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Regional outreach accepting grant proposals for 2015-16 funding cycle

MURRAY, Ky. -- Murray State University's office of regional outreach is announcing its 2015-16 grant funding cycle. Now in its eighth year, the Regional Outreach Grant Program provides funding for new and innovative educational programming for West Kentucky youth and adults alike. Proposals are accepted for review at any time during the fiscal year, (June 1, 2015 through July 30, 2016) as long as funds are available.

Members of the Regional Outreach Advisory Council, which has at least one representative from all 18 counties in MSU's service region, meet quarterly and also participate in e-reviews on an ongoing basis to determine which projects best support the council's four main goals -- education attainment, quality of life, collaborative partnerships and job creation. Regional Outreach grants are intended primarily as seed funding to help build a solid foundation for sustainable projects. The grant guidelines, application and an overview of past grantees by fiscal year are online at murraystate.edu/outreach.

Regional outreach staffers are available to assist grant seekers with any questions regarding the grant process and/or their proposals. "We have tried to create a straightforward application process and offer support to those who have ideas for good projects for our region," said Gina Winchester, executive director.

Winchester spends a lot of time on the road networking with teachers, administrators, nonprofit leaders and elected officials, which gives her the benefit of being able to "connect the dots" across the service region. Winchester added, "If someone approaches us with an excellent project idea and we know of someone else who is interested in doing the same kind of work three counties away, sometimes we can join those forces to create partnerships to benefit a greater number of citizens."

Regional outreach accepts proposals from grants seekers both internal and external to the university.

Fiscal year 2014-15 projects included a partnership between Valerie Hendley, a native of France, whose International Language Center is based in Graves County, and faculty and students from Murray State's department of modern languages. "Fun with Languages" provided after school and in-session foreign language instruction primarily for elementary and middle school children. Languages offered included Spanish, French, German, Japanese and Chinese.

Other 2014-15 grantees were the Kentucky Innovation Network for the Next Big Thing Innovation Competition and the Pennyrile Resource Conservation and Development Council for its Take Kids Fishing initiative.

For more information on the grant process and outreach possibilities, visit www.murraystate.edu/outreach or contact the office at 270.809.5088

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