Teachers Can Apply Now for In-School Mini-Grants

Lincoln Avenue Academy elementary studentsElementary students at Lincoln Avenue Academy in Polk County painted rain barrels as part of their mini-grant. The barrels were then provided to school families and members of the community.

Educators interested in securing a Splash! mini-grant for the 2008–2009 school year are invited to apply online on the District’s web site at WaterMatters.org/Education.

The District’s Splash! mini-grants provide teachers with funding for classroom projects on water quality, natural systems, water conservation, alternative water sources, flood protection or watersheds. The goal of the mini-grant program is to promote hands-on water resources education that teaches students about their local watersheds and the water resources within them. Splash! mini-grants offer up to $5,000 per school and are available to public, private, charter and home school groups on a reimbursement basis only.

“Classroom mini-grants place money in the hands of innovative teachers,” said Mary Margaret Hull, lead youth education coordinator. “These teachers work with pre-kindergarten, elementary, middle or high school students to implement experiential learning projects, enriching the curriculum at each participating school.”

Online applicants are allowed to save the application so they can go back and review and change portions before submitting. Grant applications are due Sept. 12, 2008.

Last year the District awarded Splash! mini-grants to 137 educators, totaling more than $322,000. Past mini-grant projects include student monitoring of local water quality, habitat restoration initiatives and outreach campaigns designed to promote awareness of water-conserving practices throughout the school and community.

In addition to mini-grant funding, many free educational materials are available from the District. These publications are correlated to Florida’s Sunshine State Standards and can also be ordered on the District’s web site at WaterMatters.org/publications/.