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Crisis fund sends aid to schools

The Chautauqua County Crisis Response Fund: COVID-19 Fund recently awarded $66,500 through its School Support for Students and Families grant program.

The program fills funding gaps to help school districts as they face increased costs and uncertain future funding. Each of the county’s 18 school districts received a grant to offset direct costs resulting from the pandemic. Recognizing that each school district has varying needs, the awards are flexible. Schools may use the grants for technology access, childcare, personal protective equipment, community facilities rental to accommodate social distancing or other safety materials or supplies.

“The money awarded will be a big help with expenses incurred by the district to meet the needs of our students, families, and teachers during this unprecedented time,” said Wendy Heslink, Cassadaga Valley Central School district clerk/superintendent’s secretary.

Individuals, community organizations, local businesses, and foundations contributed to creating the fund in March. Since that time, it has strategically granted $985,746 to support the Chautauqua County community through COVID-19 response and recovery. Grants have focused on emergency, basic human needs, childcare, food pantries, reopening needs, and nonprofit stabilization.

The fund is administered by the United Way of Southern Chautauqua County on behalf of a countywide coalition of philanthropy, government, and business partners, including the Chautauqua Region Community Foundation, Northern Chautauqua Community Foundation and United Way of Northern Chautauqua County.

For more information, visit www.uwayscc.org/about-fund.

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