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Freeport-McMoRan Foundation Announces 2014 Community Investment Fund Grant Recipients

Freeport CIF award were presented this morning. (Photos by Mary Alice Murphy or Mary Alice Murphy's camera in the hands of Priscilla Lucero or Kendra Milligan.)

SILVER CITY, NM., March 24, 2014 – Recognizing organizations with a vision for a sustainable future in the areas of health & wellness, education, economic development and resilient families, the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation announced the 2014 Community Investment Fund grant recipients.

Seventeen programs from local nonprofit and other organizations will be awarded a total of $500,000. Recipients will be recognized and receive their monetary awards at a presentation to be held at 10:00 a.m., March 24 in the WNMU Seminar Room located on the third floor of the Student Memorial Building.

The awards represent Freeport-McMoRan's efforts to partner with local nonprofits and other organizations working on projects that create sustainable benefits for the community.

"Over the past three years, the Community Investment Fund has provided the opportunity for community members to be directly involved in the decision making process to award funds for projects that help shape the future of the Grant County communities," said Tracy Bame, President of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation.

"We have been so pleased that the Investment Committee members have embraced the role of seeking, cultivating and supporting projects that will create lasting benefits that lead to sustainability. We thank them for their leadership, dedication and suggestions that have further strengthened the process. Our primary goal for the Investment Fund is to empower the community to determine the projects that yield the results of greatest value for the citizens of Grant County."

The Community Investment Fund was established in 2011. It is governed by a committee consisting of eight community leaders who represent diverse organizations and different sectors of the community, and two Freeport-McMoRan representatives from Grant County. The community leaders were nominated and elected by the Grant County Community Partnership Panel. The Panel was established by Freeport-McMoRan five years ago to foster open and ongoing dialogue with the community, allowing the company and the community to work together to develop thoughtful solutions that address community issues and sustainability challenges.

The Community Investment Fund Committee cultivates and selects programs that address the priorities identified by the community to receive financial support based on established criteria, and strives to assist in the success of recipient programs. Funding decisions are made by the Committee.

The 2014 grant recipients are:

Aldo Leopold Charter School/Grant County Youth Business Incubator – $24,250

A collaboration between Aldo Leopold Charter School District and Cobre Consolidated School District, the program will first educate 400 students about "What it Takes to Start a Business," then train 40 students through the 75-hour "Youth Entrepreneurs Program," and ultimately help 20 students actually start a business. Through these programs, students will increase their knowledge and workforce readiness skills while creating an entrepreneurial culture in Grant County that could support economic diversification in the area.

El Grito, Inc./Pre-K Technology for School Readiness – $48,217

Funds for this project will be used to purchase classroom technology that includes learning tools to support school readiness for pre-K students, including updated computers for nine classrooms serving approximately 185 children. This access to technology will further develop cognitive skills that prepare children for kindergarten, meeting Head Start and New Mexico school readiness standards in early math, science and reading. These building blocks create additional opportunities for children to be successful in school and help them grow to be college and career ready.

First Born® Program/First Born Program – $25,000

Healthy mothers and healthy families are core to the long term health and success of the community, which is a goal of the First Born Program. The program will receive a grant to improve the health and wellness of all first-time families regardless of economic or medical status. By working to equip parents with the skills necessary to build strong families, communities are strengthened and the need for future social services is greatly reduced.

Gila Regional Medical Center Foundation/Grant County Community Health Council (GCCHC) Community Health Plan Implementation Project – $48,000
Funding will support the Health Council's efforts to set priorities and actions in accordance with the 2014 Community Assessment, Profile and Plan. This will help build community capacity around the following focus areas identified through the Assessment: community health/safety (disabilities, health fairs and resource directories), behavioral health (substance abuse), family resiliency and interpersonal violence.

Girl Scouts of the Desert Southwest/Southern New Mexico, West Texas and Silver City Program Center Renovation Project – $40,000
Funds will be used to complete much needed updates and repairs to the Girl Scout Program Center in Silver City, making the building more usable, welcoming and safe for the Girls Scouts and troop volunteers. Providing structured, safe and engaging activities for girls in a positive environment encourages their confidence, leadership and long-term success.

