Library stock

Stock photo of books at a library. Sugar-Salem Junior High and Fremont Junior High are receiving $17,550 and $15,000 respectively to improve the school’s libraries.

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The Idaho Community Foundation allocated more than $350,000 in grants to educational programs in Idaho, including two grants awarded to South Fremont Junior High School and Sugar-Salem Junior High School.

The schools were two of several education resources in eastern Idaho that received funding, according to a Monday Idaho Community Foundation news release. More than 30 grants were awarded in the state to support preschool programs, school districts and libraries.

Sugar-Salem School District #322 is receiving $17,550 to purchase books for its junior high school’s library.

Fremont Junior High is also receiving $15,000 to bolster its library collection and add digital content for students.

“All Idaho communities care about and are supportive of education,” said Karen Bilowith, Idaho Community Foundation president and CEO. “Our model ensures that local voices determine how the grants are distributed.”

More than $4.5 million in foundation grants went to support education in 2020, the release said. Grants from the organization’s Idaho Future Fund and Forever Idaho grant cycles go through a competitive request process and decisions are made by regional councils. The councils consist of residents of the communities benefiting from the grants and are approved by the organization’s board of directors.

Another education program that received funding was the Lee Pesky Learning Center. The center received $19,800 to provide families and early childhood educators in Bannock and Fremont counties with Kindergarten Readiness Kits with accompanying digital materials and access to online training modules.

“Without grant funding, we would not be able to do the extensive work with our community partners across the state of Idaho,” said Evelyn Johnson, CEO of the learning center. “Grants have been most important for supporting our early childhood educator training.”

The Lee Pesky Learning Center is an educational nonprofit headquartered in Boise that helps students with disabilities.

Other programs in eastern Idaho that received funding were:

Above and Beyond the Classroom in Teton County, which received $10,000 to initiate an after-school program at Victor Elementary School for at-risk children whose families lack transportation.

American Falls School District #381 received $18,000 to provide 30 preschool students a $600 scholarship toward the cost of attending a high-quality preschool.

United Way of Southeastern Idaho received $16,500 to expand access to high-quality early learning seats for low to moderate income children in Power and Bannock counties.