FRNews - Lights On! Ends In May, New Grant Being Sought

The February meeting of the Calhoun County Family Resource Network included discussion or revisions to the bylaws, 21st Century Grants, a meeting of the officers, committee reports, and calendar items. There was no presentation for the month.

The bylaws of the FRN are currently undergoing some revision. A draft of the revisions was distributed and discussed, with some suggestions being offered for further revisions. The revised bylaws will be distributed to active members and the vote to approve will occur at the April meeting.

Tony Russell, "Lights On" coordinator, was on hand with a proposal to the FRN regarding the new 21st Century grant opportunity. Russell explained that this is the final year of the "Lights On" program which is funded by 21st Century.

The grant is to end May 31st, however, the "Lights On" partnership has worked hard to save back enough money for the summer program, running through the end of July. Grants for the coming year are now available for new programs. 21st Century grants have been transferred from the federal to the state level.

Since the state grants are new, Calhoun County would be considered a new applicant. The grant requires collaboration of the school system with community groups. Russell proposed that the FRN partner with the school system in applying for the grant.

A motion was made and vote carried. There is a grant minimum of $50,000, allocating a total of $2.5 million. Russell said it looks like a significantly different program, tightly focused on education programs. There was additional discussion of sustaining current programs.

Peig Schmitz, FRN chair, reported that the new officers and the coordinator had met to visualize the year ahead and discuss how work is carried out. Active members will be contacted for assignment to committees, and there will be a team established to work on needs assessment.

Coordinator, Sandy Osborne reported that there are still some funds for the Head Lice Prevention Program, and that kits are being replenished to the elementary schools. This is an ongoing problem and funding is still needed.

Under committee reports, Tony Russell reported that the Beginner Strength Building Class for community members has begun. Henry Cooper is the instructor and classes are Tuesday and Thursday evenings at the Middle/High School. There is still room in the class for additional participants. Anyone interested may call the "Lights On" office, 354-7595.

The Calhoun FRN invites all community members to attend regular monthly meetings, held the first Monday of each month, 9:30 a.m. at the FRN office, located under J&B Drug Store, at the corner of Court and Mill Streets.

Submitted by Sandy Osborne, FRN Coordinator 354-7177