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CFA Awards More Than $200K in Spring Grants

This May, CFA announced $201,949 in Spring 2022 Grant awards to support nonprofits across the region, including a $5,000 grant to help local high school students repair 11 little libraries that serve as a space for sharing books and other free goods, plus $12,500 to traditional libraries in Cambria, Somerset, and Bedford counties. The annual small grant award round supports a broad spectrum of local efforts, from community building projects to those that address health and human services needs, and more.

The awards were announced at a Read, Return, Repeat Library at Greater Johnstown School District, where Interact Club students working on the library project accepted the grant.

“The Community Foundation’s annual fall and spring grant awards provide important funding for projects that make our community stronger, in big ways and small ways,” Community Foundation for the Alleghenies President Mike Kane said. “The work these students are doing to promote literacy and care for their peers is an inspiring example of community building, and we are honored to support it. We also appreciate the role our libraries serve in each of our counties and recognize the many ways they help create a sense of community.”

Altogether, CFA announced 63 grants to nonprofit organizations that serve Bedford, Cambria, and Somerset counties, supporting a variety of project types: a total of $21,500 for arts and culture; $56,500 for community and economic development; $29,749 for education; $87,450 for health and human services; and $6,750 for heritage.

The grant for the Read, Return, Repeat Libraries project will provide funding for materials to refurbish 11 libraries, “Red Boxes” that promote free, accessible reading to local young people, Greater Johnstown junior and Interact Club Vice President Taylor Mock said.

“These funds will allow Johnstown Interact Club to continue to replenish our boxes with updated reading material, canned food goods for those who need, and protective winter gear for those who may need during the harsh months,” she said. “We also plan on updating the exterior of the Red Boxes to ensure they maintain their look and function properly.”

Freshman Madelyn Wilfong said the libraries provide a meaningful way for young people to support one another.

“The impact that the Read, Return, Repeat project has on the community is the spread of literature to children and young adults,” she said. “Also, during the pandemic, the little library boxes had been used an exceptional amount due to people wanting something to do when the country was on lock down. The project has had such a positive impact on the community.”

District Superintendent Amy Arcurio said club members continue to lead and maintain the project.

“When we provide our students with the necessary guidance and support, they are able to develop life skills for success,” she said. “Grant writing is a skill that can take them into the next chapter.”

Students at the school district also will have access to additional reading materials through a separate grant announced as part of CFA’s Spring 2022 Grants: $3,900 to the Ron Fisher African American History Educational Fund to provide books for a new African American Literature course at the high school.

CLICK HERE for a full list of Spring 2022 Grant awards.

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