Several local organizations were awarded grants to support the positive work they conduct and contributions they make to the local area. The recipients submitted applications that were reviewed by the Vancouver Energy Community Fund’s Advisory Board. Funds were awarded to support these local organizations’ efforts to cultivate a strong community and provide support in the areas of education, public safety and environmental conservation and sustainability.
2017 Community Fund Grant Recipients
As part of its first cycle of 2017 grant giving, the Vancouver Energy Community Fund awarded grants to the following organizations: the Cascadia Technical Academy Foundation, Columbia Springs, Mount St. Helens Institute, National Alliance on Mental Illness Southwest Washington, and the Police Activities League (PAL) of Vancouver
The Cascadia Technical Academy Foundation supports all 16 Cascadia Technical Academy’s Career and Technical education programs while providing equipment and technology for 13 STEM-intensive programs. The foundation was awarded $4,560 to assist with the purchase of a Hyster® FORTIS ™ Lift Truck, which will be used to train students for certification in both the Construction Technology and Diesel Technology programs.
Columbia Springs received a $10,100 grant from the Vancouver Energy Community Fund to help launch a new Docent Program at the center. The funds will assist with an eight-week training program that will teach docents how to become site ambassadors, leading guided hikes around Columbia Springs’ “hotspots” during spring and summer weekend and evening hours. Docents will also assist guests and answer questions, in addition to helping with onsite special events and field trips.
Mount St. Helens Institute was awarded $10,000 for the High School STEM Field Ecology Program. The Mount St. Helens Institute advances understanding and stewardship of the earth through science, education and exploration of volcanic landscapes. This program will introduce Clark County high school students to real-world scientific processes, techniques and technologies by connecting students to ecological researchers and land managers at terrestrial and aquatic study sites in the disturbance zones around Mount St. Helens.
National Alliance on Mental Illness Southwest Washington (NAMI SW WA) provides niche mental health services that are unavailable or inaccessible elsewhere in the region through a variety of educational, support and advocacy services. NAMI SW WA received a $12,060 grant to fund a service enhancement plan for its educator and facilitator mentoring program. The grant will pay for a part-time educator, a peer with lived experience, who will supervise the NAMI Signature Education Classes. These classes are one or two-day classes that educate those attending about how to recognize signs and symptoms of mental health disorders in youth and adults, and what resources there are to improve their lives.
The Police Activities League (PAL) received a $10,000 grant to fund its 2017 youth summer camps which includes themes in sports, arts, science and environment, and a CSI camp. PAL is a non-profit organization that partners with law enforcement agencies to promote positive relationships between law enforcement officers and youth in the community through educational programs and recreational opportunities. This year’s camp is expected to serve 400 youth and 25 teens throughout Clark County.
2016 Community Fund Grant Recipients
As part of its first cycle of 2016 grant giving, the Vancouver Energy Community Fund awarded grants to the following organizations: the Clark County Food Bank, Columbia Springs, the Police Activities League of Vancouver (PAL), and Share. During its second cycle, the Fund distributed grants to American Red Cross, the Endeavour Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization, Evergreen Habitat for Humanity and Fort Vancouver National Trust’s Pearson Field Education Center.
The American Red Cross was awarded $5,000 to fund the “Prepare Out Loud” earthquake preparedness program. Prepare Out Loud empowers attendees to be ready for disasters of all kinds (including a 9.0 Cascadia earthquake). In addition to practical steps to start preparing for disasters, Prepare Out Loud attendees also learn about the science and history of the Cascadia Subduction Zone; human behavior during disasters; what to expect during and after a Cascadia earthquake; and how much food, water, and supplies you will need to take care of yourself and others.
The Clark County Food Bank, which distributes nearly 6 million pounds of food to individuals and families in need, received $16,200 to help fund the Student Nutrition and Cook (SNAC) program for the next two years. SNAC is a six-week, hands on cooking and nutrition course for late elementary to early middle school low-income students. Through activities, games and hands-on recipe preparation, youth learn the “how’s” and “why’s” of healthy, affordable eating and food preparation.
