Nonprofit to expand free supplies for youth, teachers with grant

The Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts (MECCA) received a $14,774 grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

Posted: Jan 9, 2020 6:11 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A Eugene nonprofit got a financial boost to expand it's ability to provide free art and science materials to educators and homeless youth.

The Materials Exchange Center for Community Arts (MECCA) received a $14,774 grant from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality to expand it's Teacher Resource Center project.

The Teacher Resource Center project takes in recyclable materials that educators can take for free to be used in classrooms. Executive Director Heather Campbell said with the grant money they plan to expand the reach of the program and improve efficiency.

"We also want to do some innovative programming to make these materials really approachable," said Campbell. "We are going to create some curriculum that we will have online and create tutorials about different recycled art activities."

Campbell said they also plan to work with 15th Night, a local organization that connects youth experiencing homelessness with free resources to rapidly respond when youth need materials for school.

The money comes from the DEQ's annual Materials Management Grant program. The DEQ said this year grants funded nearly $600,000 to 17 organizations across the state and it is the first time MECCA has been a recipient.

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