The Idyllwild Community Fund, a division of the Community Foundation that serves Riverside and San Bernardino counties, approved a new program that gives grant-funding ability to Idyllwild Middle School students.

The Youth Grantmakers Program, already in place for off-Hill high school students, will be offered to middle school students for the first time, according to ICF board member Trish Tuley. The program is designed to give students experience in evaluating grant applications from nonprofits whose missions and objectives benefit young people.

“We plan to launch the program in January 2013,” said Tuley. “We’re working with Lenore Sazer [Idyllwild Middle School teacher]. The kids who will fund the grants have not yet been chosen. They’ll be looking at requests from nonprofits in the Idyllwild area that target their age group and they’ll recommend who gets the money.”

Tuley mentioned that ICF already has $2,000 for the program, which will be matched by the Community Foundation in Riverside, giving local students $4,000 to award.

Last year Riverside and San Bernardino Youth Grantmakers gave out $25,000 to eleven nonprofits. The Community Foundation had reviewed and approved their choices, as the ICF board will do locally for the $4,000 of local Youth Grantmakers next year.

“We are so behind this program for Idyllwild School,” said Tuley, who noted that ICF board members are being trained to be trainers of the students. “The kids will be trained in all aspects of philanthropy.” Tuley said that the board has not asked for grant requests from local non-profits.”