Great Ideas! That’s the name of an innovative grant program established by the Education Foundation of Indian River County in 1992, a year after being founded (1991) by Marion Block, Alma Lee and Dan Richardson. The founders that came together were local civic and business leaders who recognized the need for local involvement in the Education Community.
The Education Foundation of Indian River County prides itself on being unique. That uniqueness is in being the only Education Foundation in the state of Florida that supports all schools in their county whether public, private, parochial and charter. Because of this, the Foundation does not fall under the umbrella of the local public school system which allows the Foundation to funnel resources directly into the classroom and avoids the bureaucracy that sometimes takes place with traditional funding sources.
Where does all of the money come from to manifest all of the accomplishments that the Education Foundation of Indian River County yields each school year? It comes through dedicated efforts of the foundation in organizing and soliciting funding from others such as John’s Island Foundation, Syngenta Crop Protection, Inc., The Clint S. Malone Memorial Foundation, PNC/Harbor Federal Foundation, Liberty Medical Supply, the Bank of America Foundation, the Jeffrey and Jennifer Pegler Fund to Benefit Teachers, the Florida State Legislature and private individual donations.
At the Education Foundation’s website (www.edfoundationirc.org), information is given regarding the amount of funds that have been infused into the educational enhancements in classrooms throughout Indian River County.
The Education Foundation has what is known as a “Quick Response Grant” whereby public, charter and private K-12 schools may apply for small grants up to $500. Request for these “quick response grants” can be made on an ongoing basis from September 1, 2011 to April 15, 2012; one page summaries of proposed activity/event must be submitted by the 1st of each month and a response to the request given 15 days after the submission.
“Quick Response Grants” can be very useful in many ways by helping the teacher put greater emphasis or evoke a lasting impression on a particular subject or make possible an educational excursion to extend the classroom experiences from Z00 visits to theatrical plays and allow participation in those activities/events that some students otherwise would have no exposure.