Foundation hands out grants |

Foundation hands out grants

Craig-Scheckman helps Routt County at-risk youth

Melinda Mawdsley

— Shrine Pass is remote and beautiful, but Yampa Valley High School teacher Karla Setter envisions the scenic getaway as more than a photo opportunity.

Next month, students and teachers with the new Yampa Valley High School will spend five days immersed in the unpredictability of winter weather near Vail Pass, learning more about themselves and each other.

The Craig-Scheckman Fam-ily Foundation helped make the unique education experience possible through a $2,000 grant to the school for what the alternative school is calling a “winter-intensive trip for 13 at-risk youth between the ages of 14 and 19.”

Setter and colleague Paul Maniaci will chaperone the trip along with a guide from the Keystone Science School.

“Most of the students haven’t done something like this before,” Setter said. “One of the philosophies of the school is experiential, outdoor education. Paul and I have really seen a lot of growth through those experiences, and it really bonds us together as a school more.”

The Yampa Valley High School was one of six recipients of grants from the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation, which was founded in the spring of 2005.

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The foundation created the Youth Advocacy Project for Routt County, whose mission statement is “to enhance the health, well-being and developmental assets in Routt County youth through the nurturing and empowerment of youth-serving agencies.”

The six recipients of grants during the November cycle work with Routt County youth who are identified as at-risk or youth with special needs.

Sara Craig-Scheckman, executive director of the Youth Advocacy Project for Routt County and the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation, has dedicated most of her adult life to working with this specific youth population.

“I’m really excited about all the projects we are going to be funding,” Craig-Scheckman said.

The largest grant was a $7,000 High Impact Grant given to Advocates Against Battering and Abuse for a multi-year program to impact youth victims of domestic violence.

Diane Moore, executive director for Advocates, is excited to start the program after several years of brainstorming and searching for a way to fund it.

“It is not a project that’s in place, and I think it’s meeting a need that has been there for some time in our community,” Moore said. “We will be collaborating with First Impressions (of Routt County) as advisors and collaborators, so the program is comprehensive and so that it’s what people need. I’m excited about that piece as well.”

By raising awareness and understanding of the impact domestic violence has on children, Moore is hoping to break the generation cycle that often accompanies domestic violence. Whether children are the objects of the abuse or if they witness it, they are affected. The program will have three components and be a multi-year program.

Craig-Scheckman said grant applicants for YAP funds must be specific during the application process, outlining how the grants will be used.

The Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation’s funds are solely for youth in Routt County, and an advisory board goes through the applications before recommending which agencies should receive what funds.

On the ‘Net

For more information on the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation, visit www.

Grant recipients

Youth Advocacy Project For Routt County Nov. 2006 grant recipients
Awards funded by the Craig-Scheckman Family Foundation:

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurses Association – $2,600; Grant is for general operating expenses and for youth bereavement programs

North Routt Preschool – $3,000; Grant is for operating support to help with transition into new facility

Hayden School District – $2,400; Grant is for “Day Treatment Program”

Yampa Valley High School – $2,000; Grant is for a winter-intensive trip for 13 at-risk teenagers in Routt County

Advocates Against Battering and Abuse – $7,000; Grant is for program to impact youth victims of domestic violence

Grand Futures Prevention Coalition – $3,000; Grant is for general operating expenses and a local cash match with federal program, which funds education programs about drugs and alcohol