We’ve told you about the wonderful small grant program run by the national Rural Schools Collaborative.  Last year they were able to fund nine different projects across the state–thanks to the support of the Parker Griffin Foundation and the Alabama Education Association.

The largest grant was $1,050 for students at Handley High School in Roanoke to work on an archaeological dig of a long ago Indian village.  I visited the site and was blown away by the enthusiasm of the students of teacher Merredith Sears.  Other projects included improving school and community relationships, a community health project, an outdoor education center, a fourth grade garden project, etc.

It is fantastic to see students working on these “hands on” projects.  They are definitely engaged.

And word about the program has spread rapidly around the state.  The application deadline was April 15 and Gray Funk, director of the Rural Schools Collaborative, says there are 59 applications from Alabama this year.  They are looking for support for things such as: outdoor learning classrooms, family literacy events, learning technology, a beekeeping project, community gardens, aquaculture projects, etc.

You can help support this effort by going to this link to donate.  Gary assures me that every donation from Alabama will be used to fund an Alabama  teacher’s project.

I just donated and it was quick and simple.  If you can, please join me and put a smile on a teacher’s face–and her students too.

(Editors’s note: It is impossible to write about this program and not think about the way our new state school superintendent has been spending money on a $750,000 no-bid contract for a CFO, a $500,000 contact to Massachusetts consultants and more and more state department staff.  Maybe he should go talk to some of the teachers who are working hard to finance a small project for their school.  No wonder the morale of teachers continues to drop.)