The Dripping Springs Education Foundation seeks to support DSISD and “inspire and equip students to be lifelong learners and positive contributors to the world.” We raise money to directly support the District and to fund specific programs like our Innovative Teaching Grants and the Excellence in Student Leadership Grants.
While many of you are familiar with the Innovative Teaching Grants, the Student Leadership grants are relatively new. We are now in our 3rd year of underwriting this program will be reaching out to students in all three elementary schools as well as students at DSMS and DSHS. Through these grants, we want to give students an opportunity to practice and grow their leadership skills while working to serve the campus, the community, or the world.
Applications will be made available on October 1, 2013.
Student Leadership Grants FAQs
This is a student leadership grant; we place an emphasis in our evaluations on seeing that the student or students will be involved in leading others during the execution of their project, not just doing something good by themselves. We will evaluate how they plan to involve and lead others.
We are open to a wide range of ideas, and want to encourage any student to submit an idea, big or small. For instance, programs might seek to improve or serve:
- educational process
- student life
- health or safety inside/outside campus
- school facilities
- the environment
- peer advising
- the DS community
- a group of people in need (ex.: economically disadvantaged, cancer patients, etc.), somewhere in the world – in our back yard, or around the world
The Foundation will not fund projects or programs that are clearly not student-lead or student-inspired. While we realize many of your younger students will require more direction, we want to ensure they are able to practice their leadership skills throughout the entire process. Our goal is to focus on the process and less on the product created by the student-lead program.
All applications submitted will be reviewed by a 4-person committee. Two reviewers will be board members from the Foundation while two reviewers will be members of the community and/or school district.
There is actually no hard limit on the amount of the grant. The $500 limit is a suggestion based on the amount of grants approved in the past. Some projects will require more and some will require less. We want students to think big, and to take into account that the grant money should be spent by the end of the school year.
If your grant is not approved, you will be contacted by a member of the reviewing committee. In some cases, the scope of the request may fall outside of our parameters, while in some cases, the project may simply need to be modified. Our goal is to say yes whenever we can.
Each project is different and the requirements of a sponsor will vary considerably. With younger students, the sponsor will be more involved while with older groups, the students can take a much more active leadership role. The scope of the project will also determine the involvement of the sponsor. All applications submitted should list the involvement of the sponsor.
While we are interested in the product of the grants (what the program will accomplish), we will emphasize the process (how the students will grow and benefit by doing it) in our evaluation. As with any learning, “smart tries” are encouraged. While we want all projects to meet their goals, if the students had an opportunity to exhibit and learn leadership qualities, then the program was a success.
The faculty sponsor will be entrusted with the funds on behalf of the student leaders.
I am helping with the application for an elementary student. Some of these questions seem geared toward middle or high school students.
You are correct. This is the first year we have included elementary students in the grant process. We made a conscious decision not to alter the application but to allow the elementary student to seek assistance in the completion.
Grant money will be distributed within the first two weeks of January.
Publicity! Our objective is to grow this program and provide for more grants in the future. Document what you do and share it. Send your pictures to your school for the newsletter, but also send them to the Foundation for placement on our website and on our Facebook page. We want to publically recognize your group as much as you want to thank us! The other thing you can do is ask friends and family to contribute to the Foundation. The more we receive, the more we have available to fund outstanding projects. Lastly, patronize business who support the Foundation and let them know you received a grant. They want to share in your success!