Partners mentoring program may get reprieve
Steamboat Springs — Partners in Routt County’s school-based mentor program, in jeopardy of ending next school year, may receive a reprieve in the form of funding from the Education Fund.
The Education Fund’s Grant Commission on Wednesday gave its unanimous approval to fund a revised $97,000 request to save the program.
The decision to fund the request, which will pay for 10 school-based mentors during the 2016-17 school year, will be ultimately decided by the Education Fund Board next week.
The grant commission suggested that the request be funded with $22,000 the commission left unfunded for community groups, $45,000 the fund hopes to realize through an increase in sales tax revenue projections and $30,000 taken from money that would otherwise be allocated to the three Routt County school districts this spring.
“I’m glad to hear it,” said Michelle Petix, executive director of Partners in Routt County, following the grant commission vote. “It was a thoughtful discussion that took place, really, considering all the pieces. (The commission’s) job is not easy.”
Petix first applied for community group funding from the Education Fund in January, asking for $119,000 to save the program, which was in jeopardy of ending due to Partners’ loss of a large Office of Behavioral Health grant it had relied upon in the past and a growing match amount required of the organization by AmeriCorps.
Primarily by decreasing the number of AmeriCorps mentors from 11 to 10, Petix was able to decrease the request to $97,000, but told Education Fund Grant Commission members it was an all or nothing request. The structure of the AmeriCorps program requires a minimum of 10 mentors to operate. The mentors are divided among schools in Steamboat, Hayden and South Routt.
Petix said that, after the most recent discussion by the Education Fund Board about the grant application, she was unsure as to whether the grant would be funded.
The Education Fund Board will give final consideration to the Partners application and how to fund it during its next meeting, set for 5:30 p.m. March 2.
“Nothing is done until next week,” Petix said.
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