$5,000 – One Stone
The Community Foundation of Teton Valley was honored to award a $5,000 grant to One Stone to provide two science summer camps for children at no cost to families. The Community Foundation strongly supports One Stone’s efforts to provide quality out-of-school summer programs for Teton Valley youth. This program is also leveraged in partnership with Above and Beyond the Classroom, the Valley of the Tetons Library, and Friends of the Teton River.
As Idahoans, we are watching a terrible irony. Idaho’s urban areas are growing hubs for tech innovation even as our rural students are left behind. Although careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) are increasingly available in Idaho, our children begin losing interest in math and science in elementary school (Hamilton 2016). Early interventions are essential to keep Idaho’s students engaged in STEM.
In Idaho, for every child in an after-school program, 4 are waiting to get in (After School Alliance 2020). Nearly 60% of Idaho parents do not enroll their children in out-of-school programs due to cost. Teton Valley nonprofits have expressed a great need for accessible out-of-school learning opportunities, particularly opportunities related to STEM. Although there are currently summer camps available for Teton Valley children, the cost of these camps is out of reach for low-income families. Additionally, these camps alone cannot meet the demand for out-of-school programs. The lack of out-of-school learning opportunities for rural students, particularly in STEM fields, means that they are deprived of important learning opportunities, opportunities that are proven to help students develop interest and engagement in school generally and STEM specifically. This lack of representation of rural students in STEM means that as a community, and nation, we are deprived of talent. Given the right opportunities, rural students can and do become leaders in STEM fields.
This Community Foundation grant will serve to increase opportunities for Teton Valley students to participate in high-quality STEM summer camps by working with Teton Valley nonprofits to tailor TINKER programs for Teton County students. A high-quality camp is one that improves a participant’s STEM mindset by helping them develop an interest and affinity with STEM. One Stone intends to offer high-quality TINKER camps at no cost to families for two separate weeks over the summer. These camps will be offered for a minimum of three hours per day, four days per week. Each camp will serve 20 students, for a total of 40 students served.
The Community Foundation commends the important work of One Stone, Inc., in collaboration with Above and Beyond the Classroom, Valley of the Tetons Library, and Friends of the Teton River, in providing STEM-based summer programs for Teton Valley youth.