The MMCF Grants Program is designed to provide needed funding to organizations and programs in the Eastern Sierra that provide programming for youths.
And this year we made a lot of operational changes to this program to empower MMCF staff to sustainably grow this program and increase our reach to support more and diverse programming throughout the Eastern Sierra.
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We are still processing a handful of applications but so far this cycle we have awarded $196,277 to organizations/programs in the Eastern Sierra. Yes, you read that right, roughly $200k was awarded this year alone….and we still have more to evaluate and award.
Of that $150k went to Athletic focused programming and $46k went to Education focused programming.
Additionally, we also awarded $31k in scholarships for graduating Seniors in June of 2022.
All of this is in addition to the $140k we gave earlier this year to Mammoth Unified School District to support the work they do for kids in Mammoth Lakes.
In December 2022 we highlighted a number of local programs that received funding and now we want to highlight five more programs that are receiving funding this year.
Full Article Here - December 2022 >>
Mammoth High School - Visual Arts Program
Visual arts is such an important element in a child's education. Unfortunately, for many students, high school is the first opportunity that they are offered an art class in their regular schedules. Ceramics is a class where students can leave behind the academic rigor of their other classes and be able to dive into creativity and explore new materials. This class allows for students of all abilities to express themselves in new forms.
Mammoth High School is currently in need of a new electric ceramic kiln. Our previous kiln lasted roughly 11-14 years. Over the course of the 2021-2022 school year it began to take longer to fire to temperature, and eventually not being able to reach the required temperature to allow the glazes to mature. A new kiln would enable us to fire the student's art into finished pieces again, allowing them to be able to keep and use their work.
After extensive research, I am confident this kiln is the best choice for our school and should last us 12-15 years. It will allow hundreds of students over the years to enjoy this amazing art. Our small school offers 2 periods of visual arts classes which is quite a bit. While schools all over the state are eliminating Visual Arts classes, let's support ours. Visual arts should be available to every student that attends school. The benefits to the students are immeasurable.
Lone Pine Ski Club / Ski P.E. Program
We are a small school district and have limited extracurricular activities available to our students due to limited funding. As the ski program coordinator, I am passionate about the ski school P.E. program for our kids as I have personally learned to ski Mammoth Mountain with the school when I was a child (almost 35 years ago!). Most recognized over the last few years, some of our children have become less active. Thankfully, this opportunity is helping a large group of our children to get outside and learn something new that can be an experience that builds self confidence in an outdoor sport and potentially become a lifelong activity.
Eastern Sierra Unified School District
The students in Eastern Sierra Unified School District have not had a ski program in many years. Many of the students within the district are low-income families and would not be able to afford to bring their children skiing. Most students are on free and reduced lunch and get a lot of support/services from the school. Eastern Sierra Unified has small schools that serve small communities. Though we fundraise we don't see the same returns as larger schools do in the community.
The ski program would benefit our students in many ways. It is a way for students to be active and discover a sport they may not otherwise get the opportunity to try. We live in the beautiful Eastern Sierra Mountains and many of these students have never been on or to the mountain. Many haven't had the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful surroundings that people travel across the world to come and see. This program would allow students the opportunity to be active which helps brain development, emotional, and mental well-being. This is important especially coming out of a pandemic where students were stuck and home.
This Ski PE opportunity would target 80 students from Coleville/Benton to Bridgeport.
Bishop Unified School District
Middle School Alt Ed students get out of the classroom and into the woods
This will support at-risk students in the Home Street Middle School Community Day School (CDS) classroom. CDS is an alternative education program for students who are removed from the mainstream educational setting due to poor behavior choices and/ or attendance issues.
CDS programs focus on the development of pro-social skills and student self-esteem, as well as building resiliency. These students are meant to benefit from learning support services that include school counselors and psychologists, academic and vocational counselors, and pupil discipline personnel. Students also receive collaborative services from Inyo County, law enforcement, probation, and human services agency personnel who work with at-risk youth. Since society has experienced major shifts and trauma in daily life, educators have observed that middle school students are showing signs of depression, isolation, self harm, apathy, hopelessness and academic failure. The overall well-being of adolescent children has diminished. If at-risk youth are left without intervention, these symptoms could develop into drug use, violent acts, severe depression and possibly suicide. Middle school marks a vital time in development at which point, children form a world view, identify with a value system and bow to peer pressure.
As educators, we know that a healthy response to this crisis is to provide opportunities to be in nature by rebuilding connection. In our outdoor classroom, we will provide hands-on work and art experiences for self-expression, relationship and trust building. Nature connection and Arts integration are proven methods for healing for social/emotional development, building self-esteem, boosting academic wellness of at-risk youth.
HSM would like to collaborate with C5 Studios Community Arts Center to bring an experienced nature mentor and art teacher to work with our students weekly. We see this collaboration as an opportunity to create a model that may support many other students and educators in the area.
Eastern Sierra Nordic Ski Association
ESNSA is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to promoting cross-country skiing in the Eastern Sierra. One of its main goals is to make Nordic ski programs accessible to local youths.
ESNSA is a proud supporter of the Mammoth Nordic Racing Team, which comprises the Mammoth Middle and High School Cross Country Ski Teams, as well as the competitive middle and high school level race teams.
ESNSA not only helps to offset athlete costs by providing items such as wax and uniforms, but also by sponsoring events for student-athletes such as the June Lake Summer Camp and our local Thanksgiving Week Ski/dryland camp. In addition, ESNSA provides scholarship opportunities to cover ski team costs for those that qualify financially.
For many years, a goal of ESNSA has been to obtain a team van in order to provide transportation to:
- Tamarack XC Ski Center for after-school practice
- dryland training areas in the fall and spring
- competitions during the winter season
Providing transportation will allow more students to participate in after-school and weekend activities associated with Nordic skiing.
This year, our goal of purchasing a van has been achieved. The van is currently in production with anticipated delivery in October 2022. We look forward to the benefits this transportation opportunity will bring to our athletes.