lori Oxford will purchase Second Step, a research-based, social-emotional curriculum that will benefit all grade levels at the school and teach them the emotional skills for early learning and skills for social and academic success. 

A $1,700 grant to school nurse Patti Gray, will bring the Central Michigan University program, SAPA (Sexual Advocates Protection Advocates) to Greenville High School for a presentation to seniors to educate and empower them to recognize, take control and help each other as they are exposed and deal with, potentially unsafe situations related to alcohol, drugs, dating violence, and abusive relationships. 

Another grant went to Children’s Corner at Walnut Hills Elementary to purchase cellular phones for use of the playground for increased safety for students and staff involved with Children’s Corner.

High School Spanish teacher, Erin DeWind, received funding for 14 Google Chrome books for use by her upper level Spanish classes.  They will be used to provide students in multi-level classes with a resource to produce, receive, and turn-in coursework.

Two additional grants went to high school teacher LaRissa Paras.  One award will build on a successful 2011 grant  – The Lotus Project – a comprehensive program that works to increase self-esteem and self-awareness in young, at-risk girls,encouraging them to strengthen their inner selves in order to reach their full potential and recognize their value and beauty.  Another grant will provide support for OutReach, a group from the Greenville High School Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) that is focused on their mission of safer schools for all students regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

The GYAC also helps to sponsor the Education Foundation of Greenville’s (EFG) Yellow Jacket Challenge event.

The next opportunity to apply for a grant from the Greenville Youth Advisory Council will be November, 2014. More information can be found at the Greenville Area Community Foundation website, www.gacfmi.org, or email Amy O’Brien at amy@gacfmi.org.

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