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Seeds of Learning receives El Pomar grant

Seeds of Learning, an Archuleta County nonprofit focused on youth development, will receive a grant of $12,500 this week from Colorado Springs-based El Pomar Foundation.

The grant was recommended by El Pomar Foundation’s Southwest Regional Council, an advisory board of community leaders representing Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan counties. Mary Jo Coulehan, executive director of the Pagosa Springs Chamber of Commerce, serves as a member of the Southwest Regional Council.

The grant will be used to fund and expand the organization’s youth programming, particularly through accreditation and teacher training.

The Southwest Regional Council recognized the importance of investing in youth programming and development. The council’s goal is to assist nonprofit organizations in Archuleta County that provide educational programs to youth in need.

The council is also providing a $35,000 grant to the Regional Substance Abuse Prevention Program (RSAPP). RSAPP is an initiative of the Southwest Regional Council to support unprecedented regional collaboration in the fight against substance abuse. Specifically, this program is being accomplished through funds and support for initiatives that address substance abuse issues and their contributing factors across southwest Colorado. The RSAPP steering committee includes more than 20 community leaders from across six regional communities: the five southwest counties (Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma and San Juan) and Fort Lewis College. RSAPP was created in 2006 and funded by the Southwest Regional Council. In 2009, RSAPP received a three-year $246,000 grant from AmeriCorp and $150,000 of cash and in-kind contributions from local communities.

In addition to Coulehan, other Southwest Regional Council members include: Eddie Box, Jr., information service manager for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe; Dean Brookie, founder and president of Brookie Architecture and Planning; Lori Cooper, executive director of Montezuma County Health Department; Dan Fernandez, director of State University Extension Office in Dolores County; Susan Lander, executive director of Music in the Mountains; and Chuck McAfee, president of the Board of Directors of Montezuma Land Trust.

El Pomar Foundation, based in Colorado Springs, is one of the oldest and largest private foundations in the Rocky Mountain West. El Pomar contributes approximately $20 million annually through grants and Community Stewardship Programs to support Colorado nonprofit organizations involved in health, human services, education, arts and humanities, and civic and community initiatives. Spencer and Julie Penrose founded El Pomar in 1937.

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