Bessie Minor Swift Foundation awards grants to Carson City, Lyon County organizations

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation, formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, awarded more than $73,000 to 35 organizations this year.

This year, grants will benefit seven organizations in Carson City and Lyon County as nearly $12,000 was awarded.

Mark Twain Elementary School, Third Grade; $400.

Funding will be used for a program to teach students how to research topics, take efficient notes, write with purpose and organization, create strong introductions and conclusions in essays as well as revise and proofread written work. Funds will be used to purchase 125 Scholastic News Just Write! Workbooks for third-grade students.

Carson Middle School; $1,500.

Funds will be used to purchase high interest leveled books for multiple in-classroom libraries as part of a new strategy to appeal to students who struggle with reading and who aren’t easily attracted to reading.

Empire Elementary School; $2,291.10.

This project will develop a school-wide leveled reading library of multiple copies of fiction and non-fiction books for grades K-5. This library is aimed at assisting English Language Learners along with others not reading at grade level. It will be set up using a checkout system and a variety of strategies to meet individual students’ needs.

Bordewich Bray Elementary School; $1,285.19.

Funds will be used to buy a set of books for second- and third-grade readers that can be used for author studies and “Book Club” discussions. This program will encourage students at this Title 1 school to read quality literature at home with their parents. The at-home reading will be augmented by “Book Club” discussions at school.

Dayton River Wranglers; $964.82.

Funds will be used to purchase nature-themed fiction and non-fiction books and program and activity supplies. They also will help support the logistics associated with the Once Upon a Trail (O.U.T.) program. The goal this summer is to help O.U.T. programs containing STEAM elements occur in each of the four Nevada State Parks located within the Carson River watershed.

Get in the Act! Arts in Action; $2,400.

Funding will be used for a 16-day hands-on program using dynamic theater techniques to advance art and science learning for 400 students at Fremont Elementary School. Funds will be used to support curriculum development and delivery. Each lesson delivers age-appropriate content based on Nevada’s Next Generation Science Standards.

Silver Springs Elementary School; $3,000.

An existing “upcycling” program is in place developing student entrepreneurs who sell their STEAM-based projects and local fairs and events. Proceeds from sales are divided between the students and the upcycling program, helping it to become self-sustaining. Funds will be used to purchase tools (drills, screwdrivers) and supplies (adhesives, mod podge, screws, sandpaper) that can be used to construct sellable goods.

Since 2008, more than $450,000 has been awarded to 165 organizations in the communities where Swift Communications conducts business.

The deadline for 2017 grant applications was Feb. 15 and more than 175 applications were received.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation thanks the many groups who took the time and energy to apply and encourages those who were not selected to submit applications in the future. Applications will be accepted again starting Jan. 1, 2018, with a deadline of Feb. 15, 2018. For information and a list of winners, visit the Bessie Minor website at

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation was formed by the owners and founder of Swift Communications, which owns and operates the Nevada Appeal and Bessie Minor Swift was mother of Philip Swift, the founder of Swift Communications. Bessie was born in Onaga, Kan., on June 29, 1887. She was raised in Kansas City, and then moved to Blackburn, Mo., where she taught school in a one-room schoolhouse. Phil recalls the importance of education was reinforced throughout his upbringing not so much through statements or concrete expectations, but more through the example of his mother’s interest in English, reading, history and music.


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