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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

G.L. Vitale Family Foundation Awards $10,000 to College for Kids

Grant will offer new support and activities for the community’s youngest scholars

Kathleen Ridlon, director of the Kleine Center for Community Service, leads a dance lesson with the Junior Program of College for Kids.

The youngest participants in College for Kids will be getting some additional support starting next year, thanks to a $10,000 grant awarded by the G.L. Vitale Family Foundation.

College for Kids, a summer program run by Knox College since 1975, invites children from first through eighth grades to campus for classes taught by educators, community leaders, and Knox staff and faculty. 

"This money will go a long way, developing a curriculum, bringing in guest speakers, and even going on field trips," said Deborah Steinberg, Director of the Knox Office of Sustainability and College For Kids director.

While the older students rotate through a variety of teachers, the students in the junior program have a three-hour block with one pair of educators. Steinberg said that she and Kathleen Ridlon, Director for the Kleine Center of Community Service, wanted to take advantage of that structure to do a wider variety of activities.

Steinberg also said that the development of a curriculum for the Junior Program would keep it manageable for future leaders.

"[Instructors for the Junior Program] Kathleen Ridlon and Holly Allison have been doing great planning as they go along, but this gives them a chance to write down what they know into a curriculum and make everything a little less daunting for the next teacher," Steinberg said.

The Vitales, who have several Knox alumni and a member of the Knox Board of Trustees in the family, are consistent supporters of programs like KnoxCorps and the Gale Scholars Program that connect the College and community.

According to an article in The Register-Mail, the G.L. Vitale Family Foundation has awarded more than $850,000 over the last seven years to local organizations that they believe have a lasting and positive effect on the community. Other organizations to receive grants this year include the NOVA Singers, Galesburg Habitat for Humanity, and Knox County Council for Developmental Disabilities.

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Printed on Saturday, June 15, 2024