Groups claim $250,000 for mentor programs

The Oregon Community Foundation's Southern Oregon Leadership Council has awarded nearly $250,000 in grants to five nonprofit organizations working to strengthen mentor programs to improve education for youth in Southern Oregon.

The mentor-program grants were part of a total of almost $3.2 million in grants to area nonprofits during a recent grant cycle. Statewide, the organization made $16.2 million in grants.

The grants to mentor programs are part of OCF's Regional Action Initiative.

"Many children lack the kind of parental support that enables them to grow into well-educated, healthy adults," said Doug Schmor, a leadership council member. "The Southern Oregon Leadership Council wants to increase these young people's chances for success by connecting them with caring adult mentors."

The following mentor programs were funded:

€¢ Citizens for Safe Schools Klamath Falls, $51,815 to support the Kids in the Middle program.

€¢ Grants Pass Family YMCA Grants Pass, $50,000 to support the Guiding Lights Mentoring Program.

€¢ Kids Unlimited, Medford, $50,000 to implement Proyecto Educator, a holistic system for Latino youth at risk of dropping out of school.

€¢ Lake County Education Service District, Lakeview, $50,000 to establish a youth program and to hire a part-time coordinator position in Lake County.

€¢ Southern Oregon Adolescent Study and Treatment Center, Grants Pass, $43,502 to support the School Community Team Mentorship Project, engaging and training a cohort of volunteers to mentor students in eight schools.

Other area grants include:

€¢ ACCESS Inc. Medford, $50,000 to support the Emergency Fund, offering financial assistance to families in crisis.

€¢ Arts Council of Southern Oregon, Medford, $18,399 for a collaboration with Community Works to continue the Lithia Springs Music Program, a music education program fat Lithia Springs Schools.

€¢ Boys and Girls Clubs of the Rogue Valley, Grants Pass, $20,000 for support of the Healthy Habits and Free Meals Program at the Phoenix and Talent sites, providing free supper and health education to club members.

€¢ Butte Falls Community School Partnership, Butte Falls, $10,000 for support of youth-based out-of-school programs, including educational classes, camps and events.

€¢ CASA of Jackson County, Medford, $25,000 to sustain services to children through Court Appointed Special Advocate volunteers.

€¢ Community Health Center, Medford, $40,000 for the Southern Oregon Medication Assistance Coalition to provide emergency prescription assistance for low-income and disabled people in Jackson County.

€¢ Health Care Coalition of Southern Oregon, Medford, $25,000 to increase health-care services for pregnant women.

€¢ Klamath and Lake Community Action Services, Klamath Falls, $11,000 to expand the Family Mentoring Project, to prevent children in at-risk families from entering the foster care system.

€¢ Phoenix Counseling Center, Inc., Phoenix, $39,270 to support Future Quest, providing prevention/intervention services, parenting education and support groups for preteens and teens at several schools.

€¢ Rogue Valley Art Association, Medford, $3,000 for a pilot arts outreach program to help schools meet the curriculum standards set by the Oregon Department of Education.

€¢ Rogue Valley Farm to School, Ashland, $6,000 for support of the Farm to School Program, providing farm and garden-based education for low-income students.

€¢ Rogue Valley Opera Association, Medford, $21,000 for support of a capacity-building project.

€¢ Southern Oregon ESD, Medford, $15,000 for support of the Hispanic Academic Outreach Project, providing after-school tutoring, homework help, college and scholarship application assistance, and social service referrals to young migrant students at South Medford High School and the Medford Opportunity School.

€¢ Southern Oregon Historical Society, Jacksonville, $20,000 to reopen the research library at the society and digitize its catalog of records.

€¢ Southern Oregon University, Ashland, $25,000 for Academia Latina, a one-week residential academic program for Latino students completing grades 7-9.

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