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Spreading Knowledge about Preschool Opportunities for All United Way of Grant County is a nonprofit organization that facilitates the Early Childhood Education Coalition program which is designed to promote high quality education opportunities through various programs and outreach. On My Way Pre-K is a current program offered across Grant County that is entering its second year in operation. The program offers free education for potential students that are four years of age by August 1st and meet the financial qualifications. However, the program is still in its infancy and is subject to termination. The greatest challenge that the Coalition faces is bringing awareness to the existence of On My Way Pre-K and getting those that qualify enrolled in the program. The Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana, Inc. a nonprofit organization that is known for supporting educational enrichment programs and projects, helped by offering the required philanthropic funding match from the State of Indiana and gave proper resources in raising awareness of On My Way Pre-K across Grant County. On My Way Pre-K in Grant County is currently a five year pilot program that is being studied to identify if the investment is worth the cost. In order for the state to continue funding...

Grant County has one of the highest poverty rates in Indiana and many of the families living with that hardship desire more for their children, but they lack the knowledge of proper resources to pursue help. The Training Center is one of those resources, which offers an Academic Enrichment program designed to help at risk students by partnering with their families to offer educational assistance free of charge. Mary Prows, the executive director and president, said that the current desktop computers in the lab were donated 8-10 years ago by a local credit union. The students of the center have complained about lagging and outdated programs. Thanks to a grant provided by the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana, Inc. the Training Center received new laptops in 2018. The Community Foundation aspires to improve the lives of every Grant County citizen, one organization need at a time. The Foundation gave a grant of $3,500 through the Lawrence and Otie Educational Endowment Fund to support the cost of updated technology. New Chromebooks will allow the volunteers to better assist the students learning needs and objectives without defective computers interfering with their future goals for the program. In the 2018-2019 school year, the center received 12 new...

Imagine a young man that goes to the local high school and is often known to be a disruption in the classroom setting. He is a smart kid, but the teachers all say he doesn’t apply himself. What they don’t know is that he is struggling at home and worrying about his family. School and being a successful student just don’t seem important to him in the face of real-world issues. He drops out to help support his family instead. So, where do teens go in Grant County when they seem to have exhausted all other options? In Grant County, Indiana the Kinwell Academy offers such a place. It is an alternative high school education opportunity for students whose public school experience did not pan out, for various reasons. The Academy serves both local and county schools, targeting students social, emotional, spiritual and academic needs, to create a well-rounded sense of growth. In the 2017-2018 school year Jerry Harshman, the president of the board, said that Kinwell saw eight out of ten seniors graduate. Each of those eight went on to accomplish different goals such as attending college, starting in a career or joining healthcare. This new program will only increase that...

Services for the Visually and Hearing Impaired has been in operation since 1984, effectively serving the community with visual and hearing impairments. The organization offers a variety of services to help make life easier for their clients and even offers financial help to those who can’t afford glasses, hearing aids or living aids. In 2018, right in the middle of the summer heat, the organizations air conditioning unit began shorting out. Thanks to a grant provided by the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana Inc. the unit was replaced in August. The original unit was over 25 years old. When it began shorting out it started causing the lights to flicker, eventually dying out completely leaving the organization with no air conditioning in the dead summer of Indiana. Linda Taylor stated that they shut down the building for three days during the hottest days because they couldn’t stand the heat in a stuffy office space. In May of 2018, the SVHI submitted the request to the Community Foundation for a new air unit hoping that a grant to supplement that cost would allow the organization to better serve the hearing and visually impaired residents of the county by improving the conditions at their...

Hidden Piece of History is Preserved In Marion, Indiana during the year 1902, a future star bought a home on South Washington St. just after the oil boom struck the town. Marie D. Webster and her husband would live at this home for over 37 years, leaving a mark in the history of Marion. Marie Webster was an established quilt designer and author, well known in the community of quilters for her stitching’s and patterns which are still used and mimicked today. She combined her love of quilting and writing by being the first to write a book on the history of quilts. A quilt historian calls Marie, “Indiana’s gift to the American Quilt.” After she died, the home sat vacant until the early 90’s when a distant relative saved it from demolition and purchased the home getting it declared a National Women’s History Landmark. In 92, the home was given to the Quilters Hall of Fame, which helped preside over the restoration of the home. Since the Webster home was given to the Quilters Hall of Fame, it has become a museum to honor Marie Webster’s accomplishments and allow quilters to gather for learning, hosting training sessions and exhibitions which bring tourists and...

