Facebook's Prineville Data Center invites Crook County organizations to apply for Facebook Community Action Grants

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County School District teachers participate in a week-long course on storyline education taught by Jeff Creswell. The course was funded by a 2018 Facebook Community Action grant.

Facebook's Prineville Data Center will once again award competitive grants for projects and/or organizations based in Crook County through the Facebook Community Action Grant program, which opened last week.

"Facebook is committed to investing in the long-term vitality of Crook County and its residents by supporting groups that meet the community needs," a representative from Facebook said.

The Community Action Grant program supports projects that put the power of technology to use for community benefit, help improve education at all levels, and encourage the community to participate in local activities.

The online application deadline is Friday, Dec. 7.

Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee of Facebook employees and awarded based on merit and meeting the criteria.

Facebook grants are available to projects in Crook County that address critical community needs, connect people online or off, or improve local STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education.

Groups may apply for one grant per charitable organization registration, with the exception of schools and certain public works organizations, which may apply for multiple grants within their organization. Eligible organizations must have a Facebook Page.

Facebook community grants are intended for public and private nonprofits. For-profit companies are not eligible to receive funds through this program.

This grant program is administered by CAF America. Grant applications will be accepted through midnight Dec. 7. A link to the online application is available on the Prineville Data Center Facebook page. Grant recipients will be announced in the early part of 2019.

"The funds allocated are intended to be used during the calendar year in which they're awarded," the Facebook representative said. "The project must have demonstrable metrics that can be publicly reported. We ask that a semi-annual report be provided on how the funds are being used and their impact in the community."

In late January 2018, Facebook's Prineville Data Center awarded 20 grants to nonprofits and schools, totaling $204,870. Grants ranged from $1,000 to the Crook County High School Robotics Club to $45,000 to the Central Oregon Trail Alliance.

Since 2011, Facebook has donated almost $1,470,000 to Crook County schools and qualified nonprofits through its Community Action Grants program and local donations, including the support of STEM education.

MountainStar Relief Nursery in Prineville received $5,030 earlier this year to purchase a play structure and computers.

Site Coordinator Carrie Crump said the projects impact their work each day. The computers increase staff productivity and are a great asset to their daily work.

The loft play structure was completed in March, and Crump said the children take great delight in their experiments and imaginative play.

"It has been amazing to see how it has influenced the children's creativity, dramatic play, and gross motor development," Crump said. "We've had students with mobility issues who have worked hard to make their way up the ramp or stairs so they weren't left out of the fun. Students who have been striving to learn how to walk are now practicing going up and down stairs and the ramp, both holding onto handrails and without holding on."

The staff has also seen development in social-emotional skills as children are learning to play cooperatively and take turns.

"The loft has definitely been a valuable tool in the development of the little ones we serve," Crump said.

Similarly, the Crook County School District has benefitted from numerous Facebook Community Action Grants over the years.

"We are so grateful for Facebook helping to support our schools through their Community Grants program," said CCHS Assistant Principal Joel Hoff. "These grants have allowed our educators to provide innovative and enriching learning activities for our students. With their support, we are able to leverage our resources to maximize the learning experience for all CCSD students."


2019 Facebook Community Action Grants are now available

A link to the online application is available on the Prineville Data Center Facebook page. Application deadline is midnight Friday, Dec. 7. Grant recipients will be announced in early 2019.

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