· $5.7 million in new grants includes 10 of the Foundation’s charitable areas
· $2.7 million for Precious Minds, New Connections, a leading child abuse prevention program in Texas
SAN ANTONIO – Programs targeting a broad range of local needs are among 64 grants totaling $5.7 million approved in January through May 2011 and announced today by the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation, which has an area of geographic emphasis that includes Bandera, Bexar, Comal and Kendall counties. These grants are made possible by the remarkable generosity of Bessie Mae and Albert Kronkosky Jr. Some of the grants announced today are described briefly in the following paragraphs. Also attached is a summary of all of the grants announced today.
Precious Minds, New Connections - $2,715,236
“This parenting education program is a principal effort of the Foundation focused on the Kronkosky’s charitable purpose of freeing children from abuse and neglect. It is particularly important because it addresses a root cause issue that has a lasting effect on the children touched by the work of the educators. The classes are open to everyone in the community who wants to improve his or her parenting skills,” said Palmer Moe, managing director of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation. “All new parents realize quickly that babies don’t come with instruction manuals, and this is a program every parent will find helpful in his and her most important responsibility.”
In the Precious Minds, New Connections Initiative, twenty-one agencies are awarded grants to fund parenting education classes and home visits for parents with children under four years of age. Last year, over 8,000 moms, dads, grandparents and childcare workers were served by these agencies.
Precious Minds, New Connections is based on extensive research into early childhood development. The research shows that 80-90% of a person's brain develops by the age of three. The first three years of a person's life are truly the most formative years and affect the future potential of every person. It is critical that every parent and caregiver of infants and toddlers have access to the information and tools needed to make their child's first three years as productive and positive as possible. Most parents take on the job without training, usually spending more time preparing for a drivers’ license test.
The understanding of the critical early years of a person’s life is also important to every child. During this time, a child’s experiences will impact the ability to have healthy relationships with others during his or her lifetime. The foundation for having self-esteem is developed or possibly lost. The potential for educational success is maximized or impaired. Parenting education enables parents to understand early childhood development and realistic expectations for child behavior. All of this knowledge is known to lead to less likelihood that a child will be abused and his or her development neglected.
Illnesses - $1,050,000
Ten nonprofit organizations were awarded grants in the area of illnesses. The Autism Community Network, which provides assessment of children who may have a form of Autism, parent training for parents of children with autism and professional education for caregivers and educators, was awarded $400,000 in support of its work. The assessment and parent training services are particularly critical because some 50% of the children with Autism who are diagnosed early and receive appropriate behavioral counseling are able to live an almost normal life. The Network primarily serves low income families who cannot afford the cost of these types of services.
The San Antonio Sports Foundation was awarded $200,000 in support of the “Fit Family Challenge,” a program aimed at preventing obesity by encouraging family based physical activity and healthy nutrition. The Sports Foundation has increased sponsorship of this program, which is in its second year, and expects to involve 15,000 persons over the summer. The Arthur Nagel Community Clinic in Bandera Texas was awarded a total of $125,000 in two grants supporting it operations. The second grant was a $50,000 unsolicited, unrestricted grant made in honor of Mr. Albert Kronkosky on his birthday. The Foundation makes two such awards annually on the birthdays of the Foundation’s founders.
Elderly - $482,500
Five nonprofit organizations which serve the elderly were awarded grants, including $300,000 to Christian Senior Services for its Bexar County “Meals on Wheels” nutrition program. Foundation funds are provided for those who need meals but may not qualify under government regulated programs. The Kronkosky Place in Boerne, Texas was awarded $125,000 for the operation of the recently opened new senior center. Kronkosky Place provides meals on wheels, congregate meals, exercise classes, computer training for seniors, transportation for seniors and a variety of other services. Catholic Charities was awarded $25,000 in support of Project Cool, a project aimed at providing fans for elderly and disabled persons who do not have or cannot afford air conditioning in their homes.
Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect - $453,077
Grants focused on prevention of child abuse and neglect, in addition to Precious Minds, New Connections, included $181,500 awarded to Avance, Inc. of San Antonio which provides life skill training, GED and parenting skills for at-risk parents. Avance expects to serve 180 parents and 200 children this coming year. Seton Home, which provides residential, life skills, counseling and other services to expecting and young mothers, was awarded $100,000 in support of its programs.
Arts Activities – $280,000
In the area of arts activities, Say Si received a grant of $125,000 in support of its art education programs for high school and middle school children. Say Si focuses on developing artistic talent in the children it serves, most of whom move on to collegiate programs. Artpace received $75,000 in support of its ArtElements program of arts education focused on contemporary art in schools and in family focused events in San Antonio.
Other Charitable Areas of Grants - $761,000
Disabled Persons $ 250,000
Character Development of Youth $ 190,000
Public Museums $ 150,000
Public Libraries $ 110,000
Animal Cruelty Prevention $ 61,000
The mission of the Kronkosky Charitable Foundation is to produce profound good that is tangible and measurable in Bandera, Bexar, Comal and Kendall counties in Texas by implementing the Kronkoskys’ charitable purposes. General areas of interest for the Foundation are outlined in its Program Guidelines booklet, which may be obtained by contacting the Foundation’s office or may be found on the Foundation’s website at www.kronkosky.org.
The Kronkosky Charitable Foundation was established by Albert and Bessie Mae Kronkosky with a trust agreement in January 1991 and was funded in August 1997. The Kronkosky family presence in Texas dates back to the 1860s when they moved into the New Braunfels area. Over the years, the family became a significant shareholder in Merck stock and they involved themselves in a number of successful local business ventures, mainly the Gebhardt Chili Powder Company and the San Antonio Drug Company.