SCHENECTADY COUNTY: A good year for giving

For more than 40 years, the Schenectady Foundation has been providing support to charitable causes and organizations across the county, and this past year, awarded $400,000 in grants to various programs that support the health and education to children in the county.

Most grants are focused on three areas: child health and development, community health and youth achievement. In December, the foundation gave grant money to the Schenectady Day Nursery, which received $95,000 for early childhood intervention support; the Child Care Coordinating Council, which received $72,000 for a family center child-care project; United Way of Schenectady County, which received $46,500 for the Born Learning part-nership; Community Human Services, which received $80,000 for its family foundations program; and Parsons Child and Family Center, which received $100,000 for an early head start program.

The grant money from the foundation helps us ensure young children are able to have the everyday opportunities they need to be successful in learning, said Nicole Falace, communications director for the United Way of Schenectady County. "The project Born Learning will use the grant money to assist us with taking a community approach to ensuring preschool aged children are academically ready and are healthy for kindergarten."

Falace said the Born Learning project is a community approach " a national initiative to provide educational and health awareness resources to educators, families and childcare workers. She said the grant money would be very helpful in getting this program started.

"We are currently focusing on the Mont Pleasant area, which will give us an idea of what works with Born Learning and what doesn't, and what may useful in one area as opposed to another. The Schenectady Foundation Grant is something we greatly appreciate," said Falace.

At the Schenectady Day Nursery, the money will be used to hire staff that is trained to identify special needs in different children.

"The grant will allow us to further our early intervention programs. It's definitely a big help to our program," said Beth King, assistant at the Day Nursery in Schenectady.

Close to $9 million in grants has benefited organizations since the foundation's grants com-mittee started raising money to support human services, education, health, and arts and culture throughout the county.

Most of the funding comes from bequests from estates or from an established trust. Most gifts are with little or no restrictions, which allows the foundation to allocate the money to those who need it most.""

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