MONSON, Mass. (WWLP) – The nonprofit organization Travelnitch has been approved by the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) to receive $10,000.

According to a news release sent to 22News from Travelnitch, the nonprofit inspires kids through virtual and real-world travel. This Challenge America award of $10,000 will help support Big Writers, Little Ears, a program that encourages young writers and artists through a peer-to-peer connection.

Big Writers, Little Ears will offer high-school students a chance to practice their writing skills through a free writing workshop. Afterward, students can submit their own short story, which may be included in the nonprofit’s podcast, Bedtime Stories for Little Explorers.

The grant is just one of 262 Challenge America awards that totals $2.62 million and was announced by the NEA as part of their first round of the fiscal year 2023 grants.

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support arts projects in communities nationwide,” said NEA Chair Maria Rosario Jackson, Ph.D. “Projects such as this one with Travelnitch strengthen arts and cultural ecosystems, provide equitable opportunities for arts participation, and practice and contribute to the health of our communities and our economy.”

“Big Writers, Little Ears has been in conceptual development for over a year. Now, thanks to this critical support from the NEA, the real work can begin,” said Amanda Renna, Founder & CEO at Travelnitch. “Funding from the NEA Challenge America Grant will help us identify community organizations that share our passion for travel and the arts. This is an opportunity to make deep, lasting connections within the arts community, supporting a diverse group of students who might otherwise go unseen or unheard.”