JUNEAU (AP) -- The Alaska Children's Trust will hand out 19 grants worth $310,000 to community organizations around the state this year, Gov. Tony Knowles announced Wednesday.
The Alaska Children Trust is a state endowment fund that uses interest earnings to provide grants. The Legislature appropriated $6 million to the trust in 1996. Since then the principal has grown to $9.2 million through donations, investments and fund-raising, including the sale of heirloom birth certificates and children's trust license plates.
''Scientific research tells us what we've known in our hearts all along: If we invest dollars today in giving children a healthy start in life, we'll save millions down the road in reduced costs for social services, crime fighting, and prisons,'' Knowles said.
Knowles said grants will go toward a variety of innovative programs, such as a community-parenting program in Sand Point, the Saxman Breakfast Club, which provides snacks for hungry students before they board buses for school, and the Covenant House program for young single mothers in Anchorage.
Knowles announced the grants at the Juneau Family Birth Center, which is starting a program to support teen parents throughout their pregnancy and following the birth of their children.
Organizations in Fairbanks, Kenai, Soldotna, Sutton, Aniak, Nome, Dillingham, St. George Island, Wrangell, and the Norton Sound region also will receive grants.
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