The United Way of Story County (UWSC) board of directors has approved grants to be funded through the proceeds of the 2017 UWSC Golf Fore Kids event, held in August. Over $23,000 was dispersed to Story County nonprofit agencies to benefit children and family programs.

“We are so grateful for the support and generosity of the golfers, business sponsors and volunteers,” said Kim Mack, staff coordinator of the Golf Fore Kids event. “This year was the 18th annual event, and we’re thrilled to continue to offer support to programs that help improve the quality of life for children and families in Story County.”

One local need that the event helped to support is early literacy through Raising Readers in Story County (RRSC). The UWSC Golf Fore Kids grant will be used to purchase quality age-appropriate children’s books for three RRSC programs focused on children from birth to age eight, including the 2018 Eastern Story County Step Into Storybooks in Nevada, Literacy Night at Northwood and StoryTime at Eastwood, a low-income housing neighborhood in Ames.

“According to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, 61 percent of children in families with low income have no books at home. Raising Readers in Story County works to ensure that all children in Story County have books in their home,” said Kim Hanna, executive director of RRSC. “Thanks to this grant, hundreds of children in Story County will receive a new quality book this year!”

The recipients of the grants also include the following:

• ACCESS: Youth Resource Pantry: materials for children, youth and families to reduce stress

• Ames Historical Society: Fly with Banning Exhibition, interactive education program

• Ames Public Library: bus fare for child care programs to visit the library

• Ames Public Library: provide healthy snacks and board books for the Small Talk class that teaches parents to better prepare children for school

• Camp Fire Heart of Iowa: Camp Canwita literacy counselor for the summer months

• Central Iowa RSVP: Speak Up!, fifth-graders learning the art of public speaking

• Legal Aid Society of Story County: assistance to parents involved in child custody cases to attend classes on how to keep children out of the relationship and custody conflicts

• Lutheran Services in Iowa: parent education programming

• Octagon Center for the Arts: children’s art activity lounge

• Story County Medical Center: pediatric cardiac crash cart to use during dental procedures for children with special needs that need to be under anesthesia

• The Salvation Army: diapers, pull ups and wipes for infants and toddlers through the food pantry

• Threshold Learning Center: After-School Kids Club for youth in southeastern Story County (Colo, McCallsburg, Zearing, etc.)

Planning for the 2018 Golf Fore Kids event will begin early next year. If you are interested in receiving information about sponsorships, golfing or the grants process, contact United Way of Story County at 515-268-5142.

UWSC is a strategic leader in building countywide partnerships to identify needs and to develop, support and evaluate effective human services, especially in the areas of education, income and health for our diverse community.