Molinaro Announces $275,000 in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards

Molinaro Announces $275,000 in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards

Fifth round of grants in ongoing initiative to enhance lives of children and families adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the latest round of grant awards, totaling $275,000, as part of the County’s Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program to fund 12 projects to local non-profit organizations that directly benefit children and families.

Announced in June as part of “Dutchess Invests,” the County Executive’s initiative to direct $57 million in one-time funding allocated to Dutchess County through the Federal Government’s American Rescue Plan (ARP) to areas the community has recognized as priorities, the Learn, Play, Create grant program provides $3 million in one-time grants to local non-profit youth organizations in the categories of expanded learning – arts, libraries and athletics – that were deprived of a year of fundraising or participation due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

County Executive Molinaro said, “Our children have missed out on so much over the last 20 months, and Dutchess County is proud to offer Learn, Play, Create as a way to help our kids get back some of what the pandemic stole from them. The investments we make in our kids today not only help them overcome recent losses, but ensure their development continues, helping them grow into successful young adults. Together, Dutchess County will continue making a real impact in our children’s lives and invest in our future.  I encourage youth organizations and libraries impacted by the pandemic to apply!”


Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids awards ($275,000 Total)

Amenia Free Library Association, $50,000 

Future Youth Programming – Purchase flexible tables and seating, performers related to the library’s youth programming, a moveable whiteboard, a large flat-screen television, programming supplies and equipment. 


Bardavon 1869 Opera House, $20,000 

Field-Trip Fund – Underwrite busing, transportation and ticket fees for more than 6,000 students to attend live shows; will subsidize technical support, outreach and artist fees should the need arise to return to solely virtual performances.

Cappella Festiva, $10,000 

Music Education: Choral Singing for Children & Youth – Support all of youth choral group’s programs, resulting in reduced fees for families; one-time expenses include music scores, licensing, art materials, performance t-shirts, bus transportation, supplies, computers and equipment.

Hyde Park Presidents, Inc., $20,000  

Football and Cheer Equipment and Supplies – Field use, storage unit to protect equipment, new concussion protocol helmets with face shields, shoulder pads, insurance and personal protective equipment.

Lagrange Youth Baseball/Softball, $20,000 

Complex Improvements – Safety upgrades and repairs to the existing fencing, dugouts, and electrical and irrigation systems at its seven-field complex.

Northeast Community Council, Inc., $20,000 

Summer Camp for Rural Youth – Funds will be used for 50 camp scholarships; summer camp supplies such as arts, crafts and other learning materials; promotional materials; and transportation using NECC vehicles.

Pine Plains Free Library, $50,000 

Creation of Creative Youth STEAM Spaces – Purchase flexible and growable plans, furniture, equipment, supplies, and materials to expand underutilized spaces into modern creativity areas for youth and teens, including technology such as computers, laptops and tablets for check-out.

Poughkeepsie Youth Football and Cheer, $20,000 

Back to the Field – Purchase training equipment (tackling sleds, footballs, helmets, shoulder pads, cleats, tackling dummies and field training equipment); pay the player fee for any and all in financial need.

Sports Museum of Dutchess County, $20,000 

Preserving Stories, Creating New “Legends” for the Next Generation – Develop tour programming for youth; improving ThinkDIFFERENTLY tours; purchase materials for creating new youth-oriented displays, new computers, desks, shelving in library for student research; improved internet access.

Stringendo, $20,000 

Keeping the Music Going – Workshops, guest musicians, retreat gatherings to learn music, classes for new students, camera equipment and computers to capture and edit video coverage of musical events, strings, instruments and bows for students in need and music stands.

The Art Effect, $20,000 

Essential Equipment Upgrades for Youth Arts and Media Programs – Purchase 10 iPad Airs with accessories and AppleCare, and 10 iPencils to be used across all The Art Effect’s programs; seven MacBook Air computers to be primarily used in The Art Effect’s youth workforce development programs.


Uniquely Made Children Corp, $5,000 

Get Excited for School – One-time back to school event, including rental space, games, bounce house rental, food and beverages; purchase school supplies (backpacks, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, masks).

Gregg Pulver, Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature, said, “Our children are our next generation, and Dutchess County is proud to invest in the future of our kids to help them rebound from all they lost as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These Learn, Play, Create grant awards will provide countless kids throughout our county with the opportunities they need to continue to flourish.”

At its June board meeting, the Dutchess County Legislature adopted the Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program, as part of the “Dutchess Invests” initiative.

Legislator Will Truitt said, “I share County Executive Molinaro’s desire to give back to Dutchess County children who have lost out on so much since the onset of COVID-19 in our community. That’s why I continue to support funding our local organizations who do such great work for our kids, and I thank my colleagues who likewise value the work they perform and the children they serve.”

Funding is available in grant awards up to $20,000 for youth-serving organizations that promote learning, art enrichment, and sports activities for specific purchases or needs, including equipment, supplies or other one-time expenses to help enhance program offerings, as well as make the program more accessible for families. Libraries are eligible for purchases or needs up to $50,000.

The application period for the Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program is ongoing on a first-come, first-served basis, based on eligibility; application instructions and guidance are available online. All applications will be reviewed for eligibility by the Department of Planning and Development with final funding approval made by the County Executive. Applications continue to be reviewed as they are received, and additional awards will be announced in the coming weeks.

School districts, private and religious schools, including school-affiliated clubs and/or programs, as well as municipal-funded/sponsored departments or clubs are not eligible to apply, since school districts, private and religious schools, and municipalities are eligible to receive American Rescue Plan funds.

Author: Harlem Valley News