Community

BHC opens new grant cycle for positive community projects

Sequoia High School students line up for autographs from mixed martial arts fighters after a presentation during Positive Choices Day at Sequoia High School in Merced last year. The event was put on with the help of a Building Healthy Communities grant.
Sequoia High School students line up for autographs from mixed martial arts fighters after a presentation during Positive Choices Day at Sequoia High School in Merced last year. The event was put on with the help of a Building Healthy Communities grant. Merced Sun-Star file

Building Healthy Communities has opened its fall grant cycle, which awards up to $1,000 to projects aiming to create safer, healthier neighborhoods.

Twice a year, BHC of south and east Merced County funds projects in four communities: Planada, Le Grand, south Merced, and the Franklin-Beachwood area. According to BHC, the proposed projects should encourage youth leadership, community involvement and offer opportunities for participants to gain skills.

Potential projects and programs can include but are not limited to health-related activities, educational trips and cultural arts projects.

Grant applications are available for individuals or groups willing to work directly with the community and youths.

Some of the past recipients have included The Cerebral Palsy Association of Merced County, which received funding to conduct an arts program focused on addressing therapy goals and activities for children with physical impairments. Sequoia High School also received some funding for its Positive Choices Day, in which mixed martial artists were invited to campus to speak to students.

The Mariposa Art Co. has been another grantee. The group is using the funding to put on its “Beachwood Art Walls” live mural painting event. The all-day event will feature young artists, who will paint murals on walls usually covered in graffiti. Food and live music will also be available at the Aug. 8 event on Ashby Road.

Applications for this cycle can be found at www.bhcmerced.org and submitted electronically to Tatiana@unitedwaymerced.org, no later than 5 p.m. Aug. 28. Funded projects will be announced on Sept. 18.

Four general grant writing workshops will be offered to help interested applicants in completing the community grant application.

The workshops will take place as follows:

▪ Aug. 11, 6 to 7 p.m. at Le Grand High School, 12961 Le Grand Road

▪ Aug. 12, 6 to 7 p.m. at Franklin Elementary, 2736 Franklin Road, Merced

▪ Aug. 17, 6 to 7 p.m. at the Senior Annex Building, 9167 Stanford Ave., Planada

▪ Aug. 19, 6 to 7 p.m. at the United Way of Merced office, 658 W. Main St., Merced

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