The Napa Valley Vintners announced its fifth set of grants Thursday from the proceeds of the 2013 Auction Napa Valley fundraiser.
The Vintners will give close to $1,775,000 to nine organizations that provide critical support for educational achievement for Napa County youth.
Those organizations are Big Brothers Big Sisters of the North Bay, Boys & Girls Clubs of Napa Valley, Boys & Girls Clubs of St. Helena and Calistoga, Child Start, Community Resources for Children, Napa Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), NapaLearns, On The Move and Summer Search.
For the first time in about five years, Community Resources for Children, a child care organization, will receive a Vintners grant, said Community Resources Associate Director Lola Cornish-Nickens.
“It’s a great blessing for us,” Cornish-Nickens said of the $75,000 allocation.
This year’s grant will be used to support a variety of programs, including a bilingual, play-based, school-readiness program called “Active Minds,” Cornish-Nickens said. Preschool children attend the program with their parents for social and emotional growth, language development and pre-literacy skills.
One of the largest grants awarded by the Vintners — $600,000 — will go to NapaLearns, which helps support technology and project-based learning in local schools.
Most recently, NapaLearns helped purchase licenses for every preschool-aged child in Napa County to have free access to “Footsteps2Brilliance,” an early learning vocabulary and reading program.
Last year, the Vintners awarded $300,000 to NapaLearns. More than 50 percent of this year’s funding will go toward teacher training, executive director Peg Maddocks said. Twenty percent will go toward technology purchases, and the remaining funds will support curriculum.
“We so appreciate the Vintners for recognizing what we’re doing,” Maddocks said.
All nine organizations included in this wave of funding provide a “firm foundation” for children and teens to succeed in school, according to the Vintners.
“If not addressed, these issues could create the potential for not only academic underachievement, but destructive behavior on the part of the child that can have negative implications for the Napa County community as a whole,” according to the Vintners’ press release.
Some of the services these community nonprofits provide include mentors to children who might not otherwise find a role model, safe havens for youth, and long-term initiatives that inspire low-income high school students to become responsible and show leadership.
These latest grants come on the heels of awards totaling $527,000 to senior-serving agencies, $3 million in October to local hospitals and clinics, disbursements of nearly $1 million in November to organizations that deal with mental health, child abuse, domestic violence and drug addiction, as well as grants totaling $635,500 in December to community service organizations that assist families throughout Napa Valley.
The Vintners will be announcing more grants in the coming months as it completes the award of money from the 33rd annual Auction Napa Valley, which raised a record $16.9 million in May.