Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010 12:00 am

Grinnell, IA -  

For the 10th consecutive year, Grinnell College is accepting applications for Community Mini-Grants for projects to enhance the quality of life in the Grinnell community. Mini-grant support focuses on cultural, recreational and educational opportunities in the community, as well as projects that enhance the safety, beauty and economic vitality of the local area.

An important difference this year is an increase in the maximum grant amount. Historically, the Mini-Grant program has supported requests in the $500 to $5,000 range, but will be increased this year to provide grants from $1,000 to $7,500. Smaller requests for support are considered throughout the year on a case-by-case basis through the college’s Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement.

“Raising the minimum and maximum grant amounts allows us to be more flexible and responsive to community organizations throughout the year, while allowing the Community Mini-Grant Program to do what it was intended to do—to provide targeted catalyst funding for innovative, mid-scale initiatives that might not otherwise be possible,” said Monica Chavez-Silva, director of community enhancement and engagement.

Applications for 2011 must be received in the Office of Community Enhancement and Engagement by the Jan. 28 deadline. An information session about the application process will be held at noon, Fri., Dec. 17 at Drake Community Library. Applications will be reviewed by Chavez-Silva and an advisory committee of Grinnell College faculty and staff, college students from the local area, and community representatives. Awardees will be notified by March 1.

In 2010, community mini-grants were awarded to 10 local projects: Galaxy, Inc. for KidTRAX security software; Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation for website redesign; Grinnell Area Arts Council for the Arts Academy After School Program; Grinnell Area Chamber of Commerce for Main Street Makeover project; Grinnell Community Daycare & Preschool for field trips; Grinnell Police Department for police reserve body armor; Grinnell Fire Department for grass truck equipment; Poweshiek Animal League Shelter for improved housing; and Poweshiek County Barn Quilt Committee for fundraising calendar design and production.