New England News
12:30 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Massachusetts Program Supports Regionalization of Community Initiatives

Over $2 million in grant funding has been awarded by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to support a wide variety of community-based initiatives, from public safety to information technology. 

The 2nd round of the Community Innovation Challenge Grants were announced this week to support expansion and regionalization of a slew of community programs across the Bay State. Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray says that the $2.25M round of funding is important for solidifying important programs, but will also save cities and towns money in the long-term.

The 27 recipients of the 2013 CIC grants are spread across 162 cities and towns.

Among several of the education initiatives the CIC grants will support is the Berkshire County Curriculum Frameworks Project. Superintendent William Cameron of the Central Berkshire Regional School District, the lead recipient of the grant, said that the money will help his and several other smaller districts in the Berkshires prepare for upcoming changes in the state’s Common Core curriculum, including the future replacement of the MCAS standardized exam.

The Central Berkshire Regional School District will be working with several other districts including Adams-Cheshire Regional, Berkshire Hills Regional, Northern Berkshire Vocational Technical School District, Southern Berkshire Regional, and public schools in Clarksburg, Florida, Savoy, Lee and Lenox.

The grants are also supporting the Tri-Town Health Department of Lee, Lenox, and Stockbridge, to expand its Tobacco Retailer Certification Program. Currently, stores in several Berkshire County communities participate in the program to gain a 3-year certification in order to sell tobacco products. Jim Wilusz, Director of Public Health, says that the program has proven significantly effective in preventing store clerks from unknowingly selling tobacco to minors since its inception in 2007.

The grant funding will be used to bring the Tobacco Retailer Certification Program online to expand it to other communities inside and outside Berkshire County.

More information can be found here:

http://www.mass.gov/anf/budget-taxes-and-procurement/working-for-you/community-innovation-challenge-grant/

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