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Council offers grant assistance

The Commonwealth Regional Council (CRC) is in the process of extending its grant services to school divisions in the region.

Melody Foster

The CRC began the grant writing process for Prince Edward County Public Schools (PECPS) in March and is currently working with Lunenburg County Public Schools (LCPS) in obtaining grants as well.

“This began with Prince Edward County,” said CRC Interim Director Melody Foster. “This started with (Buffalo District Supervisor C.R. “Bob” Timmons Jr.) pointing out that Prince Edward County was looking to possibly hire a grant writer for the school system.”

She said in addition to working with LCPS, the CRC is scheduled to meet with the division superintendent of Amelia County Public Schools.

“We’re going to branch out to the other (school divisions in the localities we work with),” Foster said.

“We didn’t want to (go too) fast … This was something brand new (and we) wanted to see how it worked and then … with just a staff of three we could only move but so fast.”

According to Todd Fortune, the CRC has submitted a grant application on behalf of Lunenburg County Public Schools to provide funds to purchase two new school buses.

“The schools are applying for $49,906 with (a) match of $131,000 to purchase two school buses,” Fortune said. “This is a program where they will fund up to 25 percent of the purchase of a new school bus powered by diesel (fuel).”

The program is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a memorandum Fortune sent to the council, he cited that the buses would replace aged buses that are more than 20 years old and have outlived their usefulness.

Fortune’s memorandum also cited that the CRC is working on grant applications, that if approved, would provide funding for athletic fields in the county.

For PECPS, Fortune cited he’d assisted in the submittal of a grant application to Westinghouse Charitable Giving that would provide funding to support the division’s STEM program — or science, technology engineering and math.

The CRC is also reaching out to fire chiefs in the region to increase awareness of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program and to assist with submitting applications to register to Sam.gov, which a required registration for entities applying for federal assistance. The assistance to do so would cost fire departments $50.