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  • Writer's pictureBranch County Community Foundation

2024 Youth Grant Cycle Funding Announced



The 2024 grant cycles kicked off with the Youth Advisory Council’s annual Youth Grant Cycle, which was open in the month of January for projects and programs that support young people and families in Branch County and Colon. Once the grant application process concludes on January 31st, YAC members review applications in February and bring their recommendations for funding recipients to the Branch County Community Foundation board in March.   

 

With the 2024 Youth Grant Cycle, over $20,388 was provided to fund six different projects in our service area! 

 

The organizations that received funding included:  

  • Branch County Fair 

  • Branch District Library 

  • CHS Baking Club 

  • CHS National Art Honor Society 

  • Coldwater Choir Boosters 

  • Coldwater Housing Matters 

 







Project and program information: 


Branch County Fair: Branch County Fair Kids Day 

Kids Day at the Branch County Fair has been an annual event for 93 years. Kids Day reaches hundreds of children and families who visit the Fair, providing many activities and learning experiences surrounding agriculture. Not only is it a fun opportunity, but Kids Day is also a fantastic way for the 4-H participants to be hands-on in providing a positive learning experience for kids in Branch County.  With the help of the Youth Grant funding, the 2024 Kids Day will feature Jonathan LaChance Comedy Farm Magic Show. The comedy show will provide many laughs, along with teaching agricultural information, farm safety tips, roles of responsibility, and how to be a great leader.  

 

Branch District Library: Summer Reading BMX Stunt Show 

Every summer, the Branch District Library provides a Summer Reading program for the youth in Branch County. This program includes a theme, and is ignited through an engaging, entertaining experience. The 2024 Summer Reading theme is “Adventure Begins at Your Library” and the funding provided by the Youth Grant will partner in bringing Bill Nischke's Wonder Wheels BMX Stunt Show to the program. This BMX show will showcase many tricks and stunts, but also promote physical activity and healthy lifestyle through goal setting and making healthy choices. The BDL hopes to bring a positive impact to the mental and physical health of the youth in Branch County. 


CHS Baking Club: Beyond the Oven: Empowering CHS Teens Through Baking 

During the 2022-2023 school year, Coldwater High School established the CHS Baking Club. The baking club provides a monthly, after school baking session to give students a relaxed environment to collaborate with their peers and develop skills that will carry over to the standard kitchen, all while positively expressing themselves. Many students who were not involved in sports or other extracurricular activities, have found a home in the baking club. While the club has sold their leftover baked goods to continue providing for the program, funding from the Youth Grant will help their program be sustainable by purchasing reliable kitchen equipment and baking necessities.  


CHS National Art Honor Society:  

The 2023-2024 school year at Coldwater High School is bringing yet another great opportunity for students to get involved with bettering the community by forming the CHS National Art Honor Society. The NAHS is the first of its kind in Branch County! Through the program, art students will maintain GPA requirements, complete art-based community service, and have access to exclusive art shows and scholarship opportunities. With help from the Youth Grant funding, the program will have a jumpstart to sustainability in purchasing art supplies and aiding in outreach, as current supplies art shared with all art students. Within the first year of NAHS forming, over 40 art students have applied to be a part of the program in collaborating to impact the community positively. 


Coldwater Choir Boosters: Performance Risers 

Coldwater Middle and High School choirs and bands hold numerous performances and events throughout the school year, requiring the use of performance risers. Along with using the risers over many years has come with deterioration, putting many of them out of use. Having safe and adequate performance risers has been a top priority for the Coldwater Choir Boosters over the last several years. With YAC’s help, six new sections of risers will be purchased for use by the Coldwater Middle School and High School choirs and bands, along with other events as needed. The funding not only aids in the safety of students with proper equipment but also helps provide a positive artistic and educational experience for many years to come.  


Coldwater Housing Matters: Family Promise Renovation Project: Kitchen/Dining Room, Entry Way & Seating 

Family Promise has been providing safe emergency (30 to 60 day) shelter for families with children since 2000, along with case management and housing navigation services. Through a grant from the State of Michigan, Family Promise was able to do a large renovation of the home, including new family sleeping rooms, an HVAC system, windows and flooring, a new kitchen, a new entryway, child-friendly seating spaces, and more. This remodel has been designed to promote family engagement. YAC has provided funding to aid in the mission of promoting family engagement, particularly at mealtimes, by providing dining furniture big enough for the entire family. Community spaces will also see updates with child-friendly seating, along with fresh coat and shoe storage to the updated entryway, with the help of the Youth Grant.  


To learn more about YAC, visit our website at www.BrCoFoundation.com/yac 


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