Supporting Our Community’s Youth

12 Jun Supporting Our Community’s Youth

Recently the Community Foundation presented CASA of Fulton County a Pop-Up grant of $1,000 to recognize CASA’s advocacy for local youth.

More than five years ago, the Northern Indiana Community Foundation, Inc. (NICF) established a unique program as an initiative to invest in the future of our community. This initiative was called the Preschool Scholarship Program, and it came into existence after extensive research on ways to grant dollars in order to reap the most significant long-term benefits for the community. The NICF’s research indicated that investing in the education of young people in need can make a huge impact on the future.

Since 2013, the Community Foundation’s Preschool Scholarship Program has provided 108 scholarships for Fulton County four and five-year-olds. Without this program, these children’s families would not have been able to afford to send their children to preschool.

Research shows that early education is crucial for healthy brain formation. 85% of brain development happens by the age of 5. Children who attend preschool are ready to learn when they go to kindergarten. They are set on a track for success and are more likely to read at grade level, graduate high school, and obtain a college degree. These factors also result in higher incomes due to more education and lower likelihood of being incarcerated or needing government assistance. These are just a few of the many ways that high-quality early education benefits children and our community.

The Fulton County Community Foundation (FCCF) has helped local children in many other ways. A perfect example is the Blacketor Sports Complex. Mable Blacketor donated land to help create a girls’ softball and soccer complex. The FCCF has granted to this project to help with the construction as well as improvements. The Community Foundation has assisted with other youth sports and recreation projects, including many youth baseball and softball programs in the community.

Camp-We-Can is another local asset that the Community Foundation has been very proud to assist. Camp-We-Can was founded in Fulton County by community members who wanted to provide a camp experience for individuals with special needs. The camp is unique because it allows the individuals to have a caregiver attend camp with them. Campers are offered fun activities, such as horseback riding, golf cart scavenger hunts, and swimming. The FCCF has also granted to youth-related organizations such as Fulton County 4-H, Pack A Backpack, Court Appointed Special Advocates, local libraries, and many more.

One special way in which the FCCF has provided for our local youth is through the Fulton County Girls Giving Gang. This group was formed through the Fulton County Women’s Giving Circle with the intention of teaching local girls to be philanthropic and community-minded. The group is still very new, and the FCCF is excited to see it grow!

The FCCF is proud to provide grants for youth organizations and projects. Supporting local children doesn’t only benefit them, but it’s beneficial for the entire community. Through these grants, the Community Foundation strives to support strong brain development, community-mindedness, and overall health and wellbeing of our community’s youth.