Through foundation, Park Record owner offers grants | ParkRecord.com

Through foundation, Park Record owner offers grants

Funding aims to foster learning and literacy

For Bob Brown, president of Swift Communications, it's all about planting a seed.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, started by the owners of Swift Communications, which owns the The Park Record, is accepting grant applications from organizations in the Park City area. Since 2008, the foundation has doled out more $375,000 in the communities where Swift Communications operate.

The foundation is named for the mother of Swift Communications founder Philip Swift. According to the foundation's website, bessieminorswift.org, Bessie Swift was born in Kansas in 1887 and later moved to Missouri, where she spent her life teaching school in a one-room schoolhouse. Her example, as well as her love for English, reading, history and music, instilled in Philip Swift a strong sense of the importance of education.

Brown said the dollar value of the grants, which aim to promote literacy and education, is typically around $3,000. The grants are often given to organizations or individuals that don't typically receive funding, such as teachers or start-up programs. The goal is to foster young programs that may go on to achieve big success.

"What we're trying to do is, at the ground level … provide needed funds for people who tend to be the heroes in the community," he said. "So in Park City, this is going to be a beginning.

"We start small and look for those individuals that don't tend to get the traditional funding," he added. "Maybe they're not great grant writers, but we can make a difference for the children in Park City."

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Applications for this year's grants will be accepted through Feb. 15. The foundation's website states that organizations that apply must be geared toward increasing literacy among children who read below grade level, developing reading and writing skills at all levels, or providing learning opportunities in STEAM (science, technology, engineering arts and math) subjects. Occasionally, grants are also given to programs that benefit adults. Small, low-budget programs that have few outside resources will be given preference.

Among the dozens of grants last year, for instance, the foundation gave roughly $2,750 for a robotics club at an elementary school in Nevada and $2,400 to a school district in California to help build a library of picture books for children with special needs.

"We care deeply about the communities we're in," Brown said, "and it's a commitment that we have."
Visit bessieminorswift.org for more information, or to apply for a grant.

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