In response to the November 3, 2015 fire at the Kilbuck school facility in Bethel, Bethel Community Services Foundation established an emergency fund to benefit the Kuskokwim Learning Academy and Ayaprun Elitnaurvik schools. The fund, formed in collaboration with the Lower Kuskokwim School District, was dedicated to both emergent needs and efforts to re-establish the schools. BCSF manage the contributions from individual donors and local fundraising efforts, as well as corporate and philanthropic contributions. Both the Ayaprun Elitnaurvik and Kuskokwim Learning Academy schools were heavily damaged in the fire. Both schools now have temporary locations.
Rural Alaska Savings Program
The Foundation established a matched savings Individual Development Account (IDA) program. The IDA program was developed to help low-income individuals and families build assets. The program offered incentive savings matches, personal finance and money management education, peer and staff supports, and individual counseling in order to make asset ownership obtainable for participants. The IDA program is now closed for new participants.
Robotics Competition, March 2008
The Foundation awarded $3,950 to the LKSD FIRST Tech Challenge. The grant will be used to sponsor the LKSD FIRST Tech Challenge at the World Robotic Championships in Atlanta.
The LKSD FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) aims to inspire young people to become leaders in science and technology. The FTC challenges teams of high school students and their mentors to solve a problem within a six-week period using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams design and build robots from the parts and enter them into competitions. Rather than focusing on how many points are scored in the competition, the teams are rewarded for excellence in design, showing team spirit, displaying professionalism and maturing, and the ability to overcome obstacles.
Cub Scouts, June 2007
The Foundation awarded a grant of $1,500 to the Cub Scouts of America – Bethel Pack 559. The funds will be used to purchase a new Pinewood Derby aluminum track and finish line timer. The Pinewood Derby is an annual event that gives the boys the opportunity to develop hands on skills, as well as interact with peer groups, family members and adults. The equipment will also be used for the Girl Scout Buggy Scoot as well as other Cub Scout events.
Teacher’s Aide, June 2007
The foundation awarded a grant of $5,000 to the Involved Parents Preschool. The funds will be used to hire a teacher’s aide.
The Involved Parents Preschool (IPP) is a non-profit preschool that offers a unique learning environment for children from the ages of three to five. IPP stresses educational, social, physical and emotional development activities, as well as a high level of parent involvement. IPP and its Little Red Schoolhouse will be reopening in August of 2007.
Wheelchair-accessible Subsistence fish camp
Native people with limited mobility yearn to contribute and be part of the community. Subsistence fishing, putting up fish, and the experience of living in fish camp is integral to the subsistence way of life that rural people enjoy. BCS Foundation developed a wheelchair-accessible fish camp on an island in the Kuskokwim River adjacent to the City of Bethel so that mobility-impaired residents could enjoy the fish camp experience with friends and family. The camp facilities comprise several buildings that are leased at a nominal annual fee to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. During the summer season YKHC staff provides daily boat shuttle transportation to and from the camp.
Cat Scan, November 2007
The Foundation has recently awarded a grant of $40,000 to the Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC). The funds will be used to help with the cost of the Cat Scan Project. This grant along with funding from the Rasmuson Foundation, MIRACE, ASHNHA/Denali Commission, and self raised funds helped complete the new cat scan room.
YKHC administers a comprehensive healthcare delivery system for communities in southwest Alaska. They provide primary care, inpatient care, OB and delivery, laboratory services, pharmacy services, Behavioral Health outpatient and residential services, Developmental Disabilities in-home and residential services, Diagnostic Imaging, Medivac services, Injury Prevention, and dental services. The new Cat Scan machine is the first of its kind in the area. Completion of this project means that patients no longer have to travel to Anchorage for CT services.
Tundra Women’s Coalition new facility, September 2006
Bethel Community Services Foundation recently awarded a $30,000.00 grant to the Tundra Women’s Coalition in 2006; construction took place in 2009. BCSF was the first funder to commit to TWC’s capital project. This grant along with funding from the Rasmuson Foundation, Denali Commission, Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, legislative awards and self raised funds will complete the much needed new facility.
The Tundra Women’s Coalition has a long history of providing critical services to families in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta. The new facility has enhanced TWC’s ability to provide these services by giving them space to address the core services provided to families from virtually every community in the Y-K Delta. For more information on Tundra Women’s Coalition, click HERE.
Partners in Nursing Project, August 2006
Bethel Community Services Foundation awarded a grant of $40,000.00 over a two year period to the Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association. The grant will be used to bring the UAA School of Nursing, Recruitment and Retention of Alaska Natives in Nursing (RRANN) program to the YK Delta. The grant is part of a Partners in Nursing project co-funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation.
