The Kent Historical Society has been awarded a $1,500 grant from Connecticut Humanities for the purpose of revising its strategic plan.

To qualify, the Kent Historical Society completed the first year of a development program known as StEPs-CT.

Following the application process, the historical society was one of several local organizations chosen last year by the CTH and Connecticut League of History Organizations to participate in a two-year development program for historical societies and museums in the state.

StEPs-CT offers an organizational, curatorial and outreach curriculum developed in 2009 by the American Association for State and Local History.

Under sponsorship from CTH and CLHO, this is the first time the program has been offered as a statewide initiative in Connecticut.

The KHS completed its last strategic plan in 2006, according to Susi Williams, past president of the Kent Historical Society, whose mother, Margaret Casey, was a founder of the society and who now serves as a director.

"The current StEPs-CT program will help KHS to improve policies, raise standards for staff and volunteers, progress in identifying and measuring our accomplishments and enhance our ability to attract donors," Williams said. "I am excited about developing an updated Strategic Plan for the society."

During participation in the StEPs-CT program, all organizations receive support and training through a series of six curriculum- based sections, along with coaching from a dedicated mentor.

Upon successful completion of each year, participants are qualified to apply to a competitive grant fund for an initiative related to achieving the program standards.

The program is designed to boost professionalism in museum and historical society operations, and strengthen the foundation upon which they are built.

Participants work to achieve recognition at the bronze, silver or gold levels; enhancing their ability to qualify for state and national grant programs for their institutions.

Upon completion of the first of the StEPs sections, Mission, Vision and Governance, the historical society determined an updated strategic plan was the highest priority.

"The first two sessions of this program helped me to gain insight into the Board of Directors' responsibilities for managing our Historical Society and for creating a strategic plan of operations," said Richard Lindsey, KHS treasurer.

The grant is the most recent of 11 grants awarded to the KHS by CTH.

A total of $30,400 has been given since 2005 to support wide-ranging Kent historical society initiatives such as the Smithsonian Institute's Barn Again! exhibit, a costume inventory and the creation of a staff assistant director.