Two Colorado Statewide Foundations Grant The Manaus Fund’s Valley Settlement Project $100,000 for Program Expansion

VSP uses El Busesito to offer much needed preschool programs in partnership with Roaring Fork School District

CARBONDALE, Colo…The Manaus Fund has received a total of $100,000 in grants from two state foundations. The Daniels Fund grant is for $80,000 and the Temple Hoyne Buell grant is for $20,000. Both grants are dedicated to the expansion of Manaus’ Valley Settlement Project, which will use the money to add a second, El Busesito, or The Little Bus, and additional early childhood programs in partnership with the Roaring Fork School District.

El Busesito works in concert with RFSD to assure a continuum of readiness development using a child-centered approach to early childhood education. The Little Bus visits every child’s home and engages parents in twice monthly meetings to reinforce on-the-bus activities and to suggest ways to extend these experiences. The Little Bus reinforces the idea that parents are their children’s first teacher through these meetings and through the provision of Raising A Reader and Little Bus activity bags.

“We are just thrilled to have the ability to expand our very successful El Busesito program,” said Elaine Grossman, The Manaus Fund’s VSP coordinator.  “These grants will enable VSP to double its capacity to provide much needed quality preschool experiences to children ages 3-5 in The Little Bus in the Roaring Fork School District.”

The development of the children on the Little Bus is tracked through observations recorded with the same assessment tool used by the RFSD, called the Gold Curriculum.

“In just the first four months of VSP activity, we have impacted directly and indirectly 722 individuals,” Grossman said. “In January, we have trained an ten additional Parent Mentors, who work directly with an additional 200 children.”

Last year, the Manaus Fund received a $1.2 million grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation of Battle Creek, Mich. VSP is a dual generation initiative focused on school readiness and elementary school achievement, and economic stability and community engagement for low-income families from Aspen to Parachute.  VSP utilizes The Manaus Fund’s ability to leverage connections between community resources and families in need.

At its core, VSP facilitates connections between existing community resources, works with local organizations, like the Roaring Fork School District, to fill gaps in services and connects families to those resources via a team of community organizers. The following programs are being implemented.

VSP Programs:

Neighborhood Navigators: Connect families to needed resources
Parent Mentors: Training and support for parents to participate in their child’s school as classroom mentors
Powertime: An after school, academic and enrichment activity program for elementary school children
Adult Education: English language, computer and GED preparation classes
Family Friends & Neighbors/Licensed Home Child Care: Training to improve the quality of informal day care
El Busesito/The Little Bus: This mobile early childhood education program will provide learning experiences for parents and children, ages 0-5, who lack access to traditional school readiness opportunities.
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About The Daniels Fund
Bill Daniels, a pioneer in cable television known for his kindness and generosity, established the Daniels Fund to operate the Daniels Fund Scholarship Program and the Daniels Fund Grants Program in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. Visit www.danielsfund.org for more information.

About Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation
The Temple Hoyne Buell Foundation is a Denver-based professional philanthropic organization supporting the positive development of children through grants and partnerships with other sectors of our community.  The foundation focuses primarily on the state of Colorado and concentrates its grant-making on programs that benefit children in early childhood education and development. www.buellfoundation.org

About the W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation was founded in June 1930 as the W.K. Kellogg Child Welfare Foundation by breakfast cereal pioneer Will Keith Kellogg. Today, the private foundation holds substantial equity in and continues to enjoy a strong relationship with the Kellogg Company, both of which are based in Battle Creek, Michigan. The Kellogg Foundation is governed by an independent board of trustees and is now the seventh largest philanthropic foundation in the U.S. In 2011, the foundation reported that its total assets and its trust was more than $7 billion. www.wkkf.org

About The Manaus Fund
The Manaus Fund builds the capacity of nonprofits and communities to achieve a more just society through investments and partnerships from Aspen to Parachute.  The Manaus Fund seeks partnership opportunities where we can simultaneously improve the social and financial bottom line. The Manaus Fund was founded in 2005 by local Aspen entrepreneur and philanthropist, George Stranahan, who continues to sit on its board today. www.manausfund.org

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