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Newport Independent School District gets crumb rubber grant; funds to be used for landscaping

Recycled waste tires will be used to help beautify school grounds in The Newport Independent School District thanks to a grant from the state of Kentucky.

The District has been awarded a $35,430 Crumb Rubber Grant from The Kentucky Energy and Environmental Cabinet’s Waste Tire Management Program. Made from shredded tires, crumb rubber is commonly used as a resilient and durable landscaping material.

Newport Independent Schools

The Newport Independent Schools will use the crumb rubber during the 2016-17 school year for landscaping material at the district’s primary, intermediate and high schools, said Newport Middle School Youth Services Center Coordinator Paul Baker, who wrote the grant application.

“The crumb rubber project will benefit not only the 1,750 students attending Newport Independent Schools, but also residents living throughout the City of Newport,” Baker said. “This is another example of how the school district is dedicated to finding every resource we can to improve our schools, the lives of our students, faculty and staff and our community.”

The grant means the school district won’t have to spend as much money on mulch as it had in the past, said Newport Independent Schools Superintendent Kelly Middleton.

“We mulch our facilities throughout the year, so this crumb rubber mulch will save us money for the next three to five years,” Middleton said. “If we are not buying mulch, or paying the labor costs of replacing mulch as often, that money can be used for other priorities.”

According to the Kentucky Division of Waste Management, the grant funding comes from the Waste Tire Trust Fund, an endowment established in 1998 by the Kentucky General Assembly to receive fees collected from new tire sales. The applicant provides match-funding equal to at least 25 percent of the project cost.

Baker teams with District Curriculum Coordinator Diane Hatfield on writing most grant for the school district, which secured more than $1.9 million in grant funding during the 2015-16 school year.

In addition to the Crumb Rubber Grant, the district also received funding from:



  • Greater Cincinnati Foundation
  • Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) School Improvement Grant
  • VSA KY Art Inclusion Grant
  • KDE 21st Century Community Learning Center Grant
  • KDE Project Lead the Way Grant
  • KDE Food Services Equipment Grant
  • Cincinnati Free Store Food Bank Grant

“Grant funding will support significant changes in school education practices, arts activities, after-school programming, a biomedical career pathway from grades K to 12, improved food services equipment, landscaping and provision of food…,” Middleton said. “We look forward to the new school year with the added funding for new and existing programs and trust our students and their families will experience great benefit.”

Newport Independent School District

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