May 2017: #4th graders winning grants! Who knew?
Back in January, I wrote about a group of girls whom I recruited to work on writing a grant for our classroom. A friend and former secretary in our building had sent out details on the W.R.I.T.E. Grant Program put on by Friends Office. I decided to recruit a couple of my students for their help in writing this grant. The group ended up including six girls from my classroom. These ladies worked during recess, specials, and class time to select a product from their catalog, research why this product would help students, and write about about it. As we went through the final stages of writing, we worked together to proofread what they had written. To put the final touches on the grant, I wrote the introduction and conclusion to explain our project and goal and share how proud I was of these girls and their work.
As the months after our submission came, the girls and other students often inquired about whether or not we had gotten the grant. Having heard nothing at the time, I told them that we probably didn't and that was okay. It was an awesome learning experience that fourth graders don't usually get the chance to do.
Little did I know, that we had in fact gotten the grant! At the end of April, I received a surprise email one evening stating that we were one of the four individuals selected as winners of the grant. We wouldn't find out what prize we had won or what place we had come in until that day. I couldn't have been more excited. I worked with Friends Office to set up a time for them to come to our classroom, and I kept it a secret!
This last Tuesday, at 1:30, several individuals arrived from Friends Office carrying a cart full of chairs. They were met with students screaming, cheering, clapping, jumping up and down, crying, and smiling from ear to ear. The girls who had helped write the grant, were jumping up and down screaming "We won! We won! We won!" I have never seen students more excited to get new seats for their classroom. The excitement could not be contained.
In the end, we received 7 new Runtz Ball Chairs for our classroom. Friends Office also shared some other supplies with us including extra balls for the chairs, a pump, cleaner, a cling board, folder, and other goodies. I am so grateful for their program which was open minded to students being part of the grant writing process, and I am so proud of all that my students have accomplished through the course of this project!