MANHATTAN – Kansas PRIDE has named five communities as the recipients of its first Growth and Action grants.

Through the PRIDE program, communities identify what they want to preserve, create or improve for the future. Volunteers form a local PRIDE organization that works with K-State Research and Extension and the Kansas Department of Commerce to accomplish its goals.

2016 is the pilot year for PRIDE Growth and Action funding to help communities with startup and related operating expenses. Another round will be offered in the fall. Only five awards are given each round, so these awards are highly competitive.

In the spring round of 2016, $1,000 was awarded in total. The following communities received Growth and Action grants for startup and other related operating expenses:

• Columbus

• Delia

• Elk City

• Linn Valley

• McPherson

“Kansas PRIDE is a volunteer-led organization. This funding is intended to give new and active communities opportunities to get their local program up and running as well as purchase project materials,” said Jaime Menon, extension assistant for community development in the PRIDE program. “Each community has its own unique structure, culture and assets, and Kansas PRIDE volunteers work to bring out the best in their communities and promote what they have to offer. Through the work of these volunteers, Kansas communities continue to thrive and be a great place to live and raise a family.”