Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards literacy grants |

Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards literacy grants

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awards grants to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs that focus on languages, sciences and interdisciplinary areas. Since 2008, more than $530,000 has been awarded to deserving organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business. Swift Communications is The Park Record’s parent company.

The deadline for 2018 grant applications was Feb. 15, and 163 applications were received. The Foundation grant criteria call for detail about the number of people who will be impacted by the organization’s project and how significant a role the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation will play in the program. Further, applicants must provide a complete description of the project including objectives and strategies to meet those objectives, explain how the project will be evaluated and submit a budget. Recipients will report on their results and insights from their program once the projects are completed.

This year, applications were of exceptional quality and $80,986 has been awarded to 36 deserving organizations. The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation thanks the many groups that took the time and energy to apply and encourages those that were not selected to submit applications in the future. Applications will be accepted again starting Jan. 1, 2019 with a deadline of Feb. 15, 2019. For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at Two organizations in Utah were selected.

Arts-Kids, Inc.

Park City


For after-school programming and providing children 8-17 with exposure to activities teaching fundamental concepts in electrical and hydraulic engineering. Funds will purchase reusable equipment and pay for specialized instructors for10 classes at 10 different schools or at out-of-school venues. Students will build Bionic Arms and Banana Pianos and participate in facilitated group discussion. The primary prevention program at Arts-Kids is aimed at reducing substance abuse, suicide, depression, gang involvement and other child/teen tragedies by promoting healthy behaviors.

Junior Achievement of Utah, Inc.

Salt Lake City


This is a hands-on, real-life simulation program called JA BizTown. It includes approximately 25 hours of prep time in the classroom along with a one-day field trip. Funds will be used for materials, school costs, program support, research and development and evaluation. The STEM initiative at JA BizTown increases student awareness of STEM-related careers and sparks interest in technology at an early age. It also helps students recognize the relationship between what they are learning in school and what they will need to know in the real world. This pilot program will involve fifth-grade students at Parley’s Park Elementary School.

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