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Molinaro Announces $183,500 in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards
Ninth round of grants in ongoing initiative to enhance lives of children and families adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 10/12/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the latest round of grant awards, totaling $183,500, 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 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 ($183,500 Total)

Cornell Cooperative Extension Dutchess County, (Millbrook) $20,000
Agriculture Education for Kids
– Purchase learning labs and supplies, including embryology kits and anatomy models, for use by staff and volunteers in schools, at community events and during ongoing club gatherings to impart knowledge, spark interest and engage kids in agriculture.

JG Boosters Charitable Trust, (Hyde Park) $20,000
Supporting Students in Live Performing Arts
– Funding will be used to purchase costumes, flooring and equipment to advance performance skills, as well as to provide enhanced alternate performance venue capabilities.

Legacy Jr. Bass, (Red Hook/Tivoli) $20,000
Take a Kid Fishing
– Provide anglers with jerseys and trophies; make repairs to organization’s trailer used at every tournament; lower entry fees for anglers who qualify for nationals events.

Pawling Panthers Travel Baseball, (Pawling) $20,000
Building a Strong Travel Baseball Program
– Regular travel team fees including field use fees, significant tournament costs, a pitching machine, equipment bags, and a new digital scoreboard.

Red Hook Soccer Club, (Red Hook) $5,000
Providing Youth Soccer for All Abilities
– Set up a soccer clinic/camp that will welcome youth of all abilities.

Rhinebeck Performing Arts, Inc., (Rhinebeck) $20,000
Rights and Supplies for New Youth Partnership
– These funds would supply costumes, sets, props, musical direction and other artist fees for a new, four-week production being produced at the center, which will highlight young artists of color.

Rhinebeck Soccer League, (Rhinebeck) $10,000
Soccer Equipment and Training
– Soccer goals, balls, paint machine, trainings for coaches and referees.

Tivoli Fire Company, Inc., (Tivoli) $20,000
Tomorrow's Community Leaders Fire Explorer Program
– The funding will go to help purchase personal protective equipment for Company’s Fire Explorer Program so youth members can participate in drills, as well as respond to emergencies when they come of age.

Town of Fishkill Police Department Cadet program, (Fishkill) $10,000
Program equipment for cadets
– Cleaning supplies, training equipment and equipment essential to working details.

Upstate Films, (Rhinebeck) $9,500
Upstate Youth Partners Program
– Purchase public performance licenses, which allow for free educational screenings, of 15 films for Upstate Youth Partners Program film library, and for staff time to research and write engagement plans and study guides.

Wappingers Youth Football, (Wappinger) $20,000
Equipment, Supplies and Training
– Funding will be used to purchase new footballs, helmets, and First Aid equipment and to fund trainings and open house clinics.

Yusuf House of the Hudson Valley, Inc., $9,000
School Supplies, Instrument Rental and Tablet Computers
– Purchase of general school supplies, laptops, musical instruments or instrument rentals, for children whose parents are incarcerated, on probation, or parole.

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 Lisa Paoloni said, “These Learn, Play, Create grants I’m proud to support are making a true difference in the lives of so many children and families in our community. The grant program, which County Executive Molinaro proposed and legislators like myself voted to enact, will greatly impact Dutchess County’s kids for years to come.”