Thursday, June 6, 2002

Cape Education Foundation to give $15,000

Published in the Current

Seeking some early success stories to boost fund-raising, the Cape Elizabeth Education Foundation is soliciting applications from school staff.

In October, the foundation expects to give teachers a total of $15,000 in project money.

Teachers have responded well to past approaches from the foundation, in which school staff were asked to describe “projects that would significantly enhance your curriculum, or allow you to go beyond the status quo if you had funding for the time or materials.”

“Forty-plus teachers responded very enthusiastically,” said Gail Rice, chair of the foundation’s grants committee. “They were (proposing) exactly what we were looking for.”

Some of those proposals included field trips to subject-related museums and public buildings in Portland and Boston, guest lecturers and workshops on specific subjects already addressed in the curriculum, books for classroom and library use, technological tools for specific curriculum-related uses, and artists-in-residence for painting, music, poetry and dance.

The grant applications were distributed to teachers late last week, and are due August 2. The application process entails writing a two-page project summary and determining a proposed budget.

“It is critical that we do make it easy” for teachers to apply, said Susan Spagnola, CEEF’s publicity coordinator.

Rice and Spagnola are not sure what applications will come in, and the application forms make clear that CEEF may choose not to fund, or to fund only partially, some grant requests, depending on the applicant pool.

To fund the projects and further work by the foundation, donors have pledged $21,000, including three donations of $5,000 each, Spagnola said. Some of the donors are on the foundation’s board, but others are members of the community who have no affiliation with the organization, she said.

“The momentum it’s gained in the last several months has been incredible,” Spagnola said.

In the fall, the foundation expects to launch a campaign to raise between $1 million and $2 million, which will make available between $50,000 and $100,000 in interest each year for future rounds of grants.