Projects benefit schools, agriculture and more

July 18, 2016 – Seven Make it Happen grants have been awarded to fund a wide variety of projects in Fauquier County over the last three months. These grants are made available to encourage nonprofits, government entities, or religious institutions to invest time in their communities and encourage creative community-improvement projects.

Christy Connolly, CEO and President of the PATH Foundation, stated, “These grant applicants reflected the type of creative thinking we want to encourage with the Make it Happen grants. They’re each meaningful projects that can make a tangible improvement to our community.”

The year’s Make it Happen program has awarded 18 grants for a total of $205,390. With a rolling deadline through September, the program has $44,610 remaining of the initial $250,000 in available funds. Grant specifications are available at pathforyou.org.

Standing Desks at Taylor Middle School
An idea from rising seventh grader Andrew Luster led to the $23,528 grant to fund standing desks for classrooms. This program hopes to increase physical activity in classrooms and help students remain engaged in their education. Desks will be piloted in 22 classrooms at Taylor Middle School beginning in the 2016-17 school year. “These desks will help students for years to come,” said Pat Johnson, the school’s Instructional Technology Resource Teacher.

Fauquier Education Farm – Well for Year-Round Irrigation
Jim Hankins led the charge for the Fauquier Education Farm to receive a $10,850 to drill a well and install a water system that can be used for irrigation year round. Coupled with the high tunnel installed in 2015, the addition of the well will allow for an extended growing season. With this new system in place, the Fauquier Education Farm hopes to donate 50,000 pounds of high quality produce to local food banks in 2016.

Soofa Benches – Outdoor Tech at the WARF and Athey Field
The Town of Warrenton received $8,050 to install two solar-powered Soofa Benches, one at the Warrenton Aquatics and Recreation Facility (WARF) and another at adjoining Athey Field. In addition to seating, the benches have the ability to charge phones and other electronic devices. The eco-friendly benches are crafted from sustainable materials. Town Manager Brannon Godfrey believes this project will “improve the day-to-day experience of using open space and parks.”

Town of Warrenton Police Department – Opioid Overdose Assistance
Town of Warrenton Police Chief Lou Battle received $2,500 for the REVIVE!, a state program that helps provide tools to counteract heroin overdoses. REVIVE! provides training on how to recognize and respond to an opioid overdose emergency with the administration of naloxone (Narcan®). This grant means both the Town of Warrenton Police Department and the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Department are equipped with this potentially lifesaving medication. Police Chief Louis Battle explained, “Naloxone is an important piece of the puzzle for combatting the dire situations opioid abuse leaves in its wake.”

Partnership for Warrenton: Flower Basket Street Beautification
Main Street beautification is the focus of this $8,460 grant. Funding covers brackets and flower baskets that will be hung from each of Old Town Warrenton’s historic streetlamps, as well as maintenance for the project’s first year. Carter Nevill, a local business owner in Old Town Warrenton, began this project on behalf of the Partnership for Warrenton said, “Success for Main Street is as much about the social space and streetscape as it is about the mix of businesses.” Other local business owners have supported this project to add to the aesthetic value of Old Town Warrenton.

Project Engage at Marshall Middle School
This $20,760 grant was funded to incorporate active seating into the health classes at Marshall Middle School. Offering different types of active learning chairs and desks means that teachers can help students practice what is taught – staying active and avoiding a sedentary lifestyle. The grant was sparked by the students’ interest in finding ways to change the physical limitations of traditional classroom furniture.

Brumfield Elementary School – Peaceful Playground
The Peaceful Playgrounds Recess Program received $10,000 to allow Brumfield Elementary School to provide a better-organized playground that involves children in a wide variety of activities that reduce both injury and conflict. Games, activities and newly painted playgrounds will encourage student play while developing their motor, social and cognitive skills.

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