Red Rock Rotary awards grants to Southern Utah charities

ST. GEORGE — The Red Rock Rotary Foundation has announced that it will be awarding nine grants totaling $5,050 in 2015, selected from Southern Utah charities. Applications were received from 11 entities totaling over $11,000. With the number of requests received and the amounts requested, the Foundation was unable to fund all the grant applications received.

The organizations receiving awards are as follows:

  • Sunset Elementary School | $800
  • WCSD Foundation | $500
  • Dove Center | $750
  • School of Life Foundation | $250
  • Snow Canyon, GRASP | $500
  • Leadership Academy |$500
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters | $750
  • Erin Kimball Foundation | $500
  • Friends for Sight | $500

Derek Visser of Sunset Elementary School said he will use the $800 gift to buy technology to help students learn typing skills.

“I teach 2nd grade, where learning to type isn’t a part of our curriculum, but then all of the sudden when they get to 3rd grade they are expected to take huge high stakes tests where they type a ton,” Visser said. “I want to help my students be more prepared for these tests by teaching them typing skills early. Then they can focus on the content of the tests they take rather than learning to type from scratch.”

Visser said he was grateful the Rotary selected his cause as many of his students don’t have computers at home and this will be the only exposure to keyboarding they may receive.

Jack Rolfe, CEO at the School of Life Foundation was a recipient of a $250 grant and will be using the funds to print copies of their character building curriculum workbook titled, “Learn to ‘School’ Your Toughest Opponent”.

Our mission is to increase high school graduation rates,” Rolfe said. “We accomplish this by teaching our program to at-risk high school students in an after school setting at their schools…. During the past school year we assisted 62 students who were dropping out of school in turning things around to graduate on time with their class. This brought a positive impact to our community of approximately $18 million. This is due to the fact that each young person who drops out of school cost society roughly $300,000 due to the increased likelihood that they will end up in prison, poverty or poor health.”

Rolfe said he appreciated the support from the Red Rock Rotary.

“The Rotary members are caring individuals that work tirelessly to make our community a better place,” he said. “In addition to donating funds they also act as advocates for our cause.”

About Red Rock Rotary Foundation

Since 2007, the Foundation has awarded a total of nearly $50,000 in grants to over 25 charitable organizations. The purpose of the Red Rock Rotary Foundation is to apply funds raised through service projects carried out by the Red Rock Rotary Club. The Foundation provides grants to worthwhile charitable organizations in Southern Utah whose focus is helping children and youth.

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