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The Monticello Teen Center was recently the recipient of $2,000 from the Jefferson County Commission via the latter's nonprofit grant program.
The award, which came at the recommendation of a committee appointed by the commission to evaluate grant applications, was to help the center provide an enrichment program to youths during summer.
Rodell Thomas, a Somerset Jefferson coach who is also the center's site director, applied for the grant, saying the funds would be used to provide youths with structured activities and life lessons during part of the summer.
The center's enrichment program, Thomas said, responded to a demonstrated community need by keeping youths active and out of trouble during the off-school time, thereby making for a better community.
The program accomplishes its goal by offering curriculum time, physical education, library time and educational field trips that aim to keep youths engaged and motivated until school restarts.
Largely operated by volunteers and funded through the grant and fundraising efforts, the enrichment program provides its service for about eight weeks.
The teen center is located at 555 Tiger Lane in Monticello, off Water Street, in the old high school campus.
As for the commission’s nonprofit grant program, its aim is to support the activities and initiatives of nonprofit organizations that work to enhance the community's quality of life, with $2,000 the maximum available per organization annually.
To qualify for the funding, organizations must be Jefferson County based and demonstrate a community contribution in terms of services or programs.
Among the questions that the grant review committee asks of any applicant to determine eligibility for funding are: Is the organization a nonprofit; does the proposal respond to a demonstrated or emerging community need; is the project providing a service not met by another public or private service provider; and does the applicant have a demonstrated ability to implement the program?
Cemetery associations and veterans and labor organizations, as well as religious and fraternal groups, are barred from applying for the grant funds.
To learn more about the program, contact County Coordinator Parrish Barwick at (850) 342-0287 or email@example.com.