Spring 2005 Community Grant Recipients

Blue Ridge ESL (English as a Second Language)

Blue Ridge ESL provides our community’s only summer program targeting ESL children. The program focuses on learning and speaking English through the use of games and activities aimed at increasing campers’ self-esteem and self-confidence in their English abilities. This is especially important for children learning English as a second language as the summer break often impedes progress in achieving English proficiency. The Community Grant will fund some of the transportation costs for campers who are unable to provide their own way to get to the campsite. Without such transportation, many children in the community would not be able to participate in the fun – and rewards – that come with being part of the Blue Ridge ESL program. $500

FOCUS Women’s Resource Center

The JLC Community Grant will provide scholarship support for low-income women to attend a Piedmont Virginia Community College Career Exploration for Women course. Such a course not only fits FOCUS’ mission to deliver quality services empowering women in career planning and leadership development, but will give the participating women one college credit upon completion. The course will provide more in-depth career exploration and planning than courses offered by other agencies; this is critical for FOCUS’ clients, who often feel they are stuck in dead-end jobs but need assistance in making career decisions, understanding their education options, and re-entering the job market. Our Community Grant will provide partial scholarship for qualified low-income women and will allow for some full scholarships in extenuating circumstances. $980

Senior Center, Inc.

The Senior Center, the first nationally-accredited senior center in Virginia, has as one of its diverse objectives to provide affordable and accessible fitness and wellness programs that will enhance the health of seniors in our community. As part of this objective, our Community Grant will fund the purchase of 72 resistance bands that can be used in the Center’s stretching and strengthening program. Fitness programs have been cited as particularly important for seniors, and particularly critical to maintaining independence. Providing a supply of resistance bands ensures that seniors will not be impeded in their fitness aims by the cost of fitness programs. $500

The Virginia Institute of Autism (VIA)

Autism is a pervasive developmental disorder that leaves many infants and children without the ability to communicate. The Centers for Disease Control report that 1 in 166 children are diagnosed with autism and that those numbers are on the rise. The Virginia Institute for Autism (VIA) provides 24 community children that have autism with an educational program, and serves as a resource for physicians, educators, and families. With our Community Grant, VIA will have funding to purchase educational toys to address the needs of children with autism, aged 18 months to 16 years – from fine and gross motor skills to social and leisure activities. VIA has additionally secured a 25% match guarantee from a local toy vendor, ensuring that the JLC’s financial support will go even further towards advancing VIA’s mission. $1,000