In a pair of requests made by the Clarke Community School district to the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC), funding to help cover costs associated to emergency response backpacks as well as support for their water conservation and community health efforts was approved. $38,000, the total for the two grants, was reviewed and approved by the CCDC board during the February 14th meeting.

The grant requests from the Clarke Community School district were submitted as a pair of reimbursement requests specific to safety in the school district as well as to help cover the costs related to the community’s water crisis.

grants in clarke county iowa

Clarke’s emergency response backpacks will help administrators and teachers take immediate action in a number of emergency situations.

The first, larger grant of $25,000 was requested by the district to help cover costs associated to district-wide emergency response backpacks. These backpacks, which the funding supports, include emergency response items for school administrators and teachers to help during an emergency situation, and until local First Responders arrive on the scene. Kurt DeVore, Clarke’s Superintendent is receiving his Doctorate in K-12 School shootings and that has been a baseline focus for him throughout his career.

“District staff are the first responders before the emergency first responders arrive,” said DeVore. “These backpacks provide the immediate support our teachers and students need in times of emergency.”

Since his tenure began at Clarke, DeVore, district administrators, and staff have been training in emergency situation protocols and are working to implement the materials in these backpacks with their procedures. The backpacks include a wide range of items from duct tape to traumatic stop-the-bleed materials to help in emergencies ranging from fire or tornado drills to active shooter scenarios.

“While we hope to never have to use these backpacks, it’s imperative to have them as part of our students’ safety and security procedures,” said DeVore.

After lengthy discussion on the request that included a look into the district’s updated training highlights, the grant committee decided unanimously to approve the request and fund the pack and their materials.

“These backpacks can ultimately shorten the time between an emergency situation and ultimate tragedy,” said CCDC board member, Doug Miller. “Their availability to every teacher and administrator means better safety for our kids.”

The second grant request for $13,000 made by DeVore in response to Clarke Community Schools’ district-wide water conservation efforts was due to the ongoing drought across the community.

“Our jump to bottled water and recyclables throughout the district was one way we could immediately address the water crisis,” said DeVore. “With as many students and visitors we receive on a daily basis, every conservation effort we make creates a significant impact.”

In October, when the drought required the community to raise their conservation efforts, the school district immediately pivoted to reduce the consumption of water throughout their buildings. Part of that pivot included moving away from traditional plastic trays and metal flatware during lunches to disposable materials. This move, while saving water for the community, added costs associated with the purchase of the disposable materials.

“If you look at the commitment our schools have made during this water crisis, this grant goes a long way to help cover their efforts and impact our entire community,” said CCDC Executive Director, Bill Trickey.

With funds that had been reserved specifically to address the community’s water crisis, the grant committee was able to approve the request and cover the purchase of the recyclable materials.

If you have questions concerning the recent grants awarded to the school district or would like more information on grant opportunities through the Clarke County Development Corporation, please reach out to them at 115 E Washington St, Osceola, IA 50213, phone: 641-342-2944 or email: