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Molinaro Announces $279,000 in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards
Sixth round of grants in ongoing initiative to enhance lives of children and families adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 9/15/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the latest round of grant awards, totaling $279,800, as part of the County’s Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program to fund 16 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 ($279,800 Total)

Beacon Performing Arts Center, (Beacon) $15,000
Sets and Props for Musical Productions
– Purchase supplies and materials for construction of sets and props.

Beacon Soccer Club, (Beacon) $20,000
Uniforms and Concession Stand
– Purchase uniforms and recreational soccer equipment to registration costs; upgrade and repair concession stand.  

DAY ONE Early Learning Community, Inc., (City of Poughkeepsie) $5,000
Parent Outreach and Engagement
– Purchase materials for our parent outreach and engagement work across Dutchess County, including neighborhood pop-ups, participation in existing events and workshops hosted in City of Poughkeepsie.

Community Children's Theater of Dutchess County, (Town of Poughkeepsie) $12,000
Talent Showcase
– Purchase a sound board, 16 microphones, two speakers, a spotlight, a trailer for storing and transporting supplies; replace makeup and hair products; rent venue for youth talent showcase and event publicity.

Council on Addiction Prevention and Education of Dutchess County, (Town of Fishkill) $20,000
Youth Health Initiative
– Provide cost-free running sneakers, winter and summer apparel and training gear, race registration and transportation for events; implement a nutritional program through a registered dietician for all student participants.

Edge Athletic Club, Inc., (Town of Poughkeepsie) $16,000
Equipment and uniforms
– Purchase one or two shooting machines, uniforms, T-shirts and other equipment.

Hope Rising Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., (Millerton) $17,900
Horseback Riding Equipment
– Purchase a lift, specialized saddles/supports and an all-season mechanical horse to accommodate youth, including young children and those who lack the necessary balance and core strength to mount or ride without supports.

Hyde Park Little League, (Hyde Park) $20,000
Pavilion Upgrade/Replacement
– Pay construction organization to purchase supplies and replace pavilion at league’s Creek Road field complex.

Jaybots 16700 Robotics Team Booster Club, (East Fishkill) $20,000
Dutchess County FIRST Robotics STEM Workshop Series
– Host free or reduced-cost science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pop-up events over the next 12 months for local For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics teams and young people; uniform and equipment subsidies for Jaybots team for upcoming FIRST Tech Challenge competitions and tournaments.

LaGrange Soccer League, (LaGrange) $10,000
Uniforms 4 Kids
– Offset uniform and equipment costs for league’s intramural and special needs program.

Project Oath, Inc., (Hyde Park) $10,000
– Pop-up event.

Staatsburg Library, (Hyde Park) $50,000
Library on the Go
– Purchase sports equipment, supplies, technology and computers, WiFi hotspots, e-books and e-resources, membership passes to local arts and cultural organizations, and programming expenses.

The Southlands Foundation, (Rhinebeck) $3,900
Sunday Pop-Up Days
– Purchase helmets for riding safety; staff to help fit helmets, mount the horses and lead them safely; publicize events.

The Stissing Center, (Pine Plains) $20,000
Student Theatre at TSC
– Purchase room-darkening curtains and lighting system to provide Pine Plains students an authentic theatre experience, in collaboration with Stissing Theatre Guild.

Town of Poughkeepsie Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken Baseball League, (Town of Poughkeepsie) $20,000
Affordable, Safe and Enriching Baseball for Kids
– Discounted fees; purchase backstop nets to prevent balls from leaving the field into spectator seating; renovate pitching mounds; discounted/free clinics for players; resurfacing of batting cages for team and family use.

White Pond Community and Cultural Arts Association, LTD, (East Fishkill) $20,000
Stage accessibility
– Purchase materials to build accessible ramp on the outside of association’s building. 

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 Steve Caswell said, “The organizations receiving these funds serve an important role in the development of Dutchess County’s young people. County Executive Molinaro’s forethought in introducing this transformative program will impact countless kids’ lives, and I’m proud to be among the legislators who supported this vital initiative.”

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.