Deadline to Submit Proposals for Consideration is Friday, Nov. 4
WATERTOWN — The Safe Schools Endeavor, in partnership with the Northern New York Community Foundation, is pleased to announce applications for 2022-2023 funding are now available. All schools in Jefferson and Lewis counties are eligible and encouraged to seek grant funding for projects, programs, and initiatives that seek to strengthen school safety and improve student and campus culture.
School officials and representatives should complete applications no later than Friday, Nov. 4. All applications must be completed through the Community Foundation’s online Grant Lifecycle Manager, which may 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 welcome to apply.
Grants are made possible thanks to the generous gifts of many individuals and businesses in Jefferson and Lewis counties who support the Safe Schools Endeavor and its mission to help keep all children safe while they are at school.
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 respective 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.
“This program has made and continues to make a difference for our local students in ways that matter,” said Rande Richardson, Community Foundation executive director. “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.”
“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, Safe Schools Endeavor steering committee chairwoman. “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.”
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. Email Erika Flint at email@example.com, with any application questions.
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 2022-2023 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.
To stay informed about the Safe Schools Endeavor and its progress in our schools, like it on Facebook at Facebook.com/SafeSchoolsEndeavor and follow it in Instagram at Instagram.com/safeschoolsendeavor.
Jeff-Lewis BOCES Superintendent Stephen Todd, who serves on the Safe Schools Endeavor Committee, called the endeavor “a wonderful partnership between our community and our schools.”
“There is nothing more important than doing everything in our power to keep our kids safe,” Mr. Todd said. “Schools make it their No. 1 priority, and with the generosity of donors and volunteers, the Safe Schools Endeavor provides students, faculty, parents, and school administrators with even more helpful tools to make schools even safer.”
For the 2021-2022 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 school’s campus-wide 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 youth 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.
About the Safe Schools Endeavor
In the days that followed the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 14 students and three staff members dead, and 17 others wounded, a group of North Country residents were called to act in their own communities in Jefferson and Lewis counties.
While school safety leads many discussions across the country, the Safe Schools Endeavor was created to encourage change at a very local level. Its founding members believe our children are our most precious resource and should never worry for their safety at school.
With generous support from the Northern New York Community Foundation, a $20,000 matching grant for all gifts made in support of the initiative was announced and a focused effort to seek donations soon began. The movement struck a chord with many Northern New Yorkers who quickly gave to the effort, confirming a guiding philosophy that together “A Few Can Make a Difference.”
An 18-member Steering Committee manages the Safe Schools Endeavor. Committee members are parents, school officials, nonprofit executives, retirees, and student representatives. They include Erika Flint, executive director, Fort Drum Regional Health Planning Organization, and Safe Schools Endeavor Steering Committee chairwoman; Jessica Bowline, president, Indigo Inkwell, Inc.; Andrianna Crawford, counselor, Indian River Central; Brigitte Gillette, counselor, Copenhagen Central; Jennifer Hodge, development director/corporate compliance officer, Volunteer Transportation Center; Marjorie LaVere, administrative assistant, Jefferson County Public Defender’s Office; Todd Lighthall, executive director, Camp Oswegatchie, and member, Beaver River Central School Board of Education; Michelle Monnat, chief financial officer, CHJC (Children’s Home of Jefferson County); Morgan Pratt Neaves, assistant principal, Indian River Central; Rebecca Paté-Johnson, Head Start family advocate, Community Action Planning Council of Jefferson County; Kylie Simpson, probation officer, Lewis County Probation Department; Stephen Todd, superintendent, Jeff-Lewis BOCES. Student representatives: Anmolika Bolla, Watertown High School Class of 2022; Hailyn Buker, South Jefferson Class of 2022; Claire Jones, junior, Copenhagen Central; Philip Marra, Watertown High School Class of 2021; Samantha Stokely, junior, Copenhagen Central; and Peyton Taylor, junior, Copenhagen Central.
About the Northern New York Community Foundation
Since 1929, the Northern New York Community Foundation has invested in improving and enriching the quality of life for all in communities across Jefferson, Lewis, and St. Lawrence counties.
Through partnerships with businesses and organizations, charitable foundations, and generous families and individual donors, the Community Foundation awards grants and scholarships from an endowment and collection of funds that benefit the region. Its commitment to donors helps individuals achieve their charitable objectives now and for generations to come by preserving and honoring legacies of community philanthropy while inspiring others.
The Community Foundation is a resource for local charitable organizations, donors, professional advisors and nonprofit organizations. It also works to bring people together at its permanent home in the Northern New York Philanthropy Center to discuss challenges our communities face and find creative solutions that strengthen the region and make it a great place to live, work, and play.