WA projects receive $68,000 for community project upgrades

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Four projects in Washington state were selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge program.

Combined, the organizations will receive $68,000 in funds aimed at making communities more livable for people of all ages through quick action projects.

One of the organizations selected is the Prison Scholar Fund, which will provide a range of services for formerly incarcerated older adults.

David Moore, director of operations with the Fund, said his organization offers digital literacy training.

“You really have to think about how fast technology progresses,” said Moore, “and when someone is away from society for a period of time, how they really can disarm them as they reenter our communities, or just in general for persons over the age of 50.”

Moore noted that the digital literacy training program is open to everyone, not just those who were incarcerated.

He said the Prison Scholar Fund will help people in navigating digital tools but also in avoiding online scams.

The organization is also offering financial literacy training, food assistance and employment services.

Another recipient of a Community Challenge program grant is the Toledo Community Library. The grant will help the library replace its roof.

President of the Friends of the Toledo Community Library, Pat Caldwell, said the small, rural community is still recovering from a series of fires that took out buildings in the city’s downtown area.

“We’re a place for people to gather,” said Caldwell, “and so I think that’s why they wanted to give us the encouragement and the ability to continue in this facility.”

The other grant recipients were Casa Latina, which will provide digital literacy classes to immigrant workers, and the Fairfield Community Church, which is using the funds for electrical upgrades to help with future projects.

Nationwide, the Community Challenge program provided $3.8 million to more than 340 projects across the country.

Featured photo: Four projects across Washington were chosen to receive AARP Community Challenge grants this year. (AARP Washington)

Eric Tegethoff

Eric Tegethoff is a journalist covering the Northwest. Eric has worked as a reporter for KBOO, XRAY FM, and Oregon Public Broadcasting in Portland, Oregon, as well as other print and digital news media. In 2012, Eric traveled to North Dakota to write about the Bakken region oil boom. He's also worked at a movie theater, as a campaign canvasser and quality assurance at a milk packaging factory. Eric is originally from Orlando, Florida. He graduated from the University of Florida in 2010.

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