Bessie Minor awards 2014 grants |

Bessie Minor awards 2014 grants

Staff report

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation (formerly Bessie Minor Charitable Fund), formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awards grants to programs that promote literacy, reading and writing skills as well as programs focusing on the arts, languages and sciences.

Since 2008, more than $234,000 has been awarded to non-profit organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business.

The deadline for 2014 grant applications was Feb. 15 and more than 220 applications were received. The Foundation grant criteria calls for detail on how many people will be impacted by the organization’s project and how significant a role the Bessie Minor Swift Foundation will play in the program. Further, applicants must provide a complete description of the project including objectives and strategies to meet those objectives, explain how the project will be evaluated and submit a budget.

Recipients will report on their results and insights from their program once the projects are completed.

This year, applications were of even higher quality than previous years and more than $61,000 has been awarded to those organizations that shined a little brighter than the others. The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation thanks the many groups that took the time and energy to apply and encourages those that were not selected this year to submit applications in the future.

Applications will be accepted again starting Jan. 1, 2015, with a deadline of February 15, 2015. For more information, visit the Bessie Minor website at


Churchill County

Friends of Oasis Academy


$2,500 for a licensed teacher to tutor using online reading blogs for 200 students in grades 3-8 during the summer months.

Lyon County

Silver Springs Elementary School

Silver Springs

$1,916.22 for the Bessie Backpack Program. Bessie Backpacks will contain leveled readers, iPod shuffles containing books and music focused on emerging learning skills and hints and suggestions for parents. These will be part of a borrowing system for low-income parents of preschoolers.

Smith Valley Friends of the Library


$2,408 for purchase of the Renaissance Learning’s Accelerated Reading program for the over 200 students in grades 2-12 in Smith Valley Schools. Reading of both fiction and non-fiction books is followed by comprehension testing specific to the book.

Washoe County

Incline Elementary School

Incline Village

$2,184 for the purchase of Tile Sets, Binders and Dividers to be used with the Barton Reading and Spelling system as part of a literacy program that begins in the summer of 2014 and continues through the 2014-2015 school year. The program will target students who perform at the 25th percentile and below.

Northern Nevada Literacy Council


$2,500 for purchase of books, backpacks, notebooks and instructor time for 20 adult learners and 40 of their children. Adult learners are preparing to pass the GED exam or are taking ESL classes, and this summer program will encourage parents and their school-aged children to read together.