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Molinaro Announces First Round of Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards

Published: 7/28/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the first round of grant awards totaling $397,500 through 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 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 ($397,500 Total)

Beekman Athletic Club, $20,000
Field improvement plan
– Extend netting behind home plate and foul lines at Town Center Park (TCP) Fields 2 and 3, as well as the purchase and installation of scoreboards and lights at TCP Fields 1 and 2.

Beekman Library, $50,000
Youth Services and S.T.E.M. programming expansion
– Flexible use program furniture, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (S.T.E.M.) equipment and supplies, laptops for coding and S.T.E.M. related activities, S.T.E.M. related books and e-books.

Beekman Soccer Club, $20,000
Permanent lighting at Town Center Park or Doherty Park
– Purchase and installation of permanent light fixtures at one park – a long-needed, permanent solution with benefits to those beyond the soccer club.

Beekman Youth Futbol Booster Club, $20,000
Soccer Youth Development
– Registration, coaching, facilities, tournament travel, equipment and uniforms.

East Fishkill Public Library District, $50,000
Mobile Shelving for Children’s Books
– Purchase mobile shelving, mobile makerspace trolley, and mobile reference desk. 

Grinnell Public Library District, $11,000
Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics Lab
– The district will offer a Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) Lab program for children and purchase educational equipment that will allow participants to learn how to edit digital media, code robots and explore scientific and engineering principles. 

I Am Beacon, $20,000
Youth-led Creative Expression and Media
– Purchase equipment (camera, microphones, headphones, stands, computer/software, iPad, sound board) and supplies (paint, stencil, paint brushes/rollers, markers, chalk, paper, canvas). 

Millbrook Library, $50,000
Library Youth Improvements
– Purchase new furniture for library’s youth space, new technology for its youth space, new S.T.E.A.M.-related programming equipment and supplies, updated books for its collection, and one-time programming expenses over the course of the grant period.

Millbrook Youth Hockey Association, $20,000
Youth Hockey Skills Development
– Purchase on-ice training equipment, position-specific trainers, additional practices and tournaments with no extra cost for families. 

Pleasant Valley Free Library, $50,000
Dedicated Furniture and Technology for the Youth of Pleasant Valley
– One-time purchase of children's and teen furniture, such as bookcases of various heights, comfortable furniture for children and grandparents to learn together; and technology, such as laptops for teens to create and learn.

Pleasant Valley Little League, $20,000
Field rejuvenation
– Funding will be used for new dugouts, field repair and maintenance, new equipment, and uniforms

Red Hook Public Library, $50,000
Octagon Kids Connection
– Purchase supplies, equipment, furnishings, books, audiobooks and toys for the Children’s Library; Teen Room will get updated computers, a table with chairs and books.

Tivoli Free Library, $16,500
Creation Station
– Purchase furniture and supplies; transform an underutilized room into a flexible space that will support a greater variety of youth programs and gatherings. 

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 first Learn, Play, Create grant awards – and the ones that will follow – 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 Faye Garito said, “Children from every corner of Dutchess County will benefit from the Learn, Play, Create program, as is evident by this first round of grant awards. I thank County Executive Molinaro for his vision, giving back to kids who have missed out on so much due to this pandemic, as well as my legislative colleagues who voted for this vital 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 recommendations 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.