The RRANN Program is a mentoring, tutoring, and financial assistance program for Native students who are preparing to enter the School of Nursing and has proven successful. Alaska Natives make up only 1.5% of nurses statewide. RRANN will work to increase that percentage by allowing nursing students to train and work in the YK Delta. For more information about RRANN and the Nursing program offered in Bethel: http://nursing.uaa.alaska.edu/rrann/. The University of Alaska Anchorage offers the nursing program at the Kuskowkim Campus in coordination with the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation. For more information about the Kuskokwim Campus: http://www.bethel.uaf.edu/. For more information about YKHC: http://www.ykhc.org/.
The Alaska State Hospital & Nursing Home Association (ASHNHA) is the coordinating organization for Alaska’s hospitals and nursing homes. ASHNHA is committed to advancing knowledge about health through education and training. ASHNHA, working closely with UAASON, KUC and YKHC will manage the overall project for the BCS Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. For more information about ASHNHA: http://www.ashnha.org/
BABS Philanthropy Project: encouraging youth philanthropy in Bethel, April 2006
Bethel Community Services Foundation awarded a $5,000.00 matching grant to Bethel Alternative Boarding School (BABS), now known as Kuskokwim Learning Academy or KLA. The grant was used in support of the KLA (BABS) Philanthropy Project, a student run project of charitable giving.
KLA is an alternative boarding school for youth from Bethel and the Yukon-Kuskokwim region. Youth attend KLA if they are at high risk of dropping out of school. KLA has a well-established public service component in their school, students are currently providing over 150 hours per month to various community service projects. The Philanthropy Project seeks to expand on that spirit of giving by establishing KLA’s own “Giving Foundation”. The students have done this by creating a mission statement, establishing grant making and reporting criteria and raising their own funds. They will use this money to fund community projects in Bethel and Y-K Delta Villages.
For more information about KLa: http://www.lksd.org
KYUK Public Radio Program Support, July 2005
BCS Foundation donated $5,000 to KYUK for general program support. KYUK is the public broadcasting station in the Yukon Kuskokwim Delta. KYUK’s first radio broadcast was May 13, 1971 which makes KYUK the first Native owned and operated radio station in the United States. KYUK has been serving the Yukon – Kuskokwim Delta with a combination of local and national programs from National Public Radio, Public Radio International, Native Voice Communications, American Indian Radio on Satellite and Alaska Public Radio Network. For more information about KYUK: http://www.kyuk.org/
BCS Foundation’s gift leveraged a matching gift of $5,000 to Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc. from the Elizabeth Carroll Fund of the Alaska Community Foundation. The Elizabeth Carroll Fund and BCS Foundation responded to the immediate crisis presented by a drastic cut in public broadcasting funds by the state of Alaska and threatened cuts to National Public Radio at the national level. For more information about the Alaska Community Foundation: http://www.alaskacf.org.
Playground equipment for Pinky’s Park
The Foundation donated $25,000.00 to the City of Bethel to update playground equipment in Pinky’s Park. Pinky’s Park is the community’s largest outdoor recreation site.
Land survey: Memorial Veterans’ Cemetery
Young village men and women from the Delta have served in the military for several generations. Men from the coastal villagers served as the first Coast Watchers during WW II. The west coast of Alaska was not defended throughout the war. This was the beginning of the Alaska National Guard which is now established in most every village on the Y-K Delta. There is no cemetery for veterans; the nearest veterans’ cemetery is 400 miles away. The City of Bethel designated 14.37 acres of land for a new cemetery site; a minimum of one acre has been set aside for a Veterans Memorial Cemetery. The Foundation funded the cost to survey, subdivide and plat the land for the Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery.
Computer Equipment: Tundra Women’s Coalition
The Foundation donated replacement computer equipment to the Tundra Women’s Coalition to upgrade and replace their aging LAN server and network computers.
Dental Health Aide and Dental Health Therapist Education
The Native people of the Delta are in desperate need of dental health care not available in the foreseeable future because of a severe, nation-wide shortage of dentists. The Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium has developed a system of education for dental health aides and has been educating dental health therapists in New Zealand to respond to this critical need.
The American Dental Association has allocated over $650,000.00 to stop and/or severely modify the dental health aide and therapist programs, despite the rural health need. ANTHC along with others is combating misinformation and educating the public about the dental health need and the dental health aide and therapist programs. By providing funding to the ANTHC education effort, BCS Foundation joined a group effort along with the Alaska Mental Health Trust, Rasmuson Foundation, and ANTHC, leveraging each other for greater overall impact.