LINKS Program has New Community Partnership
By Enterprise Staff published in the Livingston Enterprise on November 23, 2018
The Friends of LINKS, established in October 2018, will be fiscally sponsored by the Park County Community Foundation, the group announced.
LINKS for Learning is an out-of-school-time enrichment program that operates after school and during the summer.
The Friends of LINKS mission is to support the financial well-being and sustainability of the LINKS for Learning, to focus public attention on LINKS’ services and needs, to enhance the community’s appreciation for LINKS, and to stimulate gifts and raise funds to maintain the longevity of LINKS for Learning, a Friends of LINKS news release said.
“We felt the time was right to take a more aggressive approach to the financial sustainability of the LINKS program due to the loss in federal funding that made up 25% of the LINKS budget,” Friends of LINKS board member Julie Hancock stated in the release. “The Friends of LINKS’ purpose is to establish longterm financial sustainability of the LINKS for Learning program, showcase the value of LINKS to our community and afford potential donors a vehicle to make donations electronically. We felt PCCF was the perfect partner to help us meet those goals.”
In the past, federal funding allowed LINKS for Learning to offer scholarships to families that qualified for free and reduced priced lunches which made up 50 percent of LINKS enrollment. Without that funding this year, LINKS Director Terri Hartly has been forced to place even more students on the waitlist, the release said.
While Hartly has been working diligently to replace those funds from other resources and is committed to seeking out more diverse sources of funding in an effort to achieve greater financial sustainability for the immediate future, Hancock and Friends of LINKS board members Michele Boyd and Greg Coleman saw the need for a long-term plan, the release said.
As new funding is secured, scholarships will be awarded to children on the waitlist, allowing parents to work with greater peace of mind during out of school time and thus supporting the local economy.
While at LINKS, children receive academic support and tutoring, participate in engaging enrichment activities (STEM, Art, cooking lessons, robotics, etc.) and community involvement as well as make positive connections with nurturing adults.
“LINKS for Learning is much more than an afterschool program for kids,” Coleman said. “It is one of our community’s foundational programs supporting academic success and enrichment opportunities for our youth. At the same time, it supports our working families, bridging the gap between the end of school and end of work. LINKS for learning builds resiliency. That is why we created Friends of LINKS. Supporting our hard working students, families and businesses creates a better community.”
Donations of any amount are welcome and are taxdeductible. To learn more, visit www.pccf-montana.org/for-donors/donate-now.html.You may also call or email Hancock at (406) 223-2166, firstname.lastname@example.org; Greg Coleman, (406) 223-4866, email@example.com; or Michele Boyd (406) 223-1423.
Click Here for more information about the Community Foundation fiscal sponsorship program or contact our office at 406-224-3920