Grant application sent!

…and now we play the waiting game. UPDATE: I just got word that we will find out next Monday if we’ve received the grant or not. These people work fast!

Here’s the final copy of all the questions and answers for the Greenheart Travel Grant that I just finished and sent off today! Everyone keep your fingers crossed!

Title of proposed community project: Erasing Shroma’s Chalkboards

Please describe the proposed project: The community of Shroma and I have put together this project to purchase 15 new whiteboards for their public school. This relatively low-cost change would have a large impact on the students’ abilities to learn.

This project has been divided into four parts. Each part has an overseeing committee that will ensure the completion of their goals.  This will allow many people to contribute in different ways. The committees are:

1. The Cost Analysis Committee: They will utilize their local contacts to locate high quality whiteboards in the surrounding cities, and locate low cost transportation to and from that city. They will also calculate the total cost of the project, which will include the proper disposal of the existing damaged chalkboards.

2. The Grant Application Committee: I will use the information provided by the Cost Analysis Committee to complete the application form. A local teacher will translate this information into the local language. The application will then be edited and/or approved by the rest of the Grant Application Committee and be submitted online to Greenheart Travel.

(Please note that the following two Committees will only be necessary if the Grant money is awarded)

3. The Logistical Committee: They will order and purchase the whiteboards from the vendor and coordinate the Transportation for a Saturday pickup/delivery. Transportation will be coordinated to drop off the old chalkboards in a proper disposal area. This Committee will oversee the Installation Committees actions, during the removal of the old chalkboards and the installation of the new whiteboards.

4. The Installation Committee: They will be responsible for loading and unloading the new boards and manually removing the old chalkboards.  Locating and securing the tools need to hang the boards. They will install the new whiteboards according to the Logistical Committee’s plans.

During the weekend installation, I will give all the teachers an orientation on how to best care for the new whiteboards and the importance of keeping all markers out of the students reach to ensure the integrity of the boards.

It has been agreed that the instillation of this project must take place during a weekend so that the students’ classes will not be affected. Once this project is completed our first two objectives will be fulfilled. Our third objective will be proven over time as teachers and students begin to take more pride in their school, their education, and their futures. I am positive that this small change will make this possible.

Please describe the objectives of this project: The objectives of this project is three-fold and are as follows:

The first objective of this project is to improve the student’s abilities to learn from and understand their teachers by replacing their current illegible chalkboards with large new whiteboards.

The second objective of this project is to exercise the abilities and community connections of the teachers through the entire application and instillation process of this grant.

The third objective of this project is to set a higher expectation of professionalism and pride in education for both the students and teachers by bringing higher quality resources to the school.

How has the community been a part of determining the need for this proposed project? What will be the community’s role in executing the project?  When I brought the idea of applying for a grant to the community and teachers of Shroma, I asked them what they thought their school needed the most. It was unanimous that the current chalkboards create the largest challenge for teaching and learning in the classroom.  Everyone in the room volunteered to be on a Committee, I have only provided 10 (as requested) for this application.

As we researched local business and the options in the larger cities nearby for chalkboards, it became clