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Commissioners approved a $2.7 million grant to improve permanency placement for children in foster care.
Media Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Nancy Leuenhagen

Reno, Nevada. Sept. 9, 2014. The following report highlights several important agenda items from the Washoe County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014.

Donation from Friends of Washoe County Library: Item 8.F. Washoe County Board of Commissioners accepted a $224,910 donation from Friends of Washoe County Library for the Sierra View Library. This is the sixth year that this donation has been offered from Rob Rothe at Roter Investments, to the Friends of Washoe County Library (Friends) for the purpose of supporting Sierra View Library operating expenses. 

The Friends was founded in December 1980 with a mission to work actively to strengthen public libraries in Washoe County. This volunteer run organization promotes, advocates, and seeks funding for libraries. Through their projects, which include book sales, the Secondhand Prose Gift Shop, and special events, the Friends strive to give children an educational head start, encourage literacy and foster lifelong learning and recreation for adults.

Throughout the past 34 years, the Friends organization has raised more than $2.5 million for the Washoe County Library System. It supports free programs offered at the library, enhances library technology and equipment, provides gift funds for library materials and augments marketing and training endeavors, which benefits all library patrons. For more info about Friends of Washoe County Library head to

Social Services awarded grant money to prevent long term foster care: Item 11. The Board accepted a $2.7 million grant for the Department of Social Services from the Federal Administration for Children and Families for Sept. 30, 2014, through Sept. 29, 2015. Washoe County Social Services is entering the final year of a five year, federally-funded, demonstration research project called the Permanency Innovations Initiative. The money from this grant is dedicated to looking for ways to improve permanency placement for children in foster care.

Grant for child adoption costs: Item 12. The Board accepted a $277,472 grant in Federal Adoption Incentive Funds from the State of Nevada Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS) effective Oct. 1, 2014 through Sept. 30, 2015. The funds will help the Department of Social Services with the Adoption Program. The money will go toward hosting four adoption day celebrations a year. The costs for refreshments, decorations, public awareness, photographs, and video recordings of adoption hearings will all be paid for through the grant. The Federal Adoption Incentive Funds will also be used for medical costs for adopted children, as well as travel and transition costs associated with placing children in homes.

Sept. 18, 2014 proclaimed Healthy Living Day: Item 5. Commissioners proclaimed Sept. 18, 2014 as Healthy Living Day. Chronic diseases account for seven out of 10 deaths and more than 75 percent of health care costs. Every day in Washoe County less than 25 percent of adults eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Less than 27 percent of high school students eat two or more vegetables a day.

The Board proclaimed Healthy Living Day to help promote ways our community’s residents, families, businesses, programs, and service providers can combat chronic diseases by promoting physical activity, healthy eating and a tobacco-free lifestyle.

Commissioners proclaim September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month: Item 6. Childhood cancer is the second leading cause of death for children 19 and younger in the United States. Cancer kills more children than AIDs, asthma, diabetes and cystic fibrosis.

Hundreds of children in Nevada are battling various forms of cancer. Commissioners honored the determination and bravery of children and their families to fight the battle against childhood cancer and therefore named September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Washoe County.  The Director of Programs from the Children’s Cancer Foundation was on hand to accept the proclamation, along with the Miller family, who has also been affected by childhood cancer.

Commissioners proclaim September Hunger Action Month: Item 7. Hunger and poverty are huge concerns in the United States and to residents of Washoe County. More than one in every four children in northern Nevada relies on food provided by the members of Food Bank of Northern Nevada (FBNN) every year. The members of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada have worked hard to combat hunger in our community. In 2013, FBNN distributed more than 12.5 million pounds of food. The Washoe County Board of Commissioners is committed to working with Food Bank of Northern Nevada in educating people about the role and importance of the Food Bank and to help do so declared that September is Hunger Action Month.

Washoe County Commissioner Marsha Berkbigler said, “These last two proclamations are really tough subjects. It’s heartbreaking to think that one in four children in our community is hungry as well as the number of children battling childhood cancer in Nevada.  Both of these topics that were brought before us today are extremely important and as Commissioners, we need to work strongly to protect our children on these issues in the future.”