2023 YAC Grant Recipients
Updated: May 1
This year started out with the Youth Advisory Council’s annual Youth Grant Cycle, which was open in the month of January for projects and programs that directly and exclusively support young people ages 0 – 21 in Branch County and Colon. YAC members reviewed applications in February, and in March they held interviews with applicants and made recommendations for funding to the Community Foundation Board.
The Youth Advisory Council was able to provide funding for five different projects and programs in our service area totaling over $8,450.
The organizations that received funding included:
Anderson Elementary School in Bronson
Branch Area Careers Center
Coach Eby Youth and Family Center
Pansophia Academy’s Drama Club
Coldwater Community Center
"We were very excited about the applications we received this year” said YAC President, Liam VanWagner. “It is always difficult to make decisions and recommendations for funding, especially with the quality of applications we receive, but we were happy to see some applications that aligned with the results of our needs assessment. We are so inspired by the schools and organizations that are doing great things and supporting the Youth in our communities!”
Project and Program Information:
Anderson Elementary School: Building Community at Recess
Anderson Elementary School’s project is called Building Community at Recess, and the funds will be used to purchase playground games such as a tether ball, non-air filled balls, corn hole games, and more, to promote working together. They will also rope off a walking path and have students who choose to walk during recess track their miles to earn prizes. The hope is that promoting cooperative play with these games and the walking path will decrease the number of students that are sent to the principal’s office for behavior issues after lunch and recess.
Branch Area Careers Center: Personal & Hygiene Products Needy Students
The Branch Area Careers Center applied for funding to purchase personal supplies and hygiene products for the students in need who attend the Careers Center. There are roughly 500 high school juniors and seniors from Coldwater, Bronson, Quincy, Colon, Reading, Hillsdale, Union City, Pansophia, and homeschooled students who attend BACC. They will be able to serve as another location in the community where students who attend can go to get hygiene products, especially if they do not go to their home school in the morning or after they finish their day at the BACC. With the funding they will purchase travel-size deodorants, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes, toothpaste, feminine products, and any other hygiene products that students can use.
Coach Eby Youth and Family Center: Fresh Food Distribution
Coach Eby Youth and Family Center has been partnered with the South Michigan Food Bank since August of 2021 to provide fresh food distribution to people and families in need. They currently distribute 90 boxes of fresh food each month, and their target population is families with children in our community. Their goal with the YAC grant funds is to purchase half of the monthly boxes and reach more families than they already do. Their distribution is on the fourth Monday of each month from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm in their parking lot.
Pansophia Academy: Drama Program Funding
Pansophia Academy’s Drama Society applied for funds to strengthen its Drama program. They will be able to use their grant funds to purchase props, cover operating expenses, perform on bigger stages such as Tibbit’s Opera House, and update the technology they use. The hope is that more students will be able to participate in shows with larger casts and that they will be able to produce more well-known performances.
Coldwater Community Center: Youth Programs Implementation
The Coldwater Community Center is a newer organization in Coldwater, and they applied for a grant to start implementing Youth Programs at the Community Center. They are planning to use the funds over the next several months to create interesting cultural and educational experiences for the youth in the community. They will then hold events for families to bring their children, for schools to visit with their classrooms, and for youth members to join their friends. They want to create experiences that will be interesting and exciting for youth to participate in.