GroundFloor Media’s Get Grounded Foundation Awards Inaugural Grants to Four Programs Serving Denver’s At-Risk Youth

DENVER, Dec. 7, 2015 - GroundFloor Media(GFM), a Denver-based marketing communications agency, announced today that its new 501(c)(3), The Get Grounded Foundation, recently awarded its first round of grants to four outstanding local community programs supporting youth services. A total of $15,000 was granted to four programs including the Tennyson Center for Children, PlatteForum, Rocky Mountain Children’s Law Center, and the Denver Indian Family Resources Center. The programs were selected for their efforts in getting a new or innovative program off the “ground floor” in the area of child abuse and neglect, youth behavioral health or childhood hunger relief.      

A volunteer committee made up of individuals from the agency and the Colorado foundation community reviewed more than 20 grant applications for the 2015 awards. Applications for 2016
grants will be accepted beginning Feb.1, 2016.

The 2015 Get Grounded Foundation Grant Recipients

The Tennyson Center for Children, a nonprofit organization that provides residential and therapeutic services, as well as a K-12 school, to Colorado children who have survived severe abuse or neglect, or have significant mental health or developmental issues, applied its grant toward a new animal-assisted therapy (AAT) program. Children who have experienced trauma frequently struggle as they try to engage in the therapeutic process. However, they often view animals as non-judgmental and are better able to share and disclose painful feelings during AAT, which then makes it possible for the therapist to address the child’s issues.

PlatteForum, a nonprofit organization supporting contemporary artists and under-served youth in Metro Denver, used its grant to support its artist-in-residence program, specifically its residency with artist and environmental researcher Jennifer Stratton. During
the program, Jenny, who holds an MFA from Duke University, conducted a series of interactive learning workshops with youth from Cole Middle School Boys & Girls Club. As part of their project, Jennifer and her students created the first ever Denver Soil Bank, an evolving collection and exchange of community soils and stories. The program culminated in the completion of a body of work by Jenny and the children that was on exhibit to the public at PlatteForum during the month of October.

“The Denver Soil Bank is a participatory public art project,” said Alexandria Jimenez, program director at PlatteForum. “This project challenged Denver’s urban youth to think about their relationship to the ground beneath their feet and engage the larger community in creating the first Denver Soil Bank. They have literally been grounded through the Get Grounded
Foundation’s support.”

The Rocky Mountain Children's Law Center (CLC) grant is being used to fund its new “Birthday Bash” program, which allows guardians ad litem and members of the CLC clinical team to participate with children in celebrating important events and rites of passage. CLC staff and volunteers use these opportunities to help underserved, poverty-level youth participate in fun activities as forums for learning life skills and how to develop a sense of self-efficacy. CLC was founded in 1985 to transform the lives of abused, neglected and at-risk children through compassionate legal advocacy, education, and public policy reform in response
to the critical lack of quality legal representation for these children in Colorado.

The Denver Indian Family Resource Center’s (DIFRC) grant is funding the purchase of culturally appropriate crafts (materials for creating dream catchers and journey sticks, beading, weaving materials, etc.) for case workers to use when meeting with American Indian and Alaska Native children in the Denver urban area who may be victims of abuse and/or neglect or receiving therapeutic services. They use these culturally appropriate crafts, which the organization has not been able to fund in the past, to reduce the impact of traumatic events and increase cultural connectedness.

“We are providing children and their families with opportunities for growth of traditional cultural skills and knowledge, particularly for children who are currently in out-of-home placement as we support reunification with their families through supervised visitation, intensive case management and therapy,” said Sarah Nelson, project supervisor, DIFRC. “Beading, drum making, and regalia crafting will be incorporated throughout the therapeutic and case management processes to provide children with comfortable and inherent activities that have been
ingrained in their culture for centuries."

The Get Grounded Foundation is based on two pillars of thought already firmly established at GFM. The first is that nonprofits, similar to many startup organizations, are entrepreneurial in their approach, yet often can’t find seed funding to get a new or innovative program off the
“ground floor.” Second, it elevates GFM’s long giving history of focusing on organizations that
our team members are proud to be a part of, including child abuse and neglect prevention, youth behavioral health and childhood hunger relief. As such, The Foundation provides one-year
grants, funded by GFM’s profits, for new or expanded, innovative or entrepreneurial programs or projects within an existing, qualified nonprofit that directly supports the healthy development of at-risk youth between the ages of three and 13 in the Denver Metro area.