The Hot Springs Area Community Foundation Giving Tree and Grade Level Reading committees and Youth Advisory Council have made their annual Giving Tree grant decisions and are in the process of awarding $117,231.04 to 50 area nonprofits and local school districts.
Due to the current pandemic health crisis, the annual grant reception has been canceled and checks are being mailed to the recipients. A complete listing of the grantees will be published soon in a separate news release. Each one of the grantees selected reaches out to provide services that improve the quality of lives of their clients in our community, both in Garland and Montgomery counties.
The foundation accepted applications focusing on the four Aspire Arkansas categories: community, health, education and family. Seventy-four applications totaling over $474,000 were received by a combined effort of our board advised Giving Tree grant program, Grade Level Reading Commitee and our Youth Advisory Council group.
Included in the 50 approved grants were five grants made for Grade-Level Reading programs. Two of them are summer reading loss programs to be facilitated in the Cutter Morning Star Elementary School and the local YMCA. Additional Grade Level Reading approved grants were the Imagination Library program for low income pre-K children, a grant for purchasing books to stock a book vending machine in the Caddo Hills School District and a volunteer tutoring program for struggling K-3 readers to begin in the fall in the Hot Springs School District at three elementary schools. These five programs all place a special emphasis on early literacy and grade-level reading. Unfortunately, only 37-38 percent of Arkansas third-graders are achieving "proficient" reading scores on the ACT Aspire standardized test.
We congratulate those receiving grants from our unrestricted Giving Tree Endowment, the John and Jane Asimos Endowment, the Frances Vaught Endowment and an anonymous donor endowment fund, which are all directed by the HSACF board. We regret that all requests could not be funded due to our limited resources. We, too, are dependent on the generosity of contributors to increase our grantmaking efforts.
Contributions to our grantmaking efforts will always be used to fund worthy projects to our local nonprofit community. No money meant for charity is used to meet our modest budget. Gifts of any size are always welcome, and may be sent to HSACF, P.O. Box 56, Hot Springs, AR 71902. Call 620-4008 for additional information. We also invite you to visit our webpages at http://www.arcf.org under local offices or check us out on Facebook.
Society on 03/31/2020