Happy New Year! Let's put the negative aside for awhile and concentrate on how lucky we are to live and work where we do in this troubled time. Why not start 2009 with some positive New Year's resolutions? And let's make sure at least one of those resolutions centers on winning grants for your school in 2009.
I see three ways in which you might focus one of your New Year's resolution on grants.
[content block] The first way would be to make a resolution to write a grant for your classroom, school, or district in 2009. This would be a most appropriate resolution if you are just getting your grant-writing feet wet. If you are able to get that first grant written -- even if you need help from others to get it done -- that is a landmark that could motivate you to write future grants that generate a lot of money for your school.
If you have already written at least one or two grants, you might want to focus your resolution on the number of grants you plan to write in 2009. Remember, grants need to be written to solve specific and documentable problems. (For example, a significant number of your school's third graders are reading below grade level; you're witnessing a steadily increasing number of discipline referrals; or attendance figures are falling short of expectations.) List the problems you see in your district, school, or classroom, and then focus your New Year's resolutions -- and all your determination -- on writing grants to help correct those problems.
Finally, your New Year's resolution could center on an amount of money. That amount doesn't really matter. It could be $500, $5,000, or $5,000,000. The amount, however, should have some significance to you or your grant program. Perhaps you want to bring in more grant money than you did last year. Another example: I used to like to win at least as much grant money for my school as I was paid for being the principal; simply put, it made me feel good to bring in an amount equivalent to my salary. It meant nothing to anyone else, but it was important to me.
If you focus your grant writing on a specific amount of money, you might determine that you have a problem that requires $75,000 in grant money to address. There may not be a single grant for $75,000 available, but you might find two or three grants that would total $75,000. Your New Year's resolution would be to get $75,000 in grant money for your school regardless whether it entails writing 3, 4 or even 5 grants.
New Year's resolutions are often made and seldom kept. But I would like to take this space to encourage you to make at least one of your New Year's resolutions pertain to writing grants to address your school's needs. In order to ensure follow-through on this resolution, write it down in a place where you will see it every day or two. Also, share your resolution with as many people as possible. That way, you can feed off the support and encouragement of others -- as well as pressure from them -- to make good on one of the most important New Year's resolutions you'll ever make.
Article by Don Peek
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