The Coginchaug Valley Education Foundation (CVEF) recently awarded over $9,000 in grants, finishing out its third annual funding cycle. With this welcome infusion of resources, seven organizations in Durham and Middlefield will be able to develop new initiatives, continue providing existing programs or expand their efforts – all focused on educating and/or supporting the community.
Using a slightly different approach this year, CVEF asked applicants to consider two themes – mentoring/networking and the arts – when completing their applications.
"The high quality of grant applications received this year shows an enormous amount of creativity in our community and a desire to bring people's talents and interests to others," said CVEF president and grants co-chair Renee Edwards.
"While several grant applications focused on the themes of networking/mentoring or the arts, almost all applicants brought an intergenerational component to their projects. Since applications were not limited to these themes, I don't think that applicants felt restricted. However, the strong presence of an intergenerational approach suggests that there is much value in bringing people together."
The list of awardees includes:
Durham Middlefield Youth and Family Services
Homework Hangout: A multigenerational educational program that provides a supervised, structured, quiet workplace to support homework completion and group projects for Strong Middle School students.
Durham Historical Society
Database Initiative: A digital database containing images and information on items in the Durham Historical Society’s collection of Durham’s history.
Making Sense of the Civil War: A series of programs that put the war in cultural and historical perspective, reveal the role of Connecticut in the war, and provide a human context through stories of real people of the period.
Creation and development of programming dedicated to people, history, and stories that make our area a great place to live.
Fit School: As a continuation of the Go Far Wellness Program for District 13 elementary school students, Fit School will be geared exclusively to middle school students.
Durham Park and Rec, Everyone Outside
A combined goal to enjoy the outdoors in our communities while working toward preserving and disseminating local social and natural history information.
Coginchaug Regional High School
Exploring With SeaPerch: An innovative robotics program that teaches students how to build an underwater Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV).
While proud of CVEF's grants program, and the almost $25,000 it has provided in funding over the past three years, Edwards says the organization is constantly looking at ways to strengthen the program.
"We are eager to track the progress of projects as they unfold and to potentially discover ways that we might improve our grants process overall," explains Edwards.
"As an organization aimed at promoting lifelong learning in our community, we would like to explore different ways to expand our grants program to meet the interests of the community. This may take the shape of higher funding goals, partnering with other organizations, or filling unmet needs in our community."
CVEF was founded in March 2008 as an independent education foundation. The mission of CVEF is to promote excellence, innovation and creativity in education for the community and to support lifelong learning in Durham and Middlefield by giving grants and sponsoring programs.