Grants help schools

Monmouth-Independence Together gives out annual grants to Central schools

INDEPENDENCE -- The Central School District got $3,800 worth of help in promoting positive activities out of the classroom. At its March meeting, the school board approved 10 grants from the Monmouth-Independence Together committee.

Monmouth-Independence Together promotes constructive activities for children, said committee member Harriet Murphy of Independence.

"The goal is to provide youth at risk with opportunities," Murphy said. "We supply teens with ways to extend the day."

Monmouth-Independence Together has representatives from both cities as well as Polk County. "We try to get enough people to have our finger on the pulse of kids in trouble and notice a trend early," Murphy said.

Talmadge Middle School's Summer Fun Program received a $500 grant. The program provides afternoon activities and field trips to middle school students in the summer months.

Eola Alternative School received $450 to produce their own play and see a Shakespeare play in Portland. Henry Hill Elementary received the same amount to take fifth-graders to the Oregon coast overnight.

Henry Hill also received $400 for a parent-child literacy program. Independence Elementary School got $400 for its annual read-a-thon.

A Central High School summer youth football camp got a $350 grant. At the district level, the Reading is Fundamental program got a grant for the same amount. The program provides books in both English and Spanish for students to keep at home.

A Central High support group targeted towards job and college exploration received a $300 grant. The school's soccer program will also get $300 for new equipment.

The new Ash Creek Intermediate School received $300 for an after-school club that helps students maintain and enhance wildlife habitat.

Monmouth-Independence Together funds its grants through the annual 24-hour relay and matching money from the state, Murphy said.

"The committee shows concern for kids who would fall through the cracks and tries to close the gaps."

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