C-REF grants reflect student choice

C-REF grants reflect student choice
Posted on 05/19/2021
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From painting murals to creating a butterfly garden to starting a podcast, students district-wide will engage in more than a dozen new and innovative learning opportunities, thanks to the generosity of the Cobleskill-Richmondville Education Foundation.

And here’s the best part: The ideas for the projects came directly from the students themselves.

In an effort to recognize students for their resilience and resourcefulness throughout this unprecedented school year, C-REF is giving out nearly $20,000 in grants to fund new projects and initiatives for students as part of its "Quality of Life/Student Choice Grants Program.”

Earlier this school year, students were given the opportunity to apply for a grant by submitting a project proposal. C-REF received more than a dozen ideas, the vast majority of which will move forward either in the next few weeks or early in the 2021-22 school year.

The ideas include:

  • A career fair for high school students

  • A mural depicting C-RCSD graduating seniors

  • An enrichment day centered around building with LEGO

  • Improvements to outdoors spaces, including a butterfly garden in the Radez courtyard as well as a garden

  • A student-led podcast and broadcast news report

Each project will be led by a faculty advisor who will help students achieve their learning goals. 

“COVID-19 has changed the entire world,” C-REF states in its explanation of the grant project. “The C-REF Board of Trustees was especially concerned for the STUDENTS as to what COVID would mean to them in terms of the educational process. At our October 2020 meeting, we began brainstorming ways to make up for short-falls as caused by COVID in terms of: educational disruptions, transitions to alternate methods of educational information delivery and what was needed to help keep enthusiasm and momentum moving forward. It was suggested that we actually ASK the students what they felt that they needed and wanted. The hypothesis and collective conclusion reached by the C-REF Board was that when students take ‘ownership’ of their education it increases their chance of success.”

This is the first time C-REF has funded such a wide range of student-led projects. Typically, grant proposals would come from faculty and staff members. But through the pandemic, students have shown such remarkable creativity and adaptability that C-REF’s leaders decided to let them guide the brainstorming.

These grants also are well-aligned with C-REF’s mission, which is to support, enhance, and promote excellent educational opportunities that are innovative and supplemental to the school budget. 

As each project is launched, we’ll be updating the district website and social media platforms with more details!