At an intimate gathering at the West Tisbury library Tuesday evening, MVYouth awarded $750,000 to two Island nonprofits, bringing the foundation’s total giving to over $14 million since its inception in 2014.

MVYouth announced two expansion grants at the event, with $450,000 awarded to Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, and $300,000 going to Sail Martha’s Vineyard.

The Community Services grant will continue a pilot program begun last year, also thanks to an MVYouth grant, to support individuals developing at-home early childhood education programs.

“They have identified an overwhelming need and the lack of facilities for it,” said Ron Rappaport, MVYouth trustee and advisory board chair.

John Kettlewell, Jim Oakes, Dan Pesch, Andrew Nutton, Melissa Moore, Lindsey Scott. — Mark Alan Lovewell

Proof of concept for the project came last year, when a $40,000 grant from MVYouth enabled Community Services to fund a basement renovation, helping a home-based early childhood educator open a licensed program in that space. With this year’s grant, Community Services CEO Beth Folcarelli said they will be able to expand the program to provide support to nine additional home-based educators.

“It will allow us to really cultivate a family childcare network,” Ms. Folcarelli said, describing the program as a way to meet educational needs without a centralized facility.

Community Services will also be able to support educators through the licensing process for a home-based education provider, Ms. Folcarelli said.

“Most people don’t understand how intensive those requirements are,” she said.

Heather Quinn, early childhood program director for Community Services, said that nine new home-based facilities could result in 74 additional spots for Island kids to receive early childhood education.

The SailMV grant will help the organization expand its sailing and maritime education on-Island, and widen its reach to more people with disabilities.

“Our mission from the start was to be able to provide education to every youth on Island who wants it,” said SailMV executive director John Kettlewell. “This is going to allow us to offer more free programing and more advanced classes for everybody...this is going to be really transformative for us.”

SailMV is now in its third decade and serves an estimated 425 Island youth each year. Mr. Kettlewell said the grant would help the organization upgrade its fleet to provide more access for people with disabilities to participate in programming.

MVYouth was founded by Daniel Stanton and Jim Swartz with a mission to help Island kids, teens and young adults. Each winter the organization awards expansion grants to institutions, and in the spring awards college and workforce scholarships.

“The start of MVYouth was very simple and very clear, and it remains that way,” executive director Lindsey Scott said at the event.

Though created by Mr. Stanton and Mr. Swartz, Ms. Scott said the group has many “founders,” or donors who each pledge $25,000 annually over a period of four years.

“It is the generosity of all those donors that makes this possible,” Ms. Scott said.

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