More than $100,000 in grants awarded to Olmsted County nonprofits for child care and distance learning

November 18, 2020

Mayo Clinic recently awarded $100,000 in grants to Olmsted County nonprofits to sustain and grow child care capacity, and support distance learning needs in the community.

“We have heard clearly from our staff and the community about the challenge of managing the dueling responsibilities of their job, daily responsibilities, and supporting their children in either distance or hybrid learning models,” says Erin Sexton, director of Enterprise Community Engagement for Mayo Clinic. “Rochester Public Schools and the nonprofit community have responded in innovative ways to help address the increased need for child care and support for distance learning. Mayo Clinic felt it was important to support local nonprofits that are stepping up to provide this crucial support.”

Fourteen organizations will receive grant dollars. Funding was prioritized and awarded based on a program’s potential effects on a community and innovation.

Among the proposals to receive funding is a collaboration between Hope Fuse, Spark and Sports Mentorship Academy. These three nonprofit organizations are working together to provide distance learning and mentoring support for students using Hope Fuse’s mentoring and tutoring program for children and teens ages 10–17 years old. During distance learning, these students and mentors will use Spark’s resources and space to continue their education and stay on track.

“We are so grateful for this grant which will provide the opportunity to help children and families during this time of distance learning.  Now more than ever, we want to be a community resource for all children and help remove any barriers so they can learn and succeed,” says Beth Sherden, director of Spark.

This is one of the many examples of collaboration and innovation to address community needs. Many Mayo Clinic staff is currently utilizing programs set up by the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester, the Rochester YMCA, and others. Mayo Clinic has developed a resource guide to help direct staff to resources available through Mayo Clinic and the community to support staff in need of child care and distance learning support.  

Other nonprofits receiving grant funding are

  • 125 Live
  • Boys & Girls Club of Rochester
  • Families First of Minnesota
  • Jeremiah Program
  • Next Chapter Ministries
  • Project Legacy
  • Quarry Hill Nature Center
  • Rochester YMCA
  • Rochester Public Library Foundation – Rochester Reading Champions
  • ServeMinnesota
  • Sports Mentorship Academy
  • Somali American Social Services Association