Vintners give $1.2 million to programs serving youth

Low-income children will receive boost
2012-12-14T20:29:00Z 2012-12-14T21:43:24Z Vintners give $1.2 million to programs serving youthISABELLE DILLS Napa Valley Register
December 14, 2012 8:29 pm  • 

The Napa Valley Vintners announced its third set of grants from the proceeds of the 2012 Auction Napa Valley fundraiser.

Vintners will give more than $1.2 million to eight organization that help Napa County children — from preschool to college — succeed in school and beyond.

Of those organizations, NapaLearns and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Napa Valley received the largest grants, with $300,000 each.

Since 1999, the Vintners have supported the Boys and Girls Clubs of Napa Valley, which works to educate youth on the benefits of making smart decisions, living healthy lifestyles and striving toward academic success.

NapaLearns works with local educators to help provide technology in the classroom. One of its most well-known programs involves “digital early learning,” which includes providing iPads to local kindergarten and first-grade classrooms.

This is second year NapaLearns has received funding through the Vintners grant program, but they also were part of a previous Youth Education Success initiative that involved a $1 million challenge grant over three years, said Julie Crafton, the communications coordinator for Napa Valley Vintners.

In Napa County, one of every five children are from low-income households, and research shows that these youth are at a “serious disadvantage” when it comes to achieving self-sufficiency, full civic participation, and finding leadership opportunities, according to the Vintners.

“Skills for success in school and life are accumulated over time and built on each other, and we want to ensure that all children, from toddlers to young adults, have the opportunities at each age to develop those skills,'” said Napa Valley Vintners Executive Director Linda Reiff.

Altogether, Vintners will be bestowing $7 million divided into six allocations from this year’s auction. In October, the group announced grants totaling $1.9 million to major health care organizations. In November, the Vintners said  they would invest $1.1 million to local organizations that help at-risk families.

Earlier this year, the Napa Valley Vintners announced that Auction giving would be shifting its focus to two main areas: community health and children’s education. “Phase-out” grants would be provided to organizations — primarily in the area of housing — that no longer meet the Vintners “long-term giving goals.”

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