Napa vitners award $2.4 million grant


The first $350,000 of the grant will be applied to the Children's Health Initiative, a three-year program to ensure every child in Napa County has access to healthcare insurance. Napa Valley Vintners previously gave $1 million to the CHI after Auction Napa Valley's 25th anniversary event in 2005.

Napa Valley Vintners will also award $1 million in challenge grants to help public schools develop a teaching program that prepares students for college or better jobs after graduating high school.

The model for the school programs is New Tech High School, a program that began in 1996 to teach students creative thinking, problem solving and rapid collaborative communication using current technology. Forty schools nationwide use the New Tech High School model.

A study by the New Tech Foundation found less than 24 percent of Napa County high school graduates and 34 percent of graduates nationwide are college ready compared to 100 percent of New Tech's students.

The $1 million grant is a challenge to expand Student Centered 21st Century schools to other public high schools in Napa County. The goal is to educate instructors on how to teach the curriculum and for technology to support that instruction and learning.

The final $1 million of the $2.4 million grant is a challenge grant for programs that generate opportunities for Napa County pre-K through high school children. The grants are for programs that provide comprehensive education programs including youth-to-youth mentoring and leadership, family and community support and improvement and programs that close the gap of cultural disparity in educational achievement in Napa County.

Pat Stotesbery, president of the Napa Valley Vintners Board of Directors, said the programs are ambitious, but the NVV is charged with enhancing the well being of the community and the sustainability of the community "is dependent on eliminating any disparity in health and education."

To date, Auction Napa Valley has given $78 million to Napa Valley non-profits and with the YES initiative, youth development giving alone accounts for nearly $9.5 million.

This year's Auction Napa Valley-The American Wine Classic begins Thursday and ends Sunday.

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