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‘Learn, Play, Create’ Funds 147 Projects Benefiting Children & Families Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic
Molinaro’s Executive Budget continues, expands program in 2022

Published: 11/16/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro announced today the County’s Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program has awarded its allocated $3 million to fund 147 projects by local non-profits organizations that directly serve children – enhancing and empowering opportunities for children to learn, play, and create, while filling an educational, financial, social and/or emotional void because of the quarantine and stay-at-home orders necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The popularity of the Learn, Play, Create program has exhausted the $3 million allocated for 2021; applications are no longer being accepted. Based on the success of the Learn, Play, Create program, County Executive Molinaro has expanded the program in his 2022 Executive Budget, allocating an additional $500,000 for the program for the coming year; application instructions and guidance will be available in early 2022.

County Executive Molinaro said, “This pandemic has impacted children and families in so many ways, and the success of Learn, Play, Create is evident in the 147 projects Dutchess County is proud to fund. These projects – whether they’re new uniforms or reduced registration fees for youth sports teams; new costumes and stage upgrades for young actors; or books, supplies and computers for libraries to offer expanded services to children – will each greatly benefit thousands of children and families across Dutchess County. We are proud to continue our support for this vital program in 2022 and expand its reach throughout our community.”

The 11th and final round of 2021 Learn, Play, Create awards consists of:

Boy Scouts of America Troop 33 (Pleasant Valley), $5,000
Trailer replacement
– Purchase of a small trailer to replace the Troop’s dilapidated CONEX storage container.

Boy Scouts of America Troop 145 (Wappinger), $20,000
Expanding outdoor life and leadership skills
– Providing uniforms and materials to youth who wish to join the program; obtaining camping, cooking and boating equipment to be used as part of the outdoor program, including a one-week canoeing trip through the Adirondack region.

Hudson River Housing (Poughkeepsie), $20,000
At-Risk and Homeless Youth Enrichment Project
– Enrollment fees, transportation, sports uniforms and other supplies/materials to enable 50 Hudson River Housing residents to participate in after-school activities, clubs, sports leagues, art classes, music lessons and the like.

John Jay Music Boosters (East Fishkill), $20,000
Bringing Back a Love of Music
– Purchase instruments, mallets, bows, parts to repair instruments, instrument and music storage pieces, musical scores, performance folders, uniforms for competitions and competition registration fees.

Rhinebeck Aerodrome Museum, Inc. (Rhinebeck), $5,000
Youth Education Program
– Purchase supplies, including lumber such as specialty aircraft spruce, hardware and airframe covering supplies used on the Aerodrome property under trained, adult supervision.

County Executive Molinaro announced Learn, Play, Create in June 2021, as part of “Dutchess Invests,” his 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. Learn, Play, Create provided $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. The Dutchess County Legislature adopted the Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program, as part of the “Dutchess Invests” initiative, at its June 2021 meeting.

This year, Learn, Play, Create funding was 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 were eligible for purchases or needs up to $50,000.