Athens County Together (ACT)
Previously the Athens Community Improvement Challenge
What is Athens County Together?
This is a yearlong annual program, which pairs teams of diverse community-based volunteers with Athens County staff and area stakeholders to assist citizens and communities with improvement efforts. This program aims to increase collaboration within communities county-wide and provide an open line of communication to discuss resources to address community needs.
Teams will register with the Athens County Planning Department by completing the registration forms below.
Teams will receive a digital and hard copy of a practical planning guide. Completion of the practical guide will walk individuals and teams through the project planning process.
Each Community Team will receive $1,000 from the Athens County Commissioners for implementation of a community improvement project upon submission of a community improvement 2022 Funding Request Form. Are there things in your community you would like to see improved? This program is an opportunity to use your social power to work to implement positive change.
Which communities can participate?
Athens County’s incorporated villages, census-designated areas, and unincorporated communities are all encouraged to participate.
Athens County Together 2021 Program Overview:
In order to participate each community will assemble a steering team of at least 6 community members. A leader or 2 should be identified for each group this leader will serve as the primary point of contact with county staff and the community team.
Team Registration Form
Each community’s steering team of at least 6 community members must include each of the following:
- an elected official(Mayor, Council Member, Township Trustee)
- a young adult(ages 11 to 19)
- an employed professional
- a retired person or senior citizen
- a person representing a local civic organization, if there are multiple active civic organizations in your community please invite all to participate. Our 2017 experience revealed multiple groups working on similar efforts in the same community rarely collaborate, but there is ample opportunity for collaboration to increase the impact of volunteer efforts.
- a person affiliated with a school(employee, teacher, PTO Member, etc.)
Once the team has identified members, it will complete and submit the Athens County Together Registration Form to the Athens County Planning Department.
Practical Guides are an optional tool for you to use to help guide your planning process. These can be worked on individually, collectively as a team, or both. Each team will decide what works best. The practical guide has exercises to complete. A completed practical guide will outline project(s) from ideation to implementation plan development.
Example models of team participation:
- The team completes registration with the Athens County Planning Department. Each team member is provided an electronic copy of the Practical Guide. Each team member completes Lesson 1 (Building your Team) and Lesson 2 (Community Knowledge) prior to the team’s first meeting. Team members bring their guides (Lessons 1 & 2 complete) to the team meeting and collectively create the Team’s Guide, based on the information exchanged with team members. The team then agrees to complete lesson 3 individually and use a meeting to discuss and record information in the Team’s Guide at next month’s meeting.
- Team completes registration with Athens County Planning Department. Each team member is provided an electronic copy of the Practical Guide. The Team agrees to meet the second Tuesday of each month and work through the Practical Guide as a group. The Team watches videos, takes the quiz, and completes Lesson 1 of the Team’s Master Guide as a group.
Implementation: The team will choose at least one project to address a need or make an improvement and use their $1,000 of program participation funding for project implementation. Should additional funding be available teams will be notified ASAP.
Funding Request: Projects must have the support of key stakeholders involved. Additionally, complete the 2022 ACT Funding Request Form to receive approval of your community’s improvement project. Payment will be sent to the entity identified by the team, which could be a unit of local government or a partnering nonprofit.
Reporting: The team must submit receipts or canceled checks or other appropriate documentation to evidence funds were expended as planned. Without appropriate documentation, funds must be returned. We are also happy to share photos and success stories on the Athens County Together website.
Team Registration Deadline (County Planning Department): June 15, 2022
Funding Request Deadline - 2022 ACT Funding Request Form : October 15, 2022
Send completed Funding Request Form to firstname.lastname@example.org OR mail it to 1 South Court St. Rm 122, Athens OH 45701
Records of funding expensed must be submitted by November 30, 2022