MARTINSBURG – This summer, the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation (EWVCF) once again awarded $150,000 in grants to local nonprofits and schools from the Detlev and Mary Ellen Preissler Fund for the Arts, Music, Design, and Nature. Thirty-two organizations received grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 to boost their programs enriching the lives of young ones in our area through the arts and nature.
EWVCF staff shared their excitement about hosting this program for a second year in a row. “We are so pleased to have this grant program focused on the arts and nature. Many nonprofit and educational programs in this area are working to rebuild after the challenges faced during the pandemic. Thanks to the generosity of May Ellen and Detlev Preissler, 32 organizations and educators received a much-needed boost of support!” said Associate Director/Chief Operations Officer Susan Caperton.
Grants were awarded to 16 nonprofits and 16 schools across Berkeley, Jefferson, and Morgan County. Just over $90,000 in grants were awarded to area nonprofits, including the Apollo Civic Theatre, Appalachian Chamber Music CO, Black Box Youth Playhouse, BlackCat Music Cooperative, Charles Washington Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Tree House, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Faith Christian Academy, Firehouse Gallery, Friends of Music, the Martinsburg Initiative, Morgan Arts Council, Morgan County Public Library, Norborne Preschool and Daycare Center, Ranson Community Gardens, and Wind Dance Farm and Earth and Education Center.
Children’s Tree House Child Development Center, Inc., a Shepherdstown-based childcare center, received a grant to help fund their Camp Pavilion project. Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the organization has been unable to host their summer camps for school-aged children. With a permanent outdoor pavilion, Children’s Tree House will once again be able to offer their WOW (Wild Outdoor Wonders) camps. “We provide all campers with hands-on STEAM environmental experiences to kindle their interest, enhance their knowledge, life skills, gardening and help them enjoy the benefits of nature-based education,” wrote Director Nicole Haines.
Nearly $60,000 in grants were awarded to local schools. Sixteen educators at Berkeley Springs High School, Charles Town Middle School, Harpers Ferry Middle School, Hedgesville High School, Hedgesville Middle School, Martinsburg High School, Mountain Ridge Middle School, Rosemont Elementary School, Spring Mills Middle School, Spring Mills Primary School, Valley View Elementary School, and Warm Springs Intermediate School received funding for their arts and nature programs. These grants will go towards the purchase of so many instruments, classroom butterfly kits, art supplies, and even a traditional Chinese lion dance and kung fu/tai chi presentation from Jow Ga Shaolin Institute.