Lilly Endowment has opted to renew the Clay County CAPE Grant through an $800,000 extension to continue the efforts to offer every citizen in the community a chance to better their lives through literacy.
The grant will be paid in a lump sum in September 2005 to the Clay Community School Corporation, which manages the distribution of the funds.
The CCSC Board of Trustees are unable to use the funds to ease the current budget crunch facing the corporation, but the grant will make it easier to continue providing services at the Cumberland Academy and the LEAAP Center.
"I want to stress that the $800,000 CAPE Continuation Grant from Lily Endowment will be used to further literacy efforts in Clay County," CCSC Superintendent William Schad said, adding that the money will be used to sustain as many of the current efforts as possible. "Some of the money will be used to ensure that staff for our pre-school efforts and our alternative education program are maintained to some extent, but I doubt that the level of staffing will be as extensive as it was with the original grant."
The grant will sustain programs already in place during the upcoming school year with limited staffing changes, but the effort to find other means of funding to make additional ad-vancements in the program will continue.
"Our plan is to work hard over the next two or three years to find other revenue sources to fund programs which have proven to be successful for our kids," Schad said.
This extension will help continue the success of the initial 2001 grant's mission; to improve the reading and communication skills of children during their early developmental years through adulthood.
"I am thrilled for the children and citizens of Clay County to be able to continue some of the programs originated through this grant," LEAAP Prevention Coordinator Mary Yelton said, adding that this program has attracted state-wide attention because of its success.
During the five years the grant will be available for use, funds will be utilized to maintain the literacy services at local facilities like the Cumberland Academy, the LEAAP Center, and preschool facilities in the Clay City area. Other programs like developmental and pre-reading screenings for young children, the higher education programs through Ivy Tech and use of the two-way videoconferencing units located at Northview and Clay City High Schools, North Clay Middle School, Cumberland Academy, and the LEAAP Center for older students and citizens of the community will also be able to continue.
"I want to give credit to all the people that worked so hard to improve the literacy and lives of so many people in Clay County," Yelton said. Partners in the literacy initiative include various representatives from local and area organizations, private citizens, agencies and the support of many local businesses. "All the partners have collaborated to raise literacy awareness in the community. It's exciting to be continuing the momentum and synergy that they have created."