Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, a sanctuary for neglected horses in Dover, built a humane education library on the farm with support from the Dover Education Enrichment Program. Executive Director Deanna Mancuso, pictured above, hosts an after-school program on lessons ranging from nutrition to grooming. The library will help participants improve their literacy skills and develop empathy. Photo: John Dolan   
Program, Philanthropy & Leadership Highlights 
Arts Build Community Grants: Our initiative to increase community engagement through the arts has awarded its first-ever grants to a range of community-based and arts nonprofits. The Arts Build Community initiative granted a total of $59,210 to 10 organizations for projects that test emerging ideas to more effectively engage residents in the arts and creative process. Read outlines of the funded programs.
Early Literacy: As part of our ongoing effort to promote early literacy, young children and their families in Columbia County read 2,154 books last month during a read-a-thon hosted by the Early Literacy and Learning Network. Numerous classrooms and organizations participated in the event to increase foundational literacy skills in children under age 5. The network, which is supported by Berkshire Taconic, is a collaborative project of Columbia Opportunities and Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood
Board, Staff & Committee News 
Enhancing Schools: For two decades, students in the Taconic Hills Central School District have participated in enriching programs thanks to the hard work of volunteer grantmaking committees and the generosity of donors. Our blog highlights the projects supported by the district's Education Enrichment Fund, which marks its 20th anniversary this month, and Arts and Humanities Fund.
Saluting Educators: Amy Taylor, BTCF community engagement officer for education, was the guest speaker at the fourth annual Early Childhood Educators Evening on April 25. Presented by Berkshire Community College and Berkshire United Way, the event saluted educators who make a difference in their schools and communities.  
New Arrival: Senior Community Engagement Officer Emily Bronson and her husband, Ted, welcomed their daughter, Esme, on April 5. 
Grants in the News

Helping Students Soar: The Eagle Fund and Janet's Fund, two Berkshire Taconic education enrichment funds for students in the Southern Berkshire Regional School District, awarded $54,000 for school-based programs in the arts, climate action, robotics, economics, agriculture and more. Read more in the Berkshire Edge.   
Economic Opportunity: With support from Berkshire Taconic's Community Development Collaborations initiative, the Foundation for Norfolk Living recently held a discussion on affordable housing that highlighted the group's proposal to build a cluster of new net-zero energy homes in town. Norfolk Now featured the event in this month's issue. 
Empowering Field Trip: Nearly 100 Berkshire County high school students traveled to Washington, D.C., to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. The trip was supported by the Moonlight Mile Fund. An article in the Berkshire Eagle includes the reactions of students in their own words.
Coming Up
Board Leadership Seminar: Limited seats remain for our seminar on Smart Fundraising for Nonprofit Boards on Friday, May 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. in Lakeville. Speaker Gayle L. Gifford will help regional board members from nonprofits of all sizes learn how to be effective in their roles as fundraising volunteers. Register now. Tickets are $35.
Impact of Private Philanthropy: BTCF President Peter Taylor and Peter Buffett, co-president of NoVo Foundation, will discuss how private philanthropy can transform and invigorate local communities and their economies at Saint James Place in Great Barrington on Sunday, May 19, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The talk is part of the annual meetings of the Berkshire Community Land Trust and Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires.  
Berkshire Nonprofit Awards: The Nonprofit Center of the Berkshires, in partnership with the Berkshire Eagle and with support from Berkshire Taconic, will present the second annual Berkshire Nonprofit Awards breakfast on Tuesday, May 21, from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Berkshire Hills Country Club in Pittsfield. The event will celebrate the work of 19 honorees in the Berkshire nonprofit sector. Reserve your seat