Molinaro Announces $263,580 in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards

Molinaro Announces $263,580
in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards


The eighth round of grants in an 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 $263,580, as part of the County’s Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program to fund 15 projects to local non-profit organizations that directly benefit children and families.

Announced in June as part of the “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 ($263,580 Total)

BSA Troop 3055, (Pleasant Valley) $7,000
Trailer Purchase – Purchase a trailer to help with the scout run bottle and can redemption drive as well as for hauling gear for scouting activities.

Dutchess County SPCA, (Hyde Park) $20,000
Improved Facilities for Youth Education Programs – Rebuilding of play-yards and kennels; renovation of interior spaces for children’s programs.

Dutchess Land Conservancy, (Millbrook) $10,000
Children’s Nature Exploration Backpacks for Public Libraries – Purchase backpacks filled with resources needed to explore the outdoors (i.e. field guides, bug nets) to be donated to all public libraries in Dutchess County.

Fall Kill Creative Works, (City of Poughkeepsie) $10,000
Youth & Family Printmaking and Weaving Days – Purchase an etching press and supplies for printmaking; purchase and installation of a sink for printmaking; lap looms and supplies for weaving instruction; promotional signs and materials.

Friends of Spookhill Park, (Wappinger) $20,000
GreenTherapy Initiative – Purchase arts and crafts materials; various outdoor equipment, such as frisbees, a cornhole toss, bean bags, water guns, and other therapy accessories; transportation, and lunch for the participants.

Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership Seminars of New York, Inc., (Fishkill) $2,500
Leadership Training for High School Students – Supplies to run a leadership workshop for ninth-grade students and a weekend program for sophomores; funding will offset costs, enabling the organization to reduce program fees, allowing all families to participate.

James’s Warriors, (East Fishkill) $20,000
No One Walks Alone – Provide free presentations to youths that start conversations about mental health awareness; provide young people tangible items to help with stress management, such as stress balls, tee shirts, journals, coping kits, and pocket-size resource cards.

Mid Hudson Aquatics, Inc., (Poughkeepsie) $20,000
Communities Win When Children Return to Swim – Funds will be applied to enrollment costs to participate in swim lessons and/or swim team.

Morton Memorial Library and Community House, (Rhinebeck) $50,000
Maker Spaces and Chess Club for Children – Purchase supplies, furnishings, and equipment for indoor maker space; purchase story walk signage, equipment, and outdoor seating, plantings for new outdoor garden space; cover transportation costs for chess travel to eliminate the cost for families.

New York Elite Volleyball, (Poughkeepsie) $20,000
Equipment Replacement and Fee Reduction – Replace volleyballs and reduce fees for participants.

Northern Dutchess Raiders (Pine Plains) $14,080
Team equipment, uniforms, and signage – Purchase uniforms and position-specific safety equipment for both the cheer and football teams, as well as updated signage for the program to advertise in and around the community and at games to encourage athlete participation.

Pawling Little League, (Pawling) $10,000
Facilities Upgrades – Purchase supplies for the league, including new clay for the fields; repair storage sheds, and maintain fields.

Pawling Youth Hockey (Pawling) $20,000
Uniforms and Equipment – Purchase uniforms, skill development equipment to improve skating, stickhandling, shooting, and awareness.

Poughkeepsie City Striders Track Club, (City of Poughkeepsie) $20,000
Scholarships for Children – Purchase equipment; pay for meet fees, uniforms, and bus rental for travel to meets.

Presidents Football Boosters, Inc., (Hyde Park) $20,000
Football Equipment and Expenses – Defray costs of equipment, uniforms, and protective gear, college sports applications, filming, camp fees, and training for coaches; purchase drinks, coolers, shade tents, and other supplies for the field; COVID-related personal protective equipment.

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 Deirdre Houston said, “Dutchess County’s Learn, Play, Create grants are making a great impact on our young people whose lives were thrown asunder by this pandemic. Those of us who voted for this critical program predicted its success months ago, and I thank County Executive Molinaro for his careful planning in introducing an initiative that will aid our kids’ development for years to come.”

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