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Molinaro Announces More Than $232K in Learn, Play, Create Grant Awards
Second round of grants in ongoing initiative to enhance lives of children and families adversely affected by COVID-19 pandemic

Published: 8/9/2021

Poughkeepsie, NY … Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today announced the latest round of grant awards, totaling $232,381, as part of the County’s Learn, Play, Create: Supporting Our Kids grant program to fund 10 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 ($232,381 Total)

Boys & Girls Club, $20,000
Performing and Visual Arts Youth Program
– Purchase dance wear, costumes, art supplies, and music books for its project in Poughkeepsie.

Dutchess Divas Zolotas, $5,000
2022 Divas Softball Season
– Purchase new equipment, including new softballs, new hitting nets, new hitting tees, new training equipment; players would receive new bat bags and jerseys for the upcoming season.

Greystone Programs, Inc., $13,101
Club Cool: Therapeutic Learning for Youth with Disabilities
– A one-time purchase of equipment to support the program’s behavioral and learning outcomes, including one smart board, five tablet computers, two touch-screen computers, and a gaming system.

Hyde Park Library District, $50,000
Collaboratory/Maker’s Space
– Creation of a "Maker's Space," including a 3-D printer, a printer capable of printing double-sided broad-sheets, and a computer equipped with editing software, sound equipment for recording podcasts, and cameras.

Northeast-Millerton Library, $25,000
Creating Innovators with the Mobile Library and Makerspace Project
– Purchase a book bike to build a mobile library and makerspace to use at events off-site; also purchase portable seating, two 3-D printers, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (S.T.E.A.M.) and robotics kits, and other supplies for pop-up science events on-site and off-site.

Dutchess County Pride Center, $16,000
Creative Writing Club
– Purchasing supplies such, as Chromebooks, office supplies, and art supplies for creating graphic novels and book covers; funding would cover a stipend for the facilitator, as well as upgrading the club’s WiFi.

Northern Dutchess Aquatic Club, $18,000
Affordable Swimming for Everyone
– Provide uniforms (swimsuits/swim caps) to new members, saving $100 per swimmer; purchase training equipment budgeted pre-COVID that could not be purchased due to COVID impact; renting pool time missed due to COVID.

Poughkeepsie Public Library District, $50,000
Branching Out for a Better Future
– Purchase fixtures, furnishings, and equipment (shelving, tables, chairs, PCs) for the library district’s new branch library location at the Family Partnership Center, as well as other leasehold improvements such as new flooring. The new location will focus on literacy and education-gap recovery services and programs for youth.

Town of Poughkeepsie Little League Baseball, $20,000
Rebuild It and They Will Come
– Several one-time purchases of baseball equipment and essential field provisions; uniforms will be purchased by the league, which will work with “Bases Loaded” to provide skill clinics for player development at no cost to the participants.

Wappinger United Soccer Club, $15,280
Wappingers Rebounds
– Funds will be used to rent indoor field space and bring in a professional trainer to run skills clinics for players; creation of a new junior referee training and mentoring program.

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 Thomas L. Keith said, “Investing in Dutchess County’s young people today will reap a multitude of benefits for years to come, and the Learn, Play, Create grant program does just that – making investments that will pay dividends in kids’ lives for years to come. I thank County Executive Molinaro for his foresight in creating this grant program, as well as my fellow legislators who supported this transformative 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.