Community Link
November 2018
Year-End Giving Ideas, Chapter 1
Dear Friend,

This time of year is about many things: spending time with family and friends, reflecting on the past, planning for the future, celebrating longstanding traditions, and giving gifts, just to name a few. 

One of our traditions at Napa Valley Community Foundation is to publish a handful of carefully selected funding ideas for your year-end consideration. 

This holiday season, we’re focusing our funding ideas on three areas where the Foundation works year-round to have a positive impact in our community: 

  • Education & Youth Development
  • Vulnerable Populations
  • Civic Engagement.

Today’s edition focuses on Youth Development & Education. Here, the goal is to help our community’s children succeed in school and improve their chances of becoming confident and contributing adults.  

Effective work in this area takes a variety of shapes in our community, including: targeted academic interventions that augment the work of public schools and help level the educational playing field; early childhood programs that prepare pre-kindergarten kids for a lifetime of academic achievement; and programs that focus intensively on helping disenfranchised students become leaders who are connected to school and community.  

All organizations and projects featured below have been vetted, and all have funding gaps that deserve to be closed, in our view.

If you’d like to support any of them and have a giving Fund with us, you can recommend a grant by logging into your DonorCentral account from the homepage on our website

You also can give directly to any of these organizations by contacting their Executive Directors.

With best wishes for a joyful season,

Rejane Brito & Julia DeNatale
Philanthropic Services Staff
Parents and tots snuggle and share a love of reading

Organization: Child Start, Inc.
What's needed: $10,000 for the Raising a Reader (RAR) program for book purchases
People served: 1,300 children ages 0-5 (and their parents/caregivers) 
What they do: RAR is a take-home book bag program that promotes healthy brain development, family bonding, and increased literacy skills -- all factors in academic readiness. The program is designed to be easy: each week, parents (or other primary caregivers, like child care workers) take home a bag filled with award-winning books (in English or Spanish, or a mix) from libraries, Family Resource Centers, Child Start’s own preschool and infant-toddler child development centers, and other public and private preschool programs. Then, parents are encouraged to use the books to read aloud daily to their kids, and to spend quality time together to create a foundation for a lifelong love of reading. Each week, the bags are replenished with a new batch of books. RAR targets (but does not limit services to) Napa County’s low-income families, because these parents may not be strong readers in English or their native language, and may therefore be reticent to read with their young children. Coupled with the books, RAR also educates parents on strategies for sharing the reading experience with their children, from just talking about the books to tying the stories back to classroom lessons. Each year, Child Start needs to replace some of its book inventory due to normal wear and tear, as well as to replenish the books it gives to kids to keep. 
Contact: Debbie Peralez, Executive Director,
Young men and women develop connections to school and culture

Organization: Napa Valley Unified Educational Foundation (NVEF) 
What's needed: $40,000 for fiscal sponsorship of the LEGACY Youth Project (LYP)
People served: 190 youth in grades 5-12 at five schools (and their parents)
What they do: LYP is a school-based program that works with tweens and teens who have faced challenges in their personal and educational lives, but have the potential to thrive in and out of school. Youth entering the program may be: low-income; English language learners; from single parent homes; involved in gangs; or lacking in positive role models.  As a result, these students experience marginalization at school and often have less than a 2.0 Grade Point Average (GPA). LYP’s model is rooted in strengthening the young people's cultural identity (the majority of students are Latino) and providing a support system that will empower the students to become critical thinkers, make positive decisions and achieve academic and career success. Kids meet daily in the classroom and focus on: academic skill-building and tutoring; ethnic studies; character and leadership development; community and civic engagement; college and career readiness; and mentorship. The program also works with families and community mentors and meets outside of the classroom for college trips, parent education, community service and cultural events. It’s working: 75 percent of students in the program raise their GPAs; 100 percent graduate from high school; and 91 percent matriculate to post-secondary education. 
Contact: Jennifer Stewart, Executive Director, 
At-risk students use art to express themselves

Organization: Nimbus Arts
What's needed: $20,000 for the Court and Community Schools program
People served: 150 teens in grades 6-12
What they do: Nimbus Arts was founded in 2005 to make hands-on and interactive educational art programs available to all in the Napa Valley. Each year, the nonprofit offers more than 600 multi-disciplinary classes, camps and workshops, both in its art studio and in classrooms and the community at large. Many of its programs are designed to bring diverse groups of residents together in the creation of art that fosters collaboration and conversation. For example, Nimbus staff work with kids in schools to create altars for Día de los Muertos, then display the students’ work at a community-wide event. In its Hundreds of Hands program, Nimbus brings together people of all ages and stages -- from toddlers to seniors, hospital patients to veterans -- to create public mosaic murals, each with a theme that encourages civil dialogue. One of Nimbus’ key focus areas now is the Court and Community Schools program for Camille Creek Community School, which serves students who have been expelled from, or had issues with truancy or behavior in, the county’s comprehensive middle schools and high schools. The teens -- many of whom have had very little exposure to interactive arts -- travel weekly to Nimbus’ studios to learn and create large-scale group installations under the mentorship of Nimbus teaching artists. Through these projects, the students learn to work together and to express their thoughts and feelings on particular issues. Recently, Nimbus built out a metal workshop on the property for this program to accommodate more students and classes.
Contact: Jamie Graff, Executive Director,
Napa Valley Community Foundation | 707.254.9565 | |