County Awards $294K in Youth Services Grants

County Awards $294K in Youth Services Grants

Funds support young people in areas of development, education, athletics

Poughkeepsie, NY… The Dutchess County Department of Community and Family Services’ Division of Youth Services has awarded $294,034 to local municipalities and nonprofit community-based organizations to fund 24 programs that enhance the lives and safety of young people throughout Dutchess County through the New York State Youth Development Program (YDP) and Youth Sports and Education Funding (YSEF) Program.

Funded programs support the County’s “Path to Promise” initiative by addressing one of the New York State Office of Children and Family Services’ six life areas, which are: Economic Security, Physical and Emotional Health, Education, Citizenship/Civic Engagement and Family and Community. The County has used the “Path to Promise” framework to compare the needs of its young people to current activities in the community, enabling it to better understand the domains and/or age groups with the most resources, as well as which areas require additional investment. Grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 were awarded to programs that provide free, direct services designed to improve youth and community outcomes.

2023-24 Youth Development Programming: ($237,315 total allocated)

Beacon Volunteer Ambulance Corps., $16,781
Junior Corps Member Program — Comprehensive training and mentorship programs to equip members, ages 15 to 17, with the knowledge and skills needed to excel in the field of emergency medical services and the goal of developing members into confident and capable leaders. Junior Corps members learn about emergency medical procedures, patient care and communication skills. Leadership development opportunities, such as team-building exercises and leadership workshops, are available to help members build strong leadership skills that can be applied in all areas of their lives.

Beekman Library, $7,000
Youth Empowerment through Service (Y.E.S.) — Thirty-five high school-age teens will contribute to their community and gain leadership skills by acting as library volunteers. Teens may apply to serve as volunteer shelvers or academic mentors to younger children. Volunteer shelvers will learn library classification systems; academic mentors will serve as “Reading Buddies” or “Homework Helpers” to children in kindergarten through 6th Grade.

Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse, $18,000
Personal Safety Program — Provides free, classroom-based safety workshops to students, faculty and staff about abuse and bullying prevention. The program serves grades Pre-K to 8th Grade, providing students with tools and resources for identifying and reporting physical, emotional, sexual abuse and neglect, bullying and “digital dangers,” while also providing faculty and staff with resources and protocol for identifying and reporting all types of abuse.

Chamber Foundation, Inc., $14,547
Next Gen Summer Academy – A 3-week STEAM-focused career readiness program for 14–18-year-olds to learn about 21st century skills and computer literacy, utilizing virtual/augmented reality, robotics, Artificial intelligence, game design/development and coding – integrating these immersive technologies into an educational and work readiness setting and prepare youth to enter current high-demand STEAM careers.

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County, $20,000
Green Teen Workforce Development Community Gardening – The Green Teen program prepares youth, ages 10 to 20, for college and careers through employment set in the context of community gardening, teaching the skills and behaviors employers seek. Education in areas such as communication, financial literacy, resume writing, nutrition and social justice is provided.

Dutchess Community College Foundation, $10,000
DCC Cares-Surviving to Thriving – Program will provide postsecondary education dropout prevention and increase the retention and graduation rates of Dutchess County students between 17 and 21 years who are housing insecure, lack material basics and struggle with mental health issues. A Student Resource Navigator will assist 40 students with direct support such as emergency housing, transportation, technology access and access to basic materials; and a mental health counselor will provide monthly workshops on basic life skills, coping and work readiness support, as well as individual follow-up.

Dutchess County Pride Center, $8,000
Intergenerational Get Togethers — Monthly intergenerational get-togethers between LGBTQ+ youth and their families and other LGBTQ+ adults, including monthly dinners, and quarterly family field trips to local museums and historic sites around Dutchess County. Events also include a lecture series on topics relating to the LGBTQ+ community and the various intersections of other marginalized communities, such as dealing with racism, classism, ableism and more; lecture series will also include education on LGBTQ+ issues and how to be supportive to the community.

Family Services, $8,000
Teen Resource Activity Center (TRAC) — Offers a supervised place for youth to come after school at the Family Partnership Center at no cost to participants. Serving youth ages 11 to 18, TRAC operates four days a week, and offers sports, performing arts, academic support, pro-social/emotional workshops, nutritious dinner and relaxation with friends, as well as exposure to positive adult role models.

Foundation for Beacon Schools, Inc., $8,000
2024 Beacon City School District Student Film Festival — Annual event open to all district children from kindergarten to 12th Grade , as well as non-district children who partner with a BCSD student to make a short film project. The Foundation partners with community organizations and local professional filmmakers to offer a variety of free filmmaking workshops across the community in the months leading up to the festival submission deadline. Participants receive a resource kit to help them get started on their short film project using a smartphone.

Friends of Peach Hill, Ltd., $10,000
The Peach Hill Young Engineers Empowerment Program — Program will train youth to design, build and monitor a stormwater management rain garden on the downslope Peach Hill Park’s new education pavilion, “Outreach at the Peach.” Students, ages 14 to 18, will become young engineers as they work with an Environmental Engineer and a retired state-certified science teacher. Students will design and build their own original rain garden and create educational displays about their work on site and hold a community event to showcase their project.

