The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation accepts grant applications from non-profit organizations in Pitkin County that promote literacy, reading and writing, as well as programs in the areas of languages, science and interdisciplinary disciplines.

The fund will review grant applications ranging from $ 500 to $ 3,000. Applications will be accepted until February 15th and recipients will be announced on May 1st.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation provides grants to organizations providing direct services to assist in the implementation or development of literacy programs for children below grade level or with reading difficulties as well as developing reading and writing skills at all ages. The foundation supports STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) and occasionally supports adult programs.

More than $ 530,000 in grants have been awarded since 2008. Last year, 36 organizations received a total of $ 80,986.

The foundation prefers to consider grants for programs rather than grants strictly for the purchase of technology. It also promotes grants to organizations that do not have access to large fundraising budgets that are local in nature. Grants are only granted to certified non-profit organizations that are exempt from tax.

The Bessie Minor Swift Foundation was created by the owners and founders of Swift Communications, which owns and operates The Aspen Times and

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Bessie Minor Swift was the mother of Philip Swift, founder of Swift Communications. Bessie was born in Onaga, Kansas on June 29, 1887. She was raised in Kansas City, Missouri, and then in Blackburn, Missouri, where she taught in a one-room school.

Phil Swift said that the importance of education had been strengthened throughout his education, not by statements or concrete expectations, but rather by the example of the interest from his mother to English, reading, history and music.

For more information, go to or send an email to grants @ bessieminor