Pulaski County to offer ‘Out of School’ program grants to qualified partners willing to assist

Pulaski County to offer ‘Out of School’ program grants to qualified partners willing to assist

~ Grants up to $7,500.00 to Provide Safe and Affordable ‘Out of School’ Programs to Pulaski County Students When Schools are Closed Due to

COVID-19 ~

 

The Pulaski County Board of Supervisors has developed the Pulaski County Emergency ‘Out of School’ Program Grant to support the development and implementation of ‘out of school’ programs that caters to our students’ needs in response to the impacts of physical distancing requirements on educational regulations due to COVID-19.

The Pulaski County Emergency ‘Out of School’ Program Grants will be awarded in amounts of up to $7,500.00 will be made available through a direct application and written proposal and competitive selection process. The program grants are for both non-profit and for-profit entities and organizations who are based and operating in Pulaski County, are in good standing with the State Corporation Commission (SCC), are up to date on all Pulaski County taxes, charges and fees, were in operation prior to February 15, 2020 and are willing to attain any required licensures, certifications or approvals that may be required prior to initiating programming.

“A major concern across Virginia is what to do with our children when our workforce returns to work and schools are closed due to compliance with physical distancing mandates put in place as a response to COVID-19”, stated Jonathan D. Sweet, County Administrator.  “We need our community partners to step up to the challenge and develop new “out of school” programs that will help our Pulaski County families place their kids in a safe environment when school is not an option.  This new grant program is designed to assist with filling this need and we trust we will see new programming materialize as a result.”

Physical distancing requirements has proven to be one of the biggest challenges for school systems and is what is driving the modified school schedule.  Currently, the group size limit is 12 (including staff) for children under 4 years old provided age-based adult-to-child ratios are followed.  For children ages four and above, including school-age children up to age 13, the group size maximum is 22 (including staff) as long as social distancing of six feet apart is maintained and age-based adult-to-child ratios are followed.  Groups of children may share the same physical space (e.g. classroom, gymnasium) so long as physical distancing of six feet can be maintained and children do not mix between groups.  The six feet distance requirement is primarily what is limiting the number of children that can be served within the existing square footage of childcare facilities.

“It is important that we think local to solve problems and to do all we can to turn challenges into opportunities using as many of or community partners and resources as possible”, stated Joe Guthrie, Chair of the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors.  “The Board believes we will get a better product if we challenge our for- and non-profit community to develop new out of school programs to fill the gaps created by the Coronavirus and we are committed to making an investment toward jumpstarting and achieving this goal.”

The applications and ‘out of school’ program proposals in response to COVID-19 will be awarded based on a competitive basis, with up to 40 points being given for demonstrated ability to implement, operate and sustain program; up to 25 points given for the number of children served by program; and up to 35 points given for the quantity and quality of offerings and services provided to students through the program.

The County of Pulaski will administer this new program. Forms can be downloaded from the Pulaski County website at:  www.pulaskicounty.org.  Applications and accompanying proposals will be accepted starting on August 3, 2020 and will close on August 31, 2020.  The entirety of the program is funded at a level of $30,000.00 through a CARES Act appropriation to Pulaski County, Virginia.  The Pulaski County Emergency ‘Out of School’ Program Grants will conclude on August 31, 2020 or at which time the funds for the program have been depleted.