Mid-Hudson Discovery Museum, $10,000
Traveling Science — A series of portable workshops geared to early elementary grades, Traveling Science entails six weekly sessions at a camp or after-school program, serving up to 100 children each visit. Traveling Science serves children throughout the County and is targeted at schools or community groups that lack resources for field trips and are not able to come to the museum site.

Northeast Community Council, Inc., $20,000
Community Partnership with Schools and Businesses (CPSB Teen Jobs) — Free workforce development program for high school youth, ages 14 to 20, who become paid interns at 20 local businesses, where they are trained and mentored by adult employees. NECC’s Teen Food Futures, Food Access and Summer Food Service Program also provide internship opportunities to youth interested in food justice, culinary arts and food access. Interns benefit from workshops such as general job skills, resume writing, job interview skills and college planning.

Poughkeepsie Farm Project, $20,000
Green Jobs for Youth — Poughkeepsie Farm Project prepares youth, ages 16 to 20, for careers in farming, gardening and food education; increases local economic and food security; and supports youth in job searches and placement by connecting them with potential employers. Program serves 17 youth who learn to grow, harvest, prepare and distribute food within their community.

Poughkeepsie United Methodist Church, $10,000
Harriet Tubman Academic Skills Center (HTASC) — After-school program and a summer program to at-risk children who live in or near the Tubman Apartment Complex in the City of Poughkeepsie. Program’s mission to facilitate academic success, develop strong character and create independent thinkers with a love of learning. Program accommodates 30 children in kindergarten through 5th Grade, emphasizing the successful completion of homework assignment and taking part in engaging, age-appropriate activities focusing on STEM, literacy and character development.

R.E.A.L. Skills Network, $15,000
Peer Mentors — Program offers low-income teens in the City of Poughkeepsie a safe after-school program to learn life skills through positive interactions with adult mentors and subsequently mentor younger children. Program works with community partners to offer six activity blocks during the school year: Anti-Violence, Mediation Skills, Babysitting, CPR, Health Topics and Job and Academic Skills.

Red Hook Community Center, Inc., $7,500
RHCC Teen Group — Provide teen programming to 32 youth, ages 11 to 17, in northern Dutchess County, as a teen-designed, teen-led and teen-staffed program guided and facilitated by RHCC staff to promote creative and pro-social group participation. Group activities to focus on emotional and mental wellness using art, food, service projects and recreation to connect participants with peers and staff in safe and meaningful ways.

The Art Effect, $19,500
Spark Studios — Workforce development program offers a safe and engaging learning environment where underserved local youth, ages 14-19, gain valuable skills in film editing, sound, lighting and video production while receiving immediate economic support.

Town of East Fishkill, $8,987
Too Good for Drugs — Elementary school-based drug prevention program designed to reduce students’ intention to use alcohol, tobacco and illegal drugs, while promoting pro-social attitudes, skills, and behaviors. Program builds self-confidence of students, so they are better prepared to make healthy choices and achieve success, reaching more than 250 students.

Town of Pleasant Valley, $6,000
Children’s Garden Camp — Program will be held two days a week for six weeks in summer 2024, as children learn how to create a community garden, plant seeds and care for seedlings, building vegetable and flower beds, learning how to construct a garden, the insects that pollinate it and pests. Children will learn to use the food for different cultural dishes, as well as reusing and recycling to help the planet.

NYS OCFS Youth Sports and Education Funding: ($56,719 total allocated)

City of Beacon, $5,000
Beacon Swim Academy — Program runs for eight weeks as four 2-week sessions, each serving 24 children, ages 6 months to 12 years, with a total goal of 96 youth served.

Mid-Hudson Aquatics, $17,719
Dutchess County Swimpact — Provide 60 children, ages 3-13, six 45-minute free learn to swim classes, as well as 20 outreach swim team candidates, ages 5-18, a free swim team membership consisting of seven months (up to four days a week) training with Mid-Hudson Heatwaves USA Competitive Swim Team, swim meets and USA Swimming membership.

Ramapo for Children, $12,000
SEL-Based Experiential Programming for Youth — Will offer four half-day retreats for 80-160 students and staff from Dutchess County public schools, utilizing active, hands-on experiences to strengthen youth’s social and emotional learning (SEL) skills and encourage physical activity.

Town of Hyde Park, $7,000
Learn to Swim Program — Provide youth the opportunity to achieve life-long skills through the instruction of certified American Red Cross Swimming Lesson staff. The program will provide them the opportunity to learn to swim and exercise in a fun, safe and positive environment.

Town of Red Hook, $15,000
Town of Red Hook Recreation — Town of Red Hook Recreation offers more than 16 different recreational programs to over 500 youth (ages 0 to 21) who live within the boundaries of the Red Hook Central School District.

Grants are awarded annually. The application period generally opens in March.

The Division of Youth Services will host two grant workshops for the 2024-2025 grant cycle for nonprofit agencies and municipalities to review the application process. Workshops are tentatively scheduled for:

• Tuesday, March 5, 2024
• Thursday, March 7, 2024

Additional information is available on the Division of Youth Services webpage.

YDP funding targets services that promote safety, supportive relationships and other positive assets by engaging and empowering youth. YSEF funding targets services that support youth development through sports programs for underserved children and youth. The County’s Division of Youth Services administers YDP and YSEF funds for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services and promotes the County’s Path to Promise Initiative. Additional information about the Division and the Dutchess County’s “Path to Promise” is available on the County’s Youth Services webpage.

Author: Harlem Valley News