COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP RECIPIENTS
Six students were selected to receive roughly $133,000 in renewable scholarships, that will total nearly $550,000 over four years. The Advisory Board evaluated 38 applications using an evaluation tool to assess academics, character and community service. An Interview Committee comprised of Trustees and Advisory Board members interviewed fourteen semifinalists. The semifinalists then reported their admission and financial aid information to MVYouth. From the cost of attendance at their chosen schools, MVYouth subtracted the estimated family contribution and any institutional grants or scholarships the students were offered. Each of the semifinalists' funding gaps were calculated and seven award recipients were selected.
EXPANSION GRANT RECIPIENTS
After careful evaluation and recommendation from the Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees unanimously voted to award the Boys & Girls Club, Skate Park Association and Chamber Music Society with $511,000 in funding to support their excellent work for Island children, teens and young adults. Synopses and images below outline their award-winning proposals.
BOYS & GIRLS CLUB
Cleaner, Greener, Safer Club Campaign
Mission: To provide quality programs and services to all ages of the Island-wide youth population that will prepare them for healthy and productive lives.
Martha’s Vineyard Boys & Girls Club was awarded $229,514 to support their Cleaner, Greener, Safer Club Campaign. Funding will accomplish needed facility repairs to their Edgartown facility and upgrades including: replacing the roof, insulating and shingling the exterior walls, repairing and resurfacing the gym floor, installing a heat pump system, and adding windows to the game room.
The proposed work is critical to the organization’s ability to continue offering the services they provide to roughly 550 children annually, not including an additional 250 youth who use the facility through partnerships with other organizations. MVBGC services are affordable to all Island children, charging a $20 annual membership fee. Students are bused to an after school program from all Island elementary schools (except Chilmark). Additionally, the MVBGC offers an affordable summer drop-in camp for Island and seasonal residents.
SKATE PARK ASSOCIATION
Park Completion & Expansion Project
Mission: To maintain a public skate park and develop programming for the enrichment of Island children of all ages and abilities.
Martha’s Vineyard Skate Park Association was awarded $252,172 to support their Park Completion and Expansion Project. Funding will complete the original design the Skate Park Association created for the park in 2002. The final phase of the project will replace temporary wooden structures removed in 2015 with permanent concrete structures that will complete the “flow” imagined in the original concept plan and improve the safety of the park. Other aspects of the project include installing lighting and webcam technology, as well as landscaping and signage.
Construction is planned to begin in October 2016 and take 4-6 weeks. The proposal additionally includes funding for an expanded website and free safety gear (helmets & pads) to be distributed twice a year to the public. Located in the middle of “youth town”, the Skate Park is accessible by public transportation, abuts the Y, Ice Arena, Community Services and the high school. The Skate Park estimates 300-400 children and teens participate in the summer camp offered at the park. The park was built on land owned by the high school. An arrangement with the MVRHS Land Use Committee and the Town of Oak Bluffs was contracted. The Town of Oak Buffs provides insurance for the Skate Park and manages the property similarly to other town parks (Niantic, Ocean, Viera, East Chop Lighthouse). In all cases, the parks are always open, the town provides trash removal services and regular police patrol.
CHAMBER MUSIC SOCIETY
Access & Inspiration Program
Mission: To promote and support classical music learning opportunities for Island youth.
Martha’s Vineyard Chamber Music Society was awarded $29,300 to support their Access & Inspiration Strings Program. Funding will purchase 20 new violins and violas to be used in a free lending program that enables elementary strings students to borrow string instruments and graduate into larger instruments as they grow. An estimated 200 elementary school students participate in the strings program annually. The Chamber Music Society has 40 instruments in circulation now, all of which are currently in use.
Funding will additionally support three years of an Artists-in-Residence program intended to provide inspiration to strings students and promote interest in classical music with prospective students and families. Inspiring new musicians is seen as a critical step in expanding the Chamber Music Society’s educational programs. The Chamber Music Society has identified that classical music instruction supports children to develop: discipline, tenacity, confidence, focus, collaboration and self-expression.