The Astoria Middle School volleyball program recently received a $1,500 Thomas R. Brown athletics grant from California Casualty.

The grant will help the school purchase new nets and equipment. Coach Matt Hensley said the equipment will allow more student-athletes to participate in the sport.

Astoria Middle School is one of 64 public middle schools and high schools in 32 states awarded a total of $67,149 to help purchase new equipment, improve player safety and provide uniforms.

Two other Oregon schools, Parish Middle School (Salem) and Philomath Middle School, also received athletics grants from California Casualty this year.

Since its inception in 2011, more than $738,000 has been awarded to some 630 schools across the nation.

The grant is named for California Casualty chairman emeritus Tom Brown.

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