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Molinaro Announces $255K in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards
Third round of grants in ongoing initiative to enhance lives of children and families adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 8/19/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the latest round of grant awards, totaling $255,700, as part of the County’s Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program to fund 11 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 ($255,700 Total)

Arlington Band Boosters Incorporated, $20,000
Uniforms and Instruments
– Replace worn uniforms and uniform parts, purchase new costumes, and replace worn or non-functional musical instruments, audio equipment and other electronics. 

Dolphins Swim Club of the Hudson Valley, $20,000
Starting Blocks and Swimsuits
– Return to the Culinary Institute Pool for training and to purchase starting blocks for training.  Utilize remaining funds for team suits to help minimize the costs to swimmers’ families.

Dutchess County Gaelic Athletic Association, $20,000
Building Community and Irish Culture for All
– Purchase team equipment, uniforms, balls, goals and rent field space; increased safety measures to include First Aid and CPR training; increase reach with more free-to-attendee clinics, tournaments and spread awareness.

Hudson Valley Admirals Football and Cheer, $20,000
Admirals Football and Cheer Equipment
– Purchase helmets, shoulder pads, football and cheer uniforms, replacing damaged protective pads on the football sleds and necessary supplies in order to operate in a COVID-safe environment.

John Jay Hockey Club, $20,000
Return to Ice for High School Hockey
– Use funds for rental of ice time for practices, uniforms, tournament and league fees, other equipment, such as pucks, First Aid supplies and practice jerseys.

LaGrange Association Library, $50,000
STREAM into School Readiness
– Purchase Advanced Workstation in Education (AWE) Early Literacy workstations (in-library use) and AWE Early Literacy tablets (for checkout), pre-loaded with award-winning STREAM programs/activities (no Internet connection required); youth public computers for Internet access; furniture for same; STREAM-themed activity bags with books, puzzles, and materials for families to borrow; and shelves.

New Deal Creative Arts Center, $20,000
Technology and Production Equipment Upgrade
– Purchase a video camera, body microphones, sound board and mixer, digital cameras, laptops, and video and photo editing software for filming kids’ talk show and recording live performances. 

Red Raiders Youth Football and Cheer, $20,000
Safer equipment
– Purchase helmets, shoulder pads and uniforms for the growing enrollment; safety training equipment to protect players and reduce injuries; a travel trailer to store equipment.

Rebuilding Our Children and Community Inc., $20,000
ROCC Performing Arts
– Purchase equipment to enhance performing arts program, including but not limited to lighting, sound reinforcement, loudspeakers, microphones and wireless systems, and video projector. 

Starr Library, $25,700
Reaching for "Starrs"- Bringing the Library to the Community
– Purchase Nature Walk Signage, three Little Free Libraries, NEA Big Read bilingual project books for youth, portable/folding stage, outdoor seating, student activity table, and The Charlie Cart food education nutrition program.

Town of Poughkeepsie Little League Girls Softball, $20,000
Upgrade fields
– Purchase tools, dirt, fencing and dugouts.  

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 Michael Polasek said, “These investments in Dutchess County children couldn’t come at a better time, given all they’ve missed out on since the pandemic’s onset. County Executive Molinaro listened to our residents and knew our young people are a top priority, and I’m proud to be among the legislative partners who took action and appropriated the funds to support such a critical program.”

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.