Thursday afternoon, March 13, 18 Idyllwild Middle School students announced their awards to five local groups whose efforts will enhance the community and activities for middle school students.
This year, the Idyllwild Youth Grantmakers Committee awarded $4,000. The recipients were the Idyllwild School PTA SmARTS program ($1,000), the Idyllwild School Outdoor Education Booster Club ($1,000), the Friends of the Idyllwild Library ($750), the San Jacinto Mountain Community Center ($750) and the Art Alliance of Idyllwild ($500).
The Community Foundation of Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, in conjunction with the Idyllwild Community Fund, prepares the students to develop leadership through philanthropy, according Celia Cudiamat, Executive Vice President of Grants and Programs of The Community Foundation. They must understand community needs, review grant applications and assess the impact.
“The Community Fund desires our young people to have a voice to improve their community,” she said. “They learn how to make a difference and which organizations make an effort and want a partnership with youth.”
Faculty members George Companiott and Donna Mercer have worked with the student committee since September. The first unit of the eighth-grade language arts program was a huge compliment with the Committee’s beginning, according to Companiott.
“[The committee] put out a survey to the community, analyzed it, wrote analyses of the results and letters to the editor,” he said.
The awardees plan a variety of activities that advance their programs while benefiting local youth. For example, the smARTS program plans a field trip to a regional art museum or performing arts center for the entire middle school with its award.
Funds for the SJMCC will support the Idyllwild Skate Park and the annual Idyllwild Skate Park Games in August. The AAI will use its grant for the Summer Sizzling Arts program for middle school kids
Besides announcing this year’s award recipients, the Thursday event also recognized the 18 members of the Idyllwild Youth Grantmakers.
The grant funds awarded by the IYGC program to local Idyllwild nonprofits were made possible by funds from The Idyllwild Community Fund and The Community Foundation. In 2013, the first year of the youth initiative the IYGC awarded $3,713. Several of this year’s awardees also received grants in 2013.