The goal for this project is to fundraise enough money to be able to buy 22 new iPads for the students at Open School. The first objective is creating an online profile at a website where others are encouraged to donate if they would like to help. Along with these efforts, finding and applying for qualifying grants for the school is the second objective. Open schools is a school that takes in students that may need more help with graduating and staying motivated in their education. In addition to that, they are also a school that does not receive much funding from the government and is in need of many resources for its students.
This Course has really pushed us to think deeply about the inequities present in the education system and work to address these issues through different critical service learning frameworks. Our PIC project this term aimed to redistribute some of the power in the education system through providing Open School East with the technology needed to open up a class that would give students an opportunity to learn, create, and explore the world through technology. Open School East is a great asset for students who are interested in flexible learning and an alternative option to the public school system. However, open schools often do not have the same access to technology as students in the public school system. Having this access can really help these students learn and master skills that would give them an advantage in college and the workforce. Our goal was to raise $10,000 in order to purchase the 22 iPads needed to teach the technology course the school would like to provide.
Our team recommends that at the start of the term, the next group builds a strong relationship with Open School. Go and visit the school, meet with Principal Ross. Make a real, meaningful connection with the school. There are three ways you might take on this project. We have a GoFundMe page set up, and it may be possible for you to use it to start a fundraising campaign. Our grant proposal is designed to make grant writing easier to do; however, if you want to go that route, it could be more helpful to seek out more locally-funded grants. Grants can often be lengthier and harder to write than you may thing, as our group found out. The last option is community outreach: a good place to start may be with businesses that have worked with Open School East in the past. Alumni and parent groups may also be a good option. We believe that going to the community around Open School East for help is essential to a successful fundraising campaign.
Some of the challenges we have faced this term have been getting a late start in the term, figuring out the direction that we wanted to take, taking the time to write up a grant proposal, and then realizing periodically that we were missing information that we needed from the school to move forward. At the beginning of the term, we were all set out to apply for grants and start a crowdfunding campaign. However, we did not realize how much work would go into the proposal and We took a couple of weeks to write up and edit a grant proposal. We also made a crowdsourcing campaign but realized that we did not have enough time in the term to really get it going. During all of this, we also had questions that would arise that only the school could answer, such as the school’s non-profit status and such. While the principle of Open School was very helpful, we realized that we would need a point person at the school who would be willing to take on some responsibility after our term had ended. Knowing that the principal of a school is very busy, we did not want to burden them any further
During these 11 weeks we were able to visit with Open School’s principal in order to get better information about the needs of the school. After hearing him out, there was a lot of brainstorming to see what direction the project could be taken. In the end we decided to look for grants and options where the school was eligible for. There were various grants and a list was made, but unfortunately we were unable to complete the application process because of various questions and requirements that were needed, as well as time restrictions. Another aspect of the project that we were able to start was a GoFundme page, where donations could be made to help reach the goal of $11,000.
TEAM MEMBERS: Trevor Stewart, Ashley Hamann, Jessica Urbina, Jasmine Bahramian, and Marina Bubnova