The Coast News Group
Community Solana Beach

14 groups seek more than $63K in grant funding

With 15 applications from 14 organizations seeking $63,100, City Council must now decide which ones will receive some of the $30,000 available from this year’s Community Grant Program.

Representatives from nearly all the groups had three minutes at the June 13 meeting to explain how the money would be used.

The American Association of University Women, which received funding for the first time last year, asked for $5,000 for its Tech Trek STEM Camp.

Of that, $2,000 will pay for two middle school girls to attend a weeklong summer camp at the University of California San Diego, with the goal to increase the number of females who study and later pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

“The camp specifically is to inspire and encourage girls who have just completed seventh grade to pursue STEM careers,” Rebecca Hill said, adding that attendees are nominated by teachers and interviewed by AAUW members.

The last grant allowed three girls from Solana Beach to participate.

Hill said attendees are surprised to learn about potential careers, something they don’t know as seventh-graders, and are “very likely to continue on” that path.

The remaining $3,000 will be used for tuition assistance for two college sophomores already pursuing STEM majors at San Diego colleges.

The Assistance League of Rancho San Dieguito, for the fourth consecutive year, requested $3,000 to buy shoes and socks for up to 75 preschoolers at St. Leo’s Head Start.

“Many have never had a new pair of shoes,” Kathy O’Leary said, adding that some leave the price tags on to show them off.

The organization partners with the Solana Beach Marshalls, which orders extra small-sized footwear for the event, she added.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito is seeking $5,000 to buy program materials and provide enrichment activities for its La Colonia Clubhouse youth development and mentoring program, which serves at-risk youth by offering social, academic and college admission assistance.

Casa de Amistad requested $5,000 for Study Companions, a program that provides one-on-one or small-group tutoring to underserved residents to close the educational achievement gap between low-income students and their peers.

As it does every year, Community Resource Center asked for $5,000 for Holiday Baskets, an annual distribution program that provides a dignified and free “shopping experience” in December at the Del Mar Fairgrounds for families who might otherwise receive nothing for the holidays.

La Colonia de Eden Gardens Foundation is seeking $5,000 to create a new leadership development program called Teenology Rangers that will help 8- to 13-year-olds understand human development through science, culture, community service and healthy activities.

“We’re losing kids at an earlier age,” Manny Aguilar, foundation president, said. “The outcome we’re looking for is to give youth and families an opportunity to communicate in a meaningful way and to produce youth that’s more knowledgeable, respectful and better prepared to join the adult world when that time comes.”

North Coast Repertory Theatre asked for $5,000 for the theater school’s production of “She Kills Monsters: Young Adventurers Edition,” a play based on themes of acceptance, death, other’s differences and one’s self, with strong lead roles for teen girls, said Rick Ochocki, director of development.

North County Immigration and Citizenship Center will use the $2,000 it requested to help low-income, eligible applicants become citizens.

Reality Changers applied for a $5,000 grant for College Apps Academy, which guides low-income youth through a yearlong course that helps them with applications for college, financial aid and scholarships.

The Solana Beach Civic & Historical Society requested $5,000 to continue the process it started with last year’s grant to convert archived documents such as scrapbooks and newspaper articles about Solana Beach that are deteriorating and not available for public viewing.

New applicant Solana Beach Disconnect Collective is seeking two $5,000 grants to help educate adults and children about the dangers of device and social media addiction.

The money would provide seeding for Plug into Something Better, which gives kids tangible activities to do once they put down their phones, and Platica de Mejorar, psychosocial educational parenting and support groups for the Spanish-speaking community.

The Solana Beach Soccer Club applied for a $1,600 grant to fund its partnership with Positive Coaching Alliance, a thinktank that focuses on positive coaching in youth sports.

The program will train coaches to keep players positive and engaged in the sport.

Jeff Lyle, club president, said next year he would like to expand the program to parents.

The San Dieguito River Valley Conservancy and St. James & St. Leo Medical and Dental Program were unable to have representatives present at the meeting.

The conservancy was seeking $2,500 for supplies and driver stipends for its Watershed Explorers coast-to-crest expedition.

St. James and St. Leo, which provides medical care for the uninsured working poor, is seeking $4,000 to help pay for imaging services such as X-rays and scans.

Although the overall ask is for more than twice the amount of available funding, most of the organizations stand to receive at least some money.

For the past several years Santa Fe Christian Schools provided $10,000 to $15,000 in monetary and in-kind donations, primarily for programs in Eden Gardens.

At press time the private school located near that community had not committed, but city officials were optimistic.

For the past few years money from the Public Arts Commission was used to fill North Coast Repertory’s grant requests.

Coast Waste Management and EDCO Waste and Recycling Services, the city’s two waste haulers, historically donated $5,000 each, and $15,000 came from the city.

Later in the meeting council members approved an exclusive agreement with EDCO, which agreed to provide $15,000 to the program, increasing the amount of available funds.

The program is open to nonprofit, nongovernmental groups serving the Solana Beach community. Each organization can submit up to two applications, but a maximum of $5,000 will be awarded to any one program.

Church-affiliated and municipal organizations, private individuals and water or special districts cannot apply. Schools may not either but organizations that support them can.

Funds are available as one-time seed money to qualifying groups to augment community service programs, projects and service activities.