RETURN OF RBMS SPORTS HINGES ON VOTES

rbmsThe middle school is looking for votes to win a grant that would bring back its sports programs. (Photo by Dustin Racioppi; click to enlarge)

By DUSTIN RACIOPPI

If there’s any chance of sports returning to Red Bank Middle School, it’s got something like lottery ticket odds.

That’s why the school needs your help.

The middle school applied for a grant offered by Clorox to bring back some sort of version of its athletic program, which was cut out of this year’s budget.

The winner of the “Power A Bright Future” grant will be chosen based on the number of online votes it receives, putting Red Bank in a difficult position to win out against some 1,100 applicants, Superintendent Laura Morana said.

“It’s like winning the lottery,” she said.

If Red Bank snags the grant, the $47,500 it applied for won’t support the full return of the sports it cut — baseball, basketball, softball and soccer — which typically cost about $70,000 a year, Morana said. But “we would be able to implement a program that is comprehensive,” she said.

She said people are allowed to vote for Red Bank daily. Here’s the link. Voting closes November 1.

Meantime, Morana and school officials are looking at ways to bring back programs that were cut from the budget, and sports ranks high among them. The school has also applied for a grant from Target Corporation to fund field trips, which also were eliminated.

Anticipating an even tougher budget year, Morana said chances are slim that the budget will be able to support extracurricular activities like sports, so the school will have to look elsewhere.

“We’re going to be creative,” she said.