Purpose of the YES Fund: To provide an avenue for Oak Park and River Forest children and youth in need of financial resources to participate in enrichment programming and activites offered in Oak Park and River Forest.
Types of programming supported by the YES Fund: Arts, culture, academic, or athletic enrichment opportunities available through governmental, non-profit, or for-profit entities that have a preexisting demonstrated commitment to engaging children and youth from families experiencing financial hardship.
Rationale for the YES Fund:
1. Lack of finances to pay for participation and equipment fees is a common barrier preventing the participation of some children and youth.
2. Social science research confirms a positive correlation between youth engagement in out of school enrichment programs and school performance. Essentially, engaged children and youth are more likely to achieve better school attendance, higher levels of academic performance and post-secondary enrollment in college or vocational training.
Children and youth who are engaged not only have more fun but their experiences help to cultivate a long list of skills and competencies that will serve them across their life span in classrooms, jobs, community and family life.
Eligibility for Funding:
1. The applicant organization is a qualified as a 501(c)(3) public charity or the applicant organization is operating under the fiscal agency of an organization that is a qualified 501(c)(3) public charity. (If otherwise, please consult Elizabeth Chadri, Program Director.)
2. If a past grantee, is in good standing the the OPRF Community Foundation.
3. Enrichment programming and activities are in Oak Park and River Forest.
4. Support for children and youth under 18 who are currently enrolled in school, and who reside in Oak Park or River Forest.
5. Household income for participants at 200% or less of the federal poverty guidelines; or households that qualify for free or reduced lunch. Extenuating circumstances that affect household income will be taken into consideration.
6. The YES Fund will provide funds up to 75% of any one scholarship (including equipment needs) for a maximum amount of $1,300 per child per year, and up to $6,000 per organization per year.