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Piper Trust Awards Nearly $4.7 Million to 27 Nonprofits Serving Maricopa County

Programs Provide Dental Sealants for Children, Expand Child Development Education Efforts, Connect Boomers with Encore Careers

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. (June 15, 2006) – The Board of Trustees of The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust today announced awards of nearly $4.7 million to 27 nonprofits serving Maricopa County residents.

The grants will fund a variety of programs including a collaboration to provide dental sealants for uninsured children; continued efforts to educate pediatricians and parents about healthy child development practices; and strategies to connect baby boomers with meaningful encore careers that benefit the community.

More than 10,000 children who do not have dental insurance will receive free dental sealants through an innovative partnership of three foundations. The Delta Dental of Arizona Foundation, the BHHS Legacy Foundation and the Piper Trust are funding a three-year, $540,000 project that will establish portable dental services in Phoenix’s Alhambra, Osborn and Washington school districts to seal the teeth of uninsured students in second and sixth grades.

“Sealing children’s permanent molars has proven to be an effective and cost-efficient way to prevent tooth decay as well as medical ailments that can result from tooth decay,” said Judy Jolley Mohraz, president and CEO of The Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust. She notes that 31 percent of children in Arizona have never seen a dentist, and only 19 percent of Arizona’s third graders have access to sealants despite their proven benefits and relatively low cost.

Continuing its investment in educating residents, pediatricians and parents about healthy development practices in young children, the Trust awarded a $350,000 grant to Maricopa Integrated Health System to establish a family learning center that will serve as a catalyst to educate parents and train pediatric residents. Over the past four years, the Trust has invested more than $1.3 million to integrate early child development practices into all of Maricopa County’s pediatric residency training programs and to implement programs that educate and empower parents and physicians about healthy child development.

“Parents and pediatricians are children’s best advocates in ensuring that they are growing and developing appropriately,” said Marilee Dal Pra, senior program officer for the Piper Trust. “The more parents and pediatricians understand infant and toddler development – including normal age-appropriate milestones and behaviors – the more confident they will be in identifying problems and pursuing solutions.”

Another group that provides support services for parents received a $50,000 grant to purchase a new vehicle for its Family Fun Van program. The East Valley Support Consortium, which consists of seven East Valley agencies, provides parenting information to four Mesa neighborhoods through the mobile outreach program.

Connecting Boomers with Encore Careers

According to an AARP survey, 79 percent of baby boomers believe they will still be working at least part-time during their retirement, either for enjoyment or for the necessary income. Two programs the Trust funded are developing strategies to capitalize on the experience of baby boomers nearing retirement age through jobs that benefit the community.

The City of Tempe Community Services Department received a $297,397 grant to implement Experience Corps, a program that places older adults in afterschool programs as tutors and mentors to assist struggling readers. The program, in conjunction with the Tempe Connections/Next Chapter project, will match 36 older adults with 250 students in high-poverty schools each year. Civic Ventures, which operates the Experience Corps program nationally, received a grant to provide technical assistance for the project.

GateWay Community College also received an $8,300 planning grant to develop a Workforce Transition Center to serve the needs of the older worker and employer community.

Improving End-of-life Care

The Trust’s work with pediatric residency training programs prompted staff to explore the training process for physicians working with patients at the other end of the spectrum – those requiring palliative and hospice care. The result was a $276,000 grant to Hospice of the Valley to develop a coordinated program to teach palliative care medicine to all primary care physicians in residency training programs throughout Maricopa County.

Providing Opportunities for Youth

Several programs that provide learning and growth opportunities for children and adolescents received funding. The largest grant, made to The Salvation Army and totaling $750,000, will support the local match requirement for a $64 million Kroc grant to construct a new youth center that will nearly double the size of the current facility at South Mountain in Phoenix. The Trust also joined with Arizona Diamondbacks Charities, Inc. to help build handicapped-accessible baseball fields in Northeast Phoenix. The fields are the first in the Valley to incorporate a rubberized material that will allow disabled youth to play on fields free from obstructions and hazardous surfaces.

Two planning grants were awarded to explore opportunities for science and technology education programs. The Arizona Science Center received a $50,000 grant to support planning for the design and renovation of its interactive permanent exhibition “All About You.” The renovated exhibit will include displays that incorporate the newest scientific information about the human body. A grant to Arizona State University will support a planning effort to explore using the resources and expertise of the ASU/Scottsdale Center for New Technology and Innovation to enhance K-12 education.

Supporting Arts Organizations

Two theater groups were awarded grants totaling $380,000 to assist with fundraising and marketing initiatives. Actors Theatre of Phoenix will use a $250,000 grant to implement a comprehensive fund development strategy over the next two years. Scottsdale Community Players, which recently merged with Greasepaint Scottsdale Youththeatre, was awarded $130,000 to expand its children’s programming and develop a marketing plan to increase program participation.

Improving Healthcare and Developmental Services for Children

In addition to the Delta Dental Foundation collaborative, Trust grants supported four programs that provide at-risk children with greater access to healthcare and developmental services: Children’s Action Alliance received $178,600 to work with state agencies to remove administra-tive barriers for pubic health insurance for children in low-income families; The Neighborhood Christian Clinic received $150,000 to hire a nurse practitioner to provide medical services to more uninsured families; Homeward Bound was awarded $225,000 to fund services for young children in families impacted by domestic violence and homelessness; and New Arizona Family, Inc., which provides substance abuse treatment and mental health services to indigent populations, received $180,000 to fund a child care facility to support women in addiction recovery.

Enhancing Early Learning Environments

As part of its efforts to enhance preschool education, the Trust awarded $687,467 to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix for capital improvements at 20 Catholic preschools. The Trust supports introducing best practice curricula to the preschools with the hope that, once tested, the program can be expanded more broadly in Maricopa County.

Small Grants

Several small grants were awarded to nonprofits including the Arizona Attorney General’s Office, Beatitudes Center D.O.A.R., Inc., the Bead Museum, The Collaboration for a New Century, National Arts Strategies, New Way Learning Academy, the Pediatric Foundation of Arizona, Inc. and the Early Education Fund at the Arizona Community Foundation.