The Petaluma Educational Foundation received 80 requests for grants this year before the October deadline.
More than $378,000 in grant money has been requested, consisting of 23 Major Impact Grant requests totaling more than $279,000 and 57 Enrichment Grant requests amounting to more than $98,000. \
Major Impact Grants provide up to $15,000 to help fund each program chosen, while Classroom Enrichment Grants supply as much as $2,000 for curriculum projects that enrich and supplement students' education.
Last year, PEF provided 13 Major Impact Grants, totaling $131,882, and 31 Classroom Enrichment Grants, amounting to $42,236.
Grant recipients are selected and funded on a competitive basis, and currently are being reviewed by a PEF grant team.
"If the grant selection committee recognizes more requests than PEF presently has funding for, we will be asking the community to step up with additional fundraising efforts," said Janet Ramatici, PEF's executive director.
Most of the grant applications involve innovative educational programs in the rapidly evolving technology field. Government stimulus money provided significant funding to schools throughout the Petaluma area this year for specific programs, but much of it excluded the development of technology teaching tools.
The growing demand for advanced technological tools in education has prompted PEF to bring a selection of these tools to teachers and classrooms in Petaluma.
PEF Major Impact Grant recipients will be announced before the end of the year, and Enrichment Grant recipients will be notified in 2011.
Since 1983, PEF has awarded $1,667,172 to teachers, administrators and parents to fund projects not covered by school budgets. The purpose of the PEF grant program is to reward innovative academic programs and foster excellence in education for all students in the Petaluma area.
— Argus-Courier Staff