More than $64,000 in grants support local youth programs - May 14 2012

OSHKOSH, WI - Surviving summer break without hearing a chorus of "I'm bored. There's nothing to do," from a teenager may seem unavoidable to many parents.

The Oshkosh Community YMCA aims to quiet those adolescent voices with the continued growth of its summer Teen Adventure program. Geared to the tender age group of 11 to 14, Teen Adventure aims to enrich children's lives and the community.

Photo caption: The YMCA's Teen Adventure program provides activities for 11 to 14 year olds on summer break. It was one of 29 programs and camperships to receive a Youth Grant from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation. Photo courtesy of the Oshkosh Commmunity YMCA

"Each year our numbers increase. We're always seeing new faces and a lot of families we see year after year," says Erin Baranek, the Y's school age coordinator.

The Teen Adventure program is one of 29 youth programs that were awarded grants from the Oshkosh Area Community Foundation this spring. The Foundation granted more than $64,000 to local nonprofits that offer year-round and summer programming and camps that benefit youth. Agencies submitted more than $214,000 in requests for funding.

"Programs like the Y's Teen Adventure program fill a gap in our community for children who are too old for day care, too young to have a job but still need an organized activity during the day," says Cheryl Fowler, the Community Foundation's Program Director. "There are not a lot of programs that target this age group, and I know that's a big reason why our committee chose to fund this program."

The Teen Adventure program will be offered between 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. from June 11 through Aug. 31, 2012, at the Y's 20th Street facility. In addition to activities at the Y, children will be invited to join weekly field trips to state attractions. Baranek says the Y wants to expand offerings this summer to include community service activities and a biking group. For registration information, go to www.oshkoshymca.org or call Baranek at 920-236-3380.

The grants were awarded in April as part of the Community Foundation's annual Youth Grants initiative.

2012 Youth Grants
The Community Foundation awarded $39,908 to nonprofit programs and projects benefitting children in Winnebago County from a total of $171,875 in requests.
    Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce, Youth Leadership Oshkosh: $1,500
    The Youth Leadership Oshkosh program educates a select group of juniors from Oshkosh's public and private high schools about the community's opportunities and challenges and prepares the students for leadership roles in school and future endeavors.
    University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Wisconsin Youth Leadership Academy: $2,000
    In its second year of operation, the Youth Leadership Academy empowers disadvantaged and diverse youth to be effective agents of positive social change while they serve as role models in their communities and schools.
    Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes, Building Tomorrow's Leaders: $1,000
    Building Tomorrow's Leaders helps girls participate in healthy and positive activities and provides hands on leadership experiences that allow for important personal growth opportunities.
    Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, Excellence through Ethics Program: $2,000
    Excellence Through Ethics provides an opportunity for corporate executives and community leaders to take a message of integrity, respect and ethics to local high school classrooms where they engage students in lively discussions and activities on ethical behavior for businesses and citizens alike.
    Best Friends of Neenah-Menasha, Community-Based Mentoring: $2,000
    Community-Based Mentoring is a one-to-one mentoring program that connects a mentor with a child or teen in need. Volunteers spend about 12 hours a month with their friend, incorporating them into their everyday life and broadening their horizons.
    Paine Art Center and Gardens, Tuesday Evening Nature Programs: $1,800
    The Evening Nature Programs will encourage children and parents to learn together through two events focused on garden soil and plants and "critters" often seen in backyards and gardens.
    Winnebago Audubon Society Inc. Wisconsin, Amphibians Go to School: $1,000
    Through this program, an expert will bring amphibians native to Wisconsin to public schools in Oshkosh, allowing students to have hands-on experiences with them.
    Oshkosh Community YMCA, Teen Adventure Program: $4,500
    The Teen Adventure Program is offered to teens ages 11 through 14 during the summer and provides daily activities and weekly fieldtrips focused on fun, community service and learning.
    Oshkosh Wave Robotics, Tech Adventure: $2,000
    Tech Adventure will offer three one-week hands-on learning, leadership and team-building sessions focused on robotics and science for students in grades five through eight and in high school.
    Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin, Oshkosh Inclusive Park: $4,000
    The Inclusive Park project aims to develop a fully accessible park in Oshkosh that will allow children with disabilities to play beside their typical developing peers.
    Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, Think Big Keystone Conference: $3,000
    Keystone Club members will have an opportunity to attend a national conference at which they will socialize with their peers and develop skills that will enhance leadership efforts in their own community.
    Rawhide, Adventure Camp: $1,500
    Adventure Camp is a week-long wilderness program that provides at-risk youth with educational and personal growth opportunities in an effort to build motivation to successfully complete their education.
    Youth Go, Leadership & Service Learning Program: $900
    This program is offered to at-risk youth and focuses on building leadership skills and demonstrating the importance of giving back to our community.
    Boys & Girls Brigade, Character Development/Leadership Training: $1,250
    The Brigade offers this after school program focused on building character and leadership to reduce the risk of youth dropping out of school. Character Development programs are offered to sixth- through eighth-grade students and Leadership Development to ninth- through 12-grade students.
    Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, Kids Safe Program: $2,500
    The Kids Safe Program provides aid to children of low income working families who need but cannot afford the services the club offers including membership and child care fees.
    Chaps Academy, HOPE Lives!: $1,000
    This program aims to prevent suicide, reduce psychiatric hospitalizations and treat severely depressed youth and their families through equine-assisted therapy.
    Friends of Camp Anokijig, Outdoor Education Experience: $2,500
    The Outdoor Education Experience aims to get children out of the classroom and into nature with the goal of fostering environmental stewardship and life-long skills and attitudes about nature.
    *Omro Middle School, Outdoor Environmental Education: $1,958
    This three-day program provides sixth-graders with a camping experience and environmental educational opportunities that are not possible in the regular school setting through direct interaction with the forests, lakes and grasslands. *This grant is funded by the Mildred E. Turner Youth and Children Fund.
    Oshkosh Public Museum, Storage fee for Hiwela artifacts: $500

2012 Youth Campership Grants
The Community Foundation awarded $27,250 to nonprofit programs to offer summer camp opportunities for residents of Winnebago County. A total of $42,750 in requests were made.
    Cerebral Palsy of Mideast Wisconsin, Camp Sandy Wheels: $3,300
    Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services, Camperships for Youth: $1,000
    UW Extension Winnebago County, 4-H Summer Camp Program: $1,750
    Wisconsin Badger Camp, Campership Program: $800
    Oshkosh Community YMCA, Camp Winni-Y-Co: $1,650
    Best Friends of Neenah Menasha, Camp Onaway "Match Camp": $2,000
    Boys & Girls Brigade, Camp Onaway: $2,500
    Friends of Camp Anokijig, Camperships for needy children: $5,000
    Girl Scouts of Northwestern Great Lakes, Summer Adventures: $4,000
    Boys & Girls Club of Oshkosh, Kids to Camp Program: $5,250

The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization created by and for the people of Winnebago County, Waushara County, Green Lake County and Ripon. Through charitable giving, the Community Foundation strives to make our communities thrive. For more information, please call 920-426-3993.


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