Marching Toward the Future Many people are unaware that the Marching Giants are more than a High School band. They play during various games, but they also perform for the community at the walkway of lights in matter park during Christmas, Arts in the Park, and for Veterans on Veterans day. The band needs to have nice and presentable uniforms to positively reflect the High School and Grant County. The current uniforms are designed to last for about 20 years or more, however, the last time the high school received new ones was in the early 90’s. Thanks to fundraisers by the Alumni Association and a grant from the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana, Inc. the new uniforms have never looked so good. The Marion High School Marching Giants have been making music for decades. In fact, in 1969 they won state championships and were considered one of the best in the world. The award has fueled other students to join, even today the numbers continue to rise. The marching band really gives students another avenue to shine, one that is outside of athletics alone. The Community Foundation wants to build connections throughout the community that will have a positive and lasting...

Shakespeare in Grant County Hoosier Shakes is a traveling theatre company that specializes in Shakespearean productions. The acting company performs in Grant and surrounding counties during the summer months. Each summer the theatre presents two Shakespearean plays that are performed in minimalist style to preserve the authenticity of the original renditions in Shakespeare’s time. The creator, Dr. Greg Fiebig, is a communication and drama professor at Indiana Wesleyan. He claims it has always been his dream to start a theatre company, especially one that can just pick up and go wherever. The theatre troupe launched in 2016 and quickly partnered with organizations in Grant County to achieve the goal in making cultural enrichment apart of Grant County. The company relies on donations, local business contributions and Foundation grants to thrive financially and provide a pay-what-you-will system to all who attend the shows. By offering the theatrical pieces free of charge, Hoosier Shakes encourages people from all walks of life to come and enjoy Shakespeare; to share in a cultural experience as a community. The Community Foundation of Grant County, Inc. is dedicated to building the Grant County community to a higher level of progress. Hoosier Shakes’ mission is rooted in using Shakespeare to...

Bringing Finance Education to Young Students At Northview Elementary in Gas City, Indiana 68% of students are enrolled in free or reduced lunches. The Junior Achievement board of directors chose to work with this school as the first in Grant County to participate in the program because they felt these students would benefit the most by learning from mentors about economic and financial success. Junior Achievement is a program existing across Northern Indiana and serves around 141,000 students annually. The program focuses on three key elements, entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness skills. The programs existence relies on grants from local foundations and generous donors. The Executive Vice President for Junior Achievement of Northern Indiana, Joni Dietsch, contacted the Community Foundation of Grant County, Indiana for funding in Grant County to support the extension of the program to Mississinewa Community Schools. Junior Achievement aims to ignite a spark in young people to want to experience and realize the opportunities and realities of work in the global economy. This mission is heavily supported by the Community Foundation and their desire to enhance and grow Grant County, one project at a time. Through the program, students grade 2-5 will learn a variety of skills through hands...

Rising toward change The Manhood 101 program is a recent addition to the Chaplaincy program operated through the Grant County Sheriffs department. Though the Manhood 101 program has only been in existence for a year, the chaplaincy program has existed since 1985 through funding from churches, businesses, foundations, and various fundraisers over the last 35 years, ensuring its value within the community. The Manhood program is designed to keep those who have been in jail from perpetuating the cycle by repeatedly going back. After being released from jail, the project aims to help both men and women become positive contributors to the community once again through work and family. The program also provides resources to those currently in jail to help build a desire for a better life beyond jail and break the cycle. The organization mainly operates off donations, grants and fundraisers. In order to keep the project operational, the Chaplaincy Program needed an extended hand of help. The Manhood program believes that both the cross and the badge save lives by providing incarcerated people with hope and something to believe in that goes beyond any mistakes made in the past. However, getting people in the church is not the main objective. The...

The Tradition Continues Gas City concerts in the park is entering its 19th season, thanks to a grant provided by the Community Foundation as well as the support of both donors and volunteers. The organization holds a local annual concert series during the months of June and July free of charge to all attendees. During the summer months, the event has attracted over 35,000 community members from Grant county and surrounding counties. The growing popularity has brought in many talented artists and even food truck vendors, making it a wonderful family friendly environment where locals can socialize, listen to live music, and eat great food. In order to keep such an event up and running, volunteers and donors are a necessity to help market the event and attract musical talent that will bring the public in. Gas City Concerts in the Park, Inc contacted The Community Foundation for help in finding resources to promote the upcoming concert season so that they could continue to reach the community in an impactful lasting manner. The mission of Gas City Concerts in the Park, Inc aligned with the Community Foundations desire to build the community. The Community Foundation is dedicated to connecting people, resources, and causes to...