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Molinaro Announces $279,500 in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards
Seventh round of grants in ongoing initiative to enhance lives of children and families adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 9/23/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the latest round of grant awards, totaling $279,500, as part of the County’s Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program to fund 13 projects to local non-profit organizations that directly benefit children and families.

Announced in June as part of “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 ($279,500 Total)

Boy Scout Troop 37, (Hyde Park) $13,000
Outdoor Equipment and Camping Trailer Upgrade
– Purchase new equipment for programs and upgrades and maintenance to the camp trailer which is used to transport troop equipment for scout events.

CultureConnect, (Rhinebeck) $6,000
Outdoor Learning Environment and Educational Materials
– Purchase tents, seating, and signage for an outdoor environment to work with students in-person for academic and emotional support; books to help recover lost time in school over the pandemic and supplies for outdoor art and educational projects.

Fishkill Little League, (Fishkill) $20,000
Affordable Youth Baseball And Softball For Our Community
– One-time purchases of baseball, softball and field equipment; uniforms; player development skills clinics at no cost to families; lower fees for families.

Howland Public Library, (Beacon) $50,000
Youth and Teen Services Upgrade
– Purchase new furniture for the Children's Room and Youth Programming Room; purchase technology and science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.)-based programming equipment and materials, including one-time programming expenses during the grant period.

Independent Order of Odd Fellows, (Pine Plains) $20,000
Light Up Our Fields
– Installation of lights for baseball and softball fields at Stissing Lake Park, as well as field renovations.

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, (Dover) $20,000
Equine Travel Equipment
– Purchase, replace, and/or repair equine travel equipment.

Nubian Directions II, Inc., (Poughkeepsie) $20,000
3-D Printshop/Entrepreneurial Project
– Purchase three commercial-grade 3-D Printers, accessories, supplies, and classroom materials.

Red Hook Community Center, Inc., (Red Hook) $20,000
Craft Room and Makerspace Equipment
– Purchase art supplies and materials, parts for 3D printer and 3D printing supplies, tools suitable for use by youth with supervision, personal safety equipment, craft tables, workbenches, stools, and chairs.

Rotary Club of Fishkill, (Fishkill) $20,000
Fishkill Warm Coats
– Purchase high-quality, warm winter coats, gloves and boots for elementary school-age children in need throughout southern Dutchess County.

St. Mary's Fishkill CYO, (Fishkill) $12,000
Return to Play 2020
– Purchase new team uniforms; install padding along the length of the stage to ensure better safety for players; resurface and reline gymnasium floor.

Stanford Free Library, (Stanford) $50,000
Community Creation Station
– Create an engaging Maker Space, STEAM-centered programming activities, and materials for early literacy development, including take-home literacy kits; purchase youth-friendly furniture and outdoor tent to allow for flexible programming.

The Love Quest Foundation, Inc., (Fishkill) $20,000
Awareness and Prevention Campaigns
– Materials and audio-visual equipment for the organization’s annual campaign, as well as pop-up workshops related to the Five Love Languages and Effective Communication which serve as awareness and prevention resources for anti-abuse and anti-violence.

Village Halloween Parade, Inc. and Hudson Valley Community Productions, (Red Hook) $8,500
Youth Puppet and Crowns and Branches Workshops for Sinterklaas 2021
– Support a six-week program in giant puppet building and festival crafts, including two workshop coordinators, artist workshop leaders, and materials, such as paper, glue guns and glue sticks, ribbon, batteries, lumber and paint.

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 Doug McHoul said, “Children are the future of Dutchess County, and it remains a vital mission of our county government to foster their development, particularly given the impact they’ve felt during this pandemic. I’m proud to have supported the Learn, Play, Create program, and I share County Executive Molinaro’s passion for caring for our kids.”

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.