Six new Advance McHenry County grants, totaling more than $3.64 million, will fund programs aimed at helping the county’s children and fire protection districts in responding to medical emergencies.
The McHenry County Board approved the funding earlier this month through a program that seeks to invest tens of million dollars in federal COVID-19 recovery funding into projects that directly benefit the community. These grants bring the total number awarded since January to 20, totaling almost $14 million out of the almost $29.9 million in federal dollars the county received.
The largest of the grants this round went to the United Way of Greater McHenry County, which in collaboration with Big Brothers Big Sisters of McHenry County, 4-C Community Coordinated Childcare and the Youth Family Center, nearly $1.7 million to provide operational support to the agencies, according to a news release.
More than $850,000 will go toward building an addition at Jefferson Elementary School in Harvard to house its transition program for special education students, providing them access to vocational and independent living skill programs, according to the release and district officials.
“The grant is a fantastic opportunity for us to add on to future plans we were hoping to build for students,” Superintendent Corey Tafoya said.
Almost $260,000 will go toward a manufacturing and metals lab at Woodstock North High School, intended to expand students’ access to career exploration programs.
The McHenry Township Fire Protection District requested $361,000 to buy an ambulance, noting that ambulance calls have increased 21% of the past two years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the release. The Spring Grove Fire Protection District requested nearly $120,000 for advance lift systems that can lift and lower patients into ambulances with the push of a button.
Rosecrance requested about $354,000 for a mental health outpatient program that will serve children ages 8 to 12 years old, according to the release.