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News from the Education Foundation

Posted: August 11, 2015

Grants for Innovative School Projects

The Guhl Awards will go to innovative literacy projects in elementary schools; the Success Awards promote large-scale learning.

A new school year brings the ability for schools to apply for large block grants through two opportunities provided by the APS Education Foundation.

This month, the Foundation is unveiling the Guhl Early Literacy Awards, a pair of $50,000 grants that will go to elementary schools who have an innovative literacy project that could affect most, if not all, of their students. The Guhl Awards, funded by the Guhl Literacy Trust, are available to a single school – or even a consortium of like-minded schools.

“The Guhl Awards will likely be the largest single grants given by the Foundation this year,” said Executive Director Phill Casaus. “Our board of directors is excited about the possibilities, because the money involved can reach many students and hopefully,  provide even more energy to our schools’ work on literacy issues.”

In addition, the Foundation has opened the Success Awards granting window this week. The Foundation plans to award two $25,000 grants to promote innovative, large-scale learning. The goal is to encourage schools to create a project – or continue one – that aids student achievement. A year ago, in the Success Awards’ first year, a consortium of schools in the Valley and West Mesa clusters, plus Manzano High School, were funded. All are eligible to re-apply this year.

Both the Guhl and Success Awards are open for applications from school leaders through Aug. 31.

It doesn’t end there, Casaus noted.

Later this fall, the Foundation will celebrate the sixth year of the Horizon Awards. In all, the Foundation will hand out $125,000 in grants to classrooms that specialize in STEM, Literacy and Fine Arts. This year, however, there will be only one cycle of Horizon. The Foundation also will hand out $90,000 in Achieve Awards, which go to clubs and activities in hopes of spurring student engagement. The one-windows for both Horizon and Achieve will open on September.

“Our hope is to grant at least $475,000 this year,” Casaus said, “but that happens only through the generosity and belief in public education that’s exhibited by our community. That reveals itself in many forms – from corporate and individual contributors, through our events, such as the Superintendent’s Cup, and through the United Way employee campaign.”