Safe Schools Endeavor seeking proposals from schools in Jefferson, Lewis counties for grant funding

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Sep. 15—WATERTOWN — The Safe Schools Endeavor, in partnership with the Northern New York Community Foundation, has announced that applications for 2022-23 funds are now available. All schools in Jefferson and Lewis counties are eligible and encouraged to seek grant funding for projects that seek to strengthen school safety and improve student and campus culture.

School officials and representatives should complete applications no later than Nov. 4. All applications must be completed through the foundation’s online Grant Lifecycle Manager, which can be accessed at nnycf.org/grants. Grant awards will be determined in December and applicants will be notified with a funding decision in January.

Since 2018, nearly $61,102 in grant funding has been awarded to 15 school districts across the two counties to support 35 projects. Public and private schools are both eligible to apply.

“This program has made and continues to make a difference for our local students in ways that matter,” Rande S. Richardson, the foundation’s executive director, said in a statement. “It is a wonderful example of a public/private partnership, where the desires and will of the people to accomplish an objective is expressed through generosity.”

 

The Safe Schools Endeavor will consider applications submitted by students, teachers, faculty, staff and parents. Any individual or group with an idea to improve safety within their Jefferson or Lewis County school should discuss the concept with their school administrator to gather their support. Proposals that are student-led or involve close collaboration with students may receive additional weight as funding is considered.

Proposals can include student or parent programming, equipment, faculty and staff training, or anything else that an individual or group within the school community believes would enhance the overall safety of the school and its members. The Safe Schools Endeavor stresses awareness, empowerment and action within school communities, and grant proposals will be evaluated based upon the degree to which they embody these desired outcomes. A scoring rubric is also available for review at bit.ly/sserubric.

“Safe Schools Endeavor would not be possible without the incredible generosity of local businesses, organizations, and individuals who continue to enable us to collaborate with schools in Jefferson and Lewis counties to create the safest school environments possible,” said Erika Flint, chair of the Safe Schools Endeavor steering committee. “While we continue to grow relationships with donors, we are encouraged that the majority of those who supported us in 2018 when SSE was just a vision remain steadfast in their commitment to sharing the responsibility of school safety.”

For the 2021-22 school year, nine projects were awarded grant funding totaling nearly $16,000. Schools and projects receiving support were:

—Carthage Central School District, to fund “Superhero Anti-bullying,” a student assembly in each of the district’s elementary schools.

—Sackets Harbor Central School District, to create and sustain the Sackets Support Center, a safe space for students to connect with peers and trusted adults while increasing academic, social and emotional support.

—LaFargeville Central School District, to upgrade and improve the district’s emergency communication system.

—Alexandria Central School District, to purchase the Project VisitU Visitor Management System.

—Indian River Central School District, to fund two sessions of “Clear the Fog,” a student assembly that seeks to educate young people about the dangers of vaping.

—Watertown City School District (Case Middle School), to purchase Halo Smart Sensor detectors for student bathrooms.

—General Brown Central School District, to develop a “mindfulness space” in the elementary buildings to provide students with an area they feel safe and confident to continue learning each day.

—Indian River Central School District, to purchase safety equipment for the school’s express student pick-up and drop-off.

—Watertown City School District (Sherman Elementary), to help install vibrant decals that offer positive and inspirational messages throughout the building to discourage disruptive behavior.

Individuals and groups may request any amount, but typical grants will fall in the range of $1,000 to $2,500. All projects or programs must begin or occur in the 2022-23 school year with support from the respective school district. Funding for programs or projects that have already occurred are not eligible as the Safe Schools Endeavor is not a source for reimbursement of expenses.