published on March 9, 2016 - 12:49 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Golden 1 Credit Union has announced the recipients of its Golden 1 Community Grant Program for 2016, which include eight Central Valley nonprofits working to advance literacy and programs for foster youth as they transition to adulthood.

This year, grant awards in the region total more than $157,000 and include recipients Reading and Beyond and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Kings County.

“We are committed to giving back by investing in local programs that create an impact in the communities we serve,” said Erica Taylor, vice president of Communications and Community Relations for Golden 1 Credit Union. “Through the Golden 1 Community Grant Program, we have the opportunity to support the underserved by providing worthy organizations with resources to further their important work.”

Reading and Beyond started 16 years ago as a small organization focused on one-on-one tutoring. Over the years, Reading and Beyond has expanded to more than 30 locations throughout the Central Valley and provides a variety of life services to more than 3,000 children and their families annually, including early childhood education, literacy intervention, college preparation and workforce development.

With the help of a Golden 1 Community Grant last year, Reading and Beyond was able to exceed its goals of the number of children served during 2015.

“We are very grateful for the continued partnership with Golden 1 Credit Union,” said Luis Santana, executive director of Reading and Beyond. “These grants allow us to empower local families to achieve important benchmarks in life. By providing children education and literacy assistance and support for parents navigating the workforce, we’re helping to make a difference.”

CASA of Kings County, one the newest California chapters of the national organization, is also working to grow its program. Founded in 2011, the program recruits volunteers to serve as trusted advocates for abused and neglected children in the foster care system.

This is also the second year CASA of Kings County has received a Golden 1 Community Grant. Their 2014 Grant program allowed the organization to expand its volunteer training program.

“Words can’t begin to describe how much the Golden 1 Community Grant Program helps our organization,” said Debra Dilldine, executive director of CASA of Kings County. “With the help of this grant, we are expanding our program and protecting the interests of more abused and neglected children in the foster care system.”

Since its inception in 2014, the Golden 1 Community Grant Program has partnered with 77 nonprofits, providing more than $1.4 million to support youth literacy and supporting foster youth as they transition to adulthood.

“Literacy and foster youth transitioning to adulthood are two issues close to our hearts here at Golden 1. Our youth are the region’s future leaders and we are pleased to do our part to help set them up for success,” said Taylor. “The recipients of this year’s grants play a key role in enhancing the lives of California’s future generations and we cannot wait to see the positive outcomes these programs generate.”

All of this year’s Central Valley Golden 1 Community Grant Program recipients will be honored Thursday at a luncheon at the Daily Grill in Fresno.

Applications for 2016 Golden 1 Credit Union Grants will be open in summer 2016 and will be awarded in winter 2016.

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