The Huntington Foundation for Excellence in Education is accepting applications from Huntington School District teachers for its 2016/17 grant programs. Thousands of dollars are available to fund innovative classroom initiatives.
Teachers and administrators state that grants awarded over the past two decades have made a real difference in the lives of students. Since its founding, the Huntington Foundation has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to the district through its mini-grant and Star grant programs.
“The Huntington Foundation is once again hard at work searching for ways to secure funding in support of staff and student projects and initiatives,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “The Foundation’s grant programs have funded a broad range of items in the past, across the grade levels, which could not have been financed otherwise. Staff are encouraged to take advantage of the funding source, as the HFEE folks are beyond excited to provide it. Tremendous thanks goes out to all involved in participating and/or supporting the HFEE cause. Huntington students have been the true beneficiaries.”
The purpose of the mini-grant program “is to provide money for special projects costing up to $1,000 for innovative classroom activities that are beyond the core curriculum, such as new computer software, educational additions for a classroom and various workshops,” according to the application form. Mini-grant applications must be submitted by November 30.
Star grants usually exceed $1,000 and have reached as high as $20,000-plus. They are awarded for projects that “fuel grade-wide, department-wide and school-wide initiatives that have a broad impact on students,” according to the application.
Recent Star grants have included a district wide reading program to help assess readers and provide commensurate articles based on these assessments; a programing system to assist students in creating physical items; stand-up desks to allow students options for better learning; technology to help the science department provide superior images of microscopic organisms through digital media. The Star grant application deadline is February 15, 2017.
Teachers have been asked to answer a set of application questions, including how the grant will enhance the instructional program in their classroom, how it will support the standards within the curriculum, what will students be able to accomplish as a result of the grant that will expand and enhance their learning and, for Star grants, what other funding sources have been investigated to support the project.
“The Huntington Foundation board may request for a STAR grant submitter to appear before it and give a brief presentation and answer any associated questions,” said Michael Grassi, who coordinates the HFEE grant program. “We started this practice last year and it was a great success giving both presenter and HFEE board members much better understanding and insight into each particular program or idea. All presentations will be brief (10–15 minutes maximum) with a simple question and answer follow up.”
The Foundation is a not-for-profit organization. It will hold its 24th annual Reach for the Stars fundraising gala on Thursday, March 2 at OHEKA castle. The evening will honor Huntington High School alumnus Michael Brown and James Graber, a high school social studies teacher and president of the Associated Teachers of Huntington.
For more information about the two grant programs contact Mr. Grassi at [email protected] or (631) 827-5077.