AMES, Iowa—Recipients of the 2007 Iowa’s Youth Promise Grants recently have been announced. Nearly $8,000 was awarded to 32 youth groups in Iowa. The Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service, in partnership with Iowa State University Extension 4-H Youth Development, awarded grants up to $250 to qualifying groups.
"Research shows that youth who get involved in volunteer service at an early age are twice as likely to continue to serve as adults,” said Jody Benz, promotion and special events coordinator for the Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service. “The Iowa's Promise Youth Grant program is pleased to be able to offer this financial incentive to encourage groups to plan and complete a project in their community."
The grants encourage local youth groups in Iowa to plan and carry out community improvement activities, especially project ideas that are unique to their communities. Youth groups must partner with another community group to accomplish a common goal. The grant money is added to local donations of time, money, labor, expertise and materials to complete improvement projects. Last year more than 600 youth and adult volunteers contributed more than 3,600 hours to their communities through the grants.
Many different types of projects received Promise Grants, although similar threads appear throughout the state. One main theme was the promotion of community fitness. Both Adair and Monona counties will use their grants to improve community athletic fields, Clinton County is constructing volleyball courts and O’Brien County is improving a local hiking and biking trail.
Another common idea is to encourage character development by planning events and bringing inspirational speakers to youth in the community. Jackson, Jones and Pottawattamie counties are planning youth events with professional speakers discouraging alcohol and drug use. Adair County is sponsoring a cultural camp to celebrate diversity in their community.
For more information on Iowa’s Youth Promise Grants and how to apply for next year, go to http://www.iowaspromise.org or contact Sue Bogue at (515) 294-1533 or firstname.lastname@example.org.