Columbia Springs has provided more than 100,000 kids and adults with the opportunity to get outdoors and learn more about the natural world through field studies, workshops, service learning projects, summer day camps, community events and more. The Vancouver Energy Community Fund awarded Columbia Springs with a $12,000 grant to help fund their docent program and improve signage throughout the site. Trained docents will act as ambassadors for Columbia Springs, providing nature walks and talks on weekends and scheduled events. The funds will help people connect to nature and create positive experiences, as well as develop a healthy respect for the environment.
Endeavour Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization supports a number of academic programs and activities at the school – the largest grade school in the Evergreen School District. The PTO received $4,910 to purchase a scholastic news subscription for the 2017-2018 school year. The grant will help more than 700 students improve English and reading skills and provide teachers with materials for lesson plans and activities throughout the year.
This is the second year Evergreen Habitat for Humanity has received funding for its Geometry in Construction program. The Vancouver Energy Community Fund provided $25,000 to help students at Evergreen High School construct a home for a Clark County family in need. In addition to teaching critical math skllls, the program provides hands-on construction experience and offers students an opportunity to give back to the community.
Fort Vancouver National Trust’s Pearson Field Education Center, a STEM-based aviation education program, was awarded $5,019 to purchase model airplane and toolbox kits. The program will introduce youth to hands-on, STEM-based vocational skills, including metal working, as participants work together to assemble a donated Zenith 701CH kit airplane.
The Police Activities League (PAL) is a non-profit organization that partners with law enforcement agencies to promote positive relationships between law enforcement officers and youth in the community through educational programs and recreational opportunities. PAL received an $8,500 grant to fund this year’s youth summer camps which includes themes in sports, arts, science and environment, and, for the first time, a CSI camp. The grant from the Vancouver Energy Community Fund will provide scholarships for 270 youth and teen camp applicants and cover the cost of supplies, food and t-shirts for 560 planned participants.
Share received $10,044 to help fund its Backpack Program for the 2016-2017 school year. Each week, bags are filled with 5-7 pounds of non-perishable, easy-to-prepare, healthy food and distributed to 90 schools participating in the program, including elementary, middle and high schools, as well as EOCF Head Start Programs. The program was designed to address the “food gap” for children at risk of hunger attending schools in our community, and is expected to provide more than 66,000 packs of food next year.
2015 Community Fund Grant Recipients
In 2015, the Vancouver Energy Community Fund awarded grants to the following organizations: the Assistance League of Southwest Washington, Foundation for Vancouver Public Schools, the Emil Fries School of Piano Technology for the Blind, YWCA of Clark County, the Clark County Skills Center and Evergreen Habitat for Humanity.
The Assistance League of Southwest Washington – an all-volunteer organization – has a wide spread impact on many children’s lives. The group is able to fill in gaps and provide some of the basic necessities children need for school. The grant will be used to purchase clothing and school supplies for about 140 elementary school students.
The Vancouver Public Schools and the Family Community Resource Centers are vital to every child in the school system. The Engagement Project promotes engagement at all levels – from the school to the parents and students, extending to the business community and community at large – in order to achieve lasting educational success.
The Emil Fries School of Piano Technology for the Blind is a nonprofit that is unique to the community and has provided hundreds of visually impaired students with the knowledge and skills needed to start successful careers. This grant will help continue the School’s efforts through upgraded technology.
The Y’s Child Care Program helps to address emotional and behavioral problems, while providing a nurturing environment and hands-on experiences to help prepare children for kindergarten and set them on a path for future successes. At Vancouver Energy, we believe that education is a critical component of every child’s life. Through this grant, the Fund hopes to create a dynamic learning environment for children who would not normally have access to these things.
The Clark County Skills Center is an integral aspect of local community education and is fully aligned with the Fund’s focus on STEM and Career and Technical Education. The purchase of the new wheel balancer and alignment machine will support students in its Skills Center Automotive Technology Program and help them achieve industry certification and set them on a path toward a successful career in automotive service.
The grant will help support Evergreen High School students’ efforts to build a new home as part of its Geometry in Construction Program. This effort is a clear demonstration of how student passions and education can have a direct, long-lasting impact on the community. The program provides hands-on, real-world lessons on algebra and geometry that translate directly to the construction trade, and helps fulfill a community need for affordable housing.