For Immediate Release: Contact: Morgan Jacober
5 December 2014 (970) 963-0851
The Valley Settlement Project continues to expand by engaging, educating and empowering low-income families in the Roaring Fork School District.
[Carbondale, CO] – The Manaus Fund has been awarded a second, three-year, $1.2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to further its investment in the work of the Valley Settlement Project from 2015–2018.
The Valley Settlement Project is a multigenerational approach to improving the lives of low-income families in the Roaring Fork School District. Valley Settlement focuses on school readiness, elementary school achievement, economic stability and community engagement. Valley Settlement works to support and empower these low-income families through community organizing and partnerships with government entities, businesses, other nonprofits and the Roaring Fork School District.
An initial planning grant in 2011 from the Kellogg Foundation enabled The Manaus Fund to conduct extensive interviews and to develop an understanding of the needs of the region’s most vulnerable families. Using a community-organizing approach, families were invited to share their stories with bilingual, bicultural community organizers. One-on-one interviews of 270 families found that Latino immigrants had multiple, unique barriers to settling in the Roaring Fork valley.
In 2012, The Manaus Fund in partnership with the Kellogg Foundation and other funders launched the Valley Settlement Project, aimed at helping these low-income families settle in the community. The Project runs multiple programs including: two mobile pre-school classrooms, early childhood development and training for parents of infants and toddlers, training for parent volunteers in elementary school classrooms, adult education and leadership training. Over the last three years the Valley Settlement Project has grown rapidly and is currently serving over 300 families annually.
With the Kellogg Foundation’s new three-year grant, The Manaus Fund will continue to expand and refine the Valley Settlement Project based on evaluation, feedback and experience. The Manaus Fund will also help to educate other organizations by sharing its process, understandings and results.
“We are excited to award this new investment because the work of Valley Settlement Project has matured tremendously in just three years,” explains Jon-Paul Bianchi, Kellogg Foundation Program Officer. “Manaus has proven that they can implement successful programs and can help local service providers and schools to change their practices and ultimately their strategies for working with diverse families. We have seen a change in practices but more importantly, in the culture of organizations in the Roaring Fork valley and how they work.”
“The Kellogg Foundation is a fantastic partner that helped us form and develop the Valley Settlement Project, and we are excited to continue evolving it with them,” said Morgan Jacober, Project Director. Jon Fox Rubin, The Manaus Fund Executive Director, agreed, “We are so grateful to have the Kellogg Foundation by our side and to work with them to not only expand our reach but to also foment enduring change for our low-income families in the Roaring Fork School District and beyond.”
About The Manaus Fund:
In 2005, The Manaus Fund was founded by local philanthropist, educator, rancher, entrepreneur, photographer, and physicist, George Stranahan. George’s passion has always been social justice and his initial intention was to address inequities that he saw in the philanthropic world. The Manaus Fund is committed to social justice issues, particularly as related to low-income populations. Through community organizing, The Manaus Fund works to empower people to identify problems, set goals, and become effective leaders to achieve a more just society. Valley Settlement Project is a working model of this approach. For more information, visit www.manausfund.org and www.valleysettlement.org.
About the Kellogg Foundation:
The W. K. Kellogg Foundation (Kellogg Foundation), founded in 1930 as an independent, private foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer, Will Keith Kellogg, is among the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States. Guided by the belief that all children should have an equal opportunity to thrive, Kellogg Foundation works with communities to create conditions for vulnerable children so they can realize their full potential in school, work and life.
The Kellogg Foundation is based in Battle Creek, Michigan, and works through the United States and internationally, as well as with sovereign tribes. Special emphasis is paid to priority places where there are high concentrations of poverty and where children face significant barriers to success. Kellogg Foundation priority places in the U.S. are Michigan, Mississippi, New Mexico and New Orleans; and internationally, are in Mexico and Haiti. For more information, visit www.wkkf.org.