Hidalgo Medical Services Health Career Pathways Summer Academies – $38,900 Funds will be used for the implementation of three summer enrichment programs for high school students, introducing them to healthcare related career opportunities available in the community while increasing their academic skills in relevant disciplines. Providing meaningful opportunities for youth to explore health and STEM careers both prepares them for the future workforce while also helping to meet the needs of local health service employers who are working to ensure the availability of healthcare in the community.

Imagination Library of Grant County Inc./Families Hooked On Books – $20,000

With the delivery of a free book each month to Grant County preschoolers, this project prepares kids for successful learning experiences in kindergarten. In addition, the program equips parents with educational and developmental information to provide a positive early childhood literacy experience for their child.

Silver City Public Library/Digital Literacy Training: 21st Century Skills for a Sustainable Grant County – $15,000
Funds will be used to establish a mobile computer lab which allows the Library, in partnership with other community organizations, to offer technology training to increase digital literacy and provide enhanced educational opportunities to local residents. Through access to technology, individuals have the ability to develop 21st century skills that are essential for economic growth.

Literacy Link Leamos – $30,000

This program raises literacy levels in Grant County through a range of services including one-to-one tutoring, English as a Second Language classes, computer literacy instruction, community outreach and the "Let's Read" book project. Programs such as these equip citizens with skills that can break the cycle of poverty, by helping them obtain employment, manage personal affairs and function in today's high-tech society.

National Dance Institute of New Mexico: Dancing to Success in Grant County – $10,000

The Institute, in partnership with the Grant County School District, will receive funds to serve 195 elementary students through a three-week dance residency program. The purpose goes far beyond the experience of dance, but works to increase young people's confidence levels, perseverance, teamwork, ability to focus and set goals, all essential to future employability and success.

New Mexico Affordable Housing Charitable Trust/New Mexico Energy$mart Program – $25,000

Funds will be used to weatherize the homes of 10 at-risk residents in Grant County who qualify for assistance, reducing maintenance and home energy costs which make housing more affordable. These savings reduce the risk of homelessness, while potentially lowering the demand for public assistance.

Silver Regional Sexual Assault Support Services/Trauma-Informed Therapy for Survivors of Sexual Violence – $50,000
This program will use grant funds to provide trauma-informed therapy to survivors of sexual violence, ensuring they receive holistic care. Such care decreases some of the harmful side effects associated with sexual violence, allowing survivors to overcome trauma, heal and thrive as members of the community.

Silver Adult Care Services/ Involved Seniors Project – $16,358

Funds will be used to create a day/respite care program for seniors exhibiting early signs of cognitive impairment. The program creates safe opportunities for social interaction among seniors while also providing caregiver respite, allowing them the opportunity to work, care for themselves and other family members.

The Volunteer Center of Grant County/Food Acquisition and Distribution (FAD) Initiative – $40,000
This project will expand the Center's food acquisition and distribution programs. By increasing the readiness of staff and volunteers to engage in food recovery, gleaning, purchasing, growing and distribution, TVC will build the capacity of the community to meet the needs of hungry families, children,

and seniors in Grant County. The FAD Initiative will boost organizational and community capacity to address food insecurity as a barrier to family resilience.

Western New Mexico University/Rural Access to Chemistry Excellence Project – $31,075

Grant funds will be used to improve the quality of the Chemistry Program at Western New Mexico University. The purchase of a nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer will create access for students in Grant County to an affordable and complete Chemistry Program. The program will create a career pathway that will allow students to compete nationally for science and technology jobs that might otherwise be beyond their reach. Additionally, the enhanced Chemistry Program could bring additional students to Western New Mexico University and the community.

Western New Mexico University/SPARKS: Using Geographic Information Systems to Ignite Community Change – $28,200
Grant funds will be used to develop a modern computer lab to facilitate the use of geographic information systems (GIS) for learning and community benefit such as the reducing the risk of wildfires. The ability to create real-world learning opportunities for students, while also providing the community with a valuable resource, enables students to gain tangible skills while remaining in and serving the community.

Western New Mexico University/Transport to the Past! Museum Adventures in Archaeology and History project – $10,000
This project will create a local experiential learning program within the museum, designed for grades K- 5. Increased access to the museum, through school-to-museum transport, will allow students to gain an appreciation for Grant County's rich and diverse cultural and historical heritage, create a sense of pride, and work to cultivate and interest in lifelong learning.

 

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