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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE        
October 17, 2014

CONTACT:
Jerry Mathiasen, Senior Vice President
712-309-3002
jmathiasen@iowawestfoundation.org

Iowa West Foundation Announces $4.5 Million in Grants for Third Quarter

Local Education Programs Enhanced     

 

(Council Bluffs, IA) The Iowa West Foundation, which is headquartered in Council Bluffs (Pottawattamie County, IA), has announced nearly $4.5 million in grants for the third quarter of 2014. The grants will be used to assist 18 non-profit organizations and governmental entities with funding for area projects.

The Council Bluffs Community School District received $2.9 million to continue two successful programs, as well as additional funding for a study on the creation of a new program.

  • $1.8 million will assist the district with its continued funding of School Administrative Managers (SAMs) in local schools. SAMs have proved to be effective in freeing up time for principals to work as instructional leaders to support teachers in their teaching practices and curriculum delivery to students. SAMs were first funded by the Foundation in 2008 following an Iowa West initiative to find best practices for improving graduation rates. The funding begins this year through the 2019-20 school year, when the district will provide the future support.
     
  • $1.1 million will support the district’s voluntary summer school program in 2015 and 2016. Annually, more than 700 students from elementary through high school participate in this program, which includes a variety of engaging experiences different than during the typical school year. National studies show that summer learning opportunities can reverse the summer learning loss that often occurs with students. The Foundation began its funding with the first summer school in 2010.
     
  • $27,800 will fund a study of creating a Middle Years International Baccalaureate Program (IB) at Kirn Middle School and Abraham Lincoln High School. Middle years are grades 6 – 10. There is currently an IB Program at College View Elementary School and one planned at Carter Lake Elementary School. IB programming embraces a student’s sense of identity and cultural awareness with international content to prepare students for the future.

“The partnership of the Iowa West Foundation and the Council Bluffs Community School District has truly made a positive impact on our youth and our community,” said Pete Tulipana, President and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “This significant support will enhance these important programs and continue strengthening the Council Bluffs Community School District in its ongoing development of valuable opportunities for their students.”

“As we do with all our programs, we evaluate them closely, and all three — SAMs, summer school, and IB — have made a positive impact in our schools and most importantly on our students,” stated Dr. Martha Bruckner, Superintendent of the Council Bluffs Community School District. “The funding from the Iowa West Foundation is critical for us in continuing to establish Council Bluffs Schools as a premier district in the region.”

In collaboration with Heartland Family Service, Lewis Central Community Schools of Council Bluffs will be supported with $151,000 for an Iowa West initiative which will establish a comprehensive school-based mental and behavioral health program. Adopted by the Lewis Central School Board on September 22, the pilot program has four significant parts:

  • Therapeutic services for K-12 students;
  • Teacher training to help identify mental and behavioral health issues;
  • Assessments of fourth and fifth grade students to identify issues more quickly, as a result, ensuring greater access to addressing problems before they become severe;
  • A social worker to work with families to remove barriers for children and families.

“This initiative is a big first step in helping to meet a challenge facing school districts, not only locally, but nationally,” said Dr. Mark Schweer, Superintendent of Lewis Central Schools. “We have had a very good experience working with Heartland Family Service and we appreciate the major support from Iowa West.”

“Our Foundation determined this need warranted an initiative because it was one of the main issues which surfaced during our strategic discussions with the community, including conversations with area school superintendents,” explained Tulipana. “Foundation staff worked closely with Lewis Central and Heartland Family Service to develop the pilot program, and we are optimistic it will prove beneficial.”

Funding for the Foundation’s grants comes from the investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association (IWRA), which receives contracted license fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA distributes funds to the Iowa West Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) organization under the IRS Code. The Foundation makes grants throughout southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska.

For more information including deadlines, interested organizations may visit the Foundation’s website at www.iowawestfoundation.org or contact Deb Debbaut, Director, Grants Administration, at 712-309-3003. Guidelines and procedures can be viewed on the website, and applicants can apply online.

(A listing of grant recipients and their projects is attached for your reference.)


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2014 Third Quarter Grants:

Board of Regents of the University of Nebraska - Omaha
Council Bluffs Latino capacity building/leadership program
$25,000

Children's Square U.S.A.
Phase II of Kanesville-Tinley Neighborhood Initiative in Council Bluffs
$158,085

City of Dedham (IA)
Baseball field improvements and playground construction
$10,000

Council Bluffs Public School District
Iowa West Foundation Initiative for School Administrative Managers and summer school programing
$2,957,218

Community Education Foundation
Grants for improved educational opportunities in Council Bluffs classrooms
$33,500

Council Bluffs Senior Center, Inc.
Locker room renovation and equipment upgrades
$150,000

Credit Advisors Foundation
Financial management counseling for residents in the Council Bluffs region
$10,000

Downtown Omaha Inc. Foundation
2014 Holiday Lights Festival
$15,000

Griswold Public Library
Technology improvements for patrons of Griswold (IA) library
$1,500

Heartland Family Service
"Iowa Family Works" residential substance abuse treatment
$175,000

Iowa West Foundation
Update of Council Bluffs entryway towers on West Broadway to LED lighting
$671,492

Iowa Western Community College Foundation
Programming at the Arts Center in Council Bluffs
$30,000

Justice For Our Neighbors-Nebraska
Expansion of legal services into southwest Iowa
$60,681

Lewis Central Community School District
With Heartland Family Service, an Iowa West Foundation Initiative for a mental health program
$150,943

Live Well Council Bluffs
CURB: "Creating Ultimate Residential Beautification"
$60,000

Manning Betterment Foundation
Manning (IA) child care center renovation
$12,500

Opera Omaha
For season production of Rigolett, A Flowering Tree, and Fidelio
$30,000

Pottawattamie County Mental Health and Substance Abuse Network
General Operating Support
$30,000

TOTAL: $4,580,919

OUR VISION is a community where families choose to
live, and businesses choose to locate, because of its
quality of life and standard of living.

Iowa West Foundation    |    25 Main Place, Suite 550    |    Council Bluffs, Iowa    |    712-309-3000