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DCSF partners with teachers, community for ‘Big Give’ grants

This spring, $25,000 is up for grabs by Demopolis educators though a new process called “The Big Give.”

The Big Give is a “shark tank” style competition to award larger $5,000 to $10,000 grants that will transform an area with in our schools.

“After much research, the Grants Committee and Board chose to encourage larger grants in three areas this spring. First, we want to encourage collaboration between teachers – we want to help foster a team atmosphere within the schools. Second, we want to help with the continuity of programs across grade levels and schools – if a classroom grant worked well in one class, perhaps we need to look at funding it for the whole grade the next year. Finally, we want to ensure an equitable experience for all students, meaning that no matter what classroom teacher a student has, they should have access to the same excellent experiences,” said Paul Miller, Grants Committee Chairman.

In January, teachers were asked to submit a simple project description that described how he or she would tackle an issue at their schools. The committee received 10 applications and selected four to present to the Grants Committee this week. The four selected included proposals for arts education, computer programing, broadcasting, and the Lego classroom experience.

“The Committee wants to spend time talking to these educators about their ideas. We decided an in-person presentation (rather than a formal written grant) would allow the teachers to convey their big ideas better. With the teachers in the room, the committee can ask questions and engage them in conversation about these larger dollar grants,” Amanda Barnes, Executive Director of the Foundation shared.

The winners of “The Big Give” will be announced March 7 at the Foundation’s Annual Donor Appreciation Celebration.

For more information on how to be a part of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, visit www.demopolis.org. Donate are always welcome.

The public can follow the foundation on Twitter @demopoliscsf and Facebook @DemopolisCitySchoolsFoundation.

The Demopolis City Schools Foundation is an independent nonprofit established in 1993 to encourage private charitable support of the Demopolis public school system. Governed by a 33-member Board of Directors, the Foundation has provided more than $1,100,000 in classroom grants since its inception. For more information about the foundation contact Executive Director Amanda Barnes at 334-289-2226 or dcsf@westal.net.

(This article originally appeared in the Saturday, Feb. 25, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)