Community Grants Stories: Educating the Youth of Gunnison Valley

In April, our 2022 Community Grants Recipients submitted their grant reports including impact stories from last year. Your investment in and support of CFGV allows us to nurture a strong nonprofit sector that enhances and supports our community in innumerable ways. Take a look at just a few of the ways you’ve made a difference in the Gunnison Valley.

Crested Butte Museum

Founded in 1993, the Crested Butte Museum serves as both an archive of local history and a community hub where history, ideas, and stories are shared. It’s a favorite for residents and visitors of all ages. The Museum is located in historic Tony’s Conoco in downtown Crested Butte and they’re also known for their historic walking tours in both summer and winter seasons.

The Museum shared the following story of a partnership with the Crested Butte Community School:

Molly Frame, longtime Gunnison Valley resident and local second grade teacher, approached the Museum about holding a festive event celebrating one’s heritage and traditions. We felt this was the perfect opportunity to debut our new portable wall system that we had just finished installing. We have become aware our community needs more gathering spots, and we creatively were able to achieve this goal with this new wall. I contacted Pete Dunda, longtime resident and polka extraordinaire to share his knowledge on the Polka with our guests. The students had mastered the polka dance earlier in PE and were now ready to share their talent with peers and family. We danced, we laughed, and we celebrated our heritage! This is one example of how we will bring together multiple generations in our newly renovated space to increase their knowledge of our past in our present time.

Wonderland Nature School

Like many communities in the United States, the Gunnison Valley does not have enough childcare spots for all of our young residents. Our local preschools, most of which are nonprofit organizations, work hard to fill the need for quality, affordable childcare for all. Wonderland Nature School offers a bilingual learning environment that awakens a child’s sense of self through play and exploration in the surrounding natural world.

They shared the following story of the power of the right teacher to transform a school:

In early 2021, a young woman walked into our school for a job interview. As I sat down to speak with her, I could sense her enthusiasm to learn something new, gratitude for the opportunity in front of her and hope for the future of her unborn child. She came into our school to learn as much as she could in the few short months before her baby was born. What we didn’t know at the time was that this was a grand opportunity to learn from her as well. The children quickly flocked to her and could feel her positive energy and intentions. In 2022, after spending 3 months on maternity leave, she came back to our school to open up our infant room and expand the future of Wonderland Nature School. She devoted her time to professional development and in 2023 became a prominent leader for Wonderland.

Join us to Celebrate our 2023 Community Grantees

On July 12, we’ll gather at the I Bar Ranch in Gunnison to celebrate these nonprofits and the dozens of others who make our community a vibrant, safe, and resilient place to live at our annual “Here for Good” event. We’ll announce 2023 Community Grants Recipients, mingle at the nonprofit fair, and enjoy music and light bites.

Click here to give!