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County rescinds grant to Communities for Families Coalition

A handful of programs at available from the Communities For Families Coalition may have to be cut after a grant awarded by Pierce County was rescinded this past month.

The grant, valued at approximately $80,000, included $33,000 for continuing programs that have been funded through the grant for several years and nearly $50,000 for an expansion of programs at Communities for Families and the Sumner Family Center.

But despite a 2011 letter congratulating the district and notifying them of the anticipated grant funding, a second letter arrived in January notifying the district that due to changes, Sumner would not be receiving the money.

"It's unfortunate," said District Communications Director Ann Cook.

Cook said the programs affiliated with the grant, which include the Middle School Prevention teams, parenting classes at the Family Center and the district's LifeSkills…Prevention curriculum, will still be considered for funding when the board of administrators begins the budget process, but said the money for those programs would now have to come from a new funding source.

For example, the grant paid pays the $2,500 funding for the middle school prevention teams, a program popular with teachers and principals.

"Hopefully there will be funding available," Cook said.

Cook emphasized, however, the bulk of money expected from the grant was  not designated for current programs.

"The majority of the money is for new things," she said.

But Cook said the district has received the grant for "several years" and the board will now be forced to decide if the programs covered by the $33,000 from the county will continue to be funded and how. Cook also said the district's revenue sources, especially grants, change constantly and in a $75 million budget, the grant is not a major source of income for the district.

"We have many grants that have gone away," she said, adding it was "premature to come to any conclusions" over the programs connected with the grant funding.

Cook said the board will soon begin the budgeting process, but they are still waiting to see what the final funding package out of Olympia will look like once the state legislature completes its budget work.

Officials for the county said the file was pulled and the grant was being reviewed.

This article has been corrected. Due to a misunderstanding, it was initially reported the grant was for the Sumner Family Center when the grant was set to go to the Communities For Families Coalition.

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