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Clicking for a good cause

With less than a week left, the Dallas County reading coaches and ArtsRevive need your help. Without votes from people, like you, their projects to improve our community will not be as splendid as they have planned.

Both organizations are in the running for funding from Pepsi Refresh Grants. The Dallas County reading coaches are in the running for a $250,000 grant, while ArtsRevive is looking to receive a $50,000 grant.

Reading coaches plan to use $90,000 for instructional and assessment materials beyond textbooks, $75,000 for one-on-one and small group tutors, $75,000 for motivational incentives such as books children can take home for personal use and $10,000 for substitutes to alleviate teachers for breaks to meet with consultants to improve professional development of reading instruction and programming.

“Refresh, Revive, and Restore Selma, Ala.’s Historic Carneal Building for the Arts” is one of 1,140 project ideas submitted for this month.

ArtsRevive is renovating the Carneal building at the corner of Water Avenue and Church Street and is looking for additional funding to complete the project.

Projects compete for grants in the amounts of up to 10 grants at the $5,000 level, 10 grants at the $25,000 level, 10 grants at the $50,000 level and 2 grants at the $250,000 level in categories of health, arts & culture, food & shelter, the planet, neighborhoods and education. Top voting recipients in each category will be awarded the grant.

PepsiCo Inc. launched the grant contest in January for voting during February and grant distribution in March. The company plans to give away $20 million in grants during 2010.

Voting closes April 30. Finalists will be announced May 1.

To vote for the Dallas County reading coaches, visit www.refresheverything.com/dallascountycoaches or visit the Dallas County Schools website at www.dallask12.org for a link to voting.

To vote for ArtsRevive, visit www.refresheverything.com/artsrevive.

Now is the time to vote. They can’t help the community if we don’t help them first. Give them a click a day. It’s the least we can do.

Laura Fenton is the education and general assignment reporter for the Times-Journal. She can be reached at 410-1744 or laura.fenton@selmatimesjournal.com.