"If we want children to flourish, to become truly empowered, then let us allow them to love the earth before we ask them to save it." 
    - David Sobel

The Joseph & Vera Long Foundation seeks to enhance education in the communities of Northern California and Hawaii by supporting well-established organizations which help children and young adults prepare for their future.  

The Foundation has the following grant programs for Education:

  • Connecting Youth with Nature - Experiential learning about the natural world which fosters stewardship for the environment and promotes wellness, health, and community.

  • Fostering Creativity Through the Arts - Growth, learning, and development through the visual, literary, and performing arts which stimulate creative expression and imagination, promotes independent thinking, and develops critical thinking and problem solving skills for life.

For all Education grants, the Foundation values innovation, measurability, cost effectiveness, broad impact, diverse funding/revenue streams, and time-limited projects for which fundraising can be completed with our contribution. Special consideration will be given to projects which are difficult to fund through traditional channels.

School Trip in Forest

Connecting Youth with Nature


Raising children in today's world is very different from the past:  screens dominate  everyone's attention; busy schedules lead to more rushed meals of high-calorie, processed foods; and less time is spent outdoors than ever before. The percentage of children and adolescents affected by obesity has more than tripled since the 1970s, and it is estimated that as many as 1 out of 5 children experience a mental disorder in a given year.  

Connecting with nature can improve our children's physical, mental, and emotional health. Studies show that spending time outdoors fights obesity; lowers blood pressure; increases levels of Vitamin D; improves memory, concentration, and creativity; decreases myopia; and reduces inflammation and asthma. It also reduces stress, anxiety, and depression. Furthermore, children who play regularly in natural environments have more advanced motor skills, such as agility, balance, and coordination, and are sick less often. They are more empathetic; less likely to engage in bullying; and develop stronger awareness, reasoning, and observation skills.

As recent times have shown, natural resources that were once considered to be protected can become at risk if future generations have different values. Children who grow up having regular contact with the natural world are more likely to develop a lifelong love for nature and want to preserve it.

The Joseph & Vera Long Foundation seeks to support organizations that provide meaningful, hands-on experiences for school age children and young adults to learn to appreciate and connect with nature.

By funding the best set of programs and projects, we aim to ensure that more youth will have positive, hands-on experiences that deepen their respect for nature,  influence how they value natural resources, and improve their physical and emotional health.

Grants will be made for:

  • Program Costs

  • Capital Improvements

  • Capacity Building

  • Supplies

  • Discounted Tuition

  • Transportation/Access

Populations Targeted:

  • School Aged Children (6-17 yrs.)

  • Young Adults (18-25 yrs.)

Examples of the types of programs that we are looking to support include:

  • School Field Trips

  • School Gardens

  • Family Camps & Activities

  • Conservation Career Cultivation & Training

  • Outdoor Wilderness Programs

  • School & Summer Camps

  • Programs which bring nature to the classroom

Preference will be given to organizations with high outreach to underprivileged youth and families. 

To submit a request for funding from the Connecting Youth with Nature grant program, please follow the process outlined on the Grants page.

Child Artist

Fostering Creativity Through the Arts


Over the last thirty years, we have witnessed a disturbing trend in our public schools.  Budget constraints have led to Arts programs being scaled down or even eliminated altogether. This has been happening throughout the country, but the negative impact is greatest in low-income communities.  

Through the arts, children learn valuable life skills that guide them to becoming engaged, creative, and innovative thinkers. Involvement in the arts is associated with gains in math, reading, verbal skill, cognitive ability, and critical thinking. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. According to a report by the Rand Corporation, art education does more than just give students a creative outlet. It can actually help connect them to the larger world, ultimately improving community cohesion. 

If underprivileged students are going to be prepared for the future, they will need the 21st century skills that can be learned via visual, literary, and performing arts. Moreover, studies have shown that greater arts education leads to fewer disciplinary infractions and higher attendance, graduation rates, and test scores. As stated by the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, "Arts education enables those children from a financially challenged background to have a more level playing field with children who have had those enrichment experiences.'' In addition, research supported by the National Endowment for the Arts has shown that students from low socioeconomic backgrounds who have arts-rich experiences are more likely to achieve key positive outcomes - academically, socially, and civically - compared with their peers who lack access to arts experiences.

The Joseph & Vera Long Foundation seeks to support school programs and organizations that provide access to tools, materials, classes, instruction, and support and guidance for creative expression.

By giving disadvantaged youth access and opportunities to participate in visual, literary, and performing arts, we will equip them with a creative edge; support academic success across school curriculum; and contribute to their development into caring, educated, and innovative adults.

Grants will be made for:

  • ​Program Costs

  • Capital Improvements

  • Capacity Building

  • Materials/Supplies

  • Discounted Tuition

Populations targeted:

  • Underprivileged School Aged Children (6-17 yrs.) 

  • Underprivileged Young Adults (18-25 yrs.)

Examples of the types of programs that we are looking to support include:

  • School Arts Programs

  • After-school Arts Programs

  • Community Arts Programs

To submit a request for funding from the Fostering Creativity Through the Arts grant program, please follow the process outlined on the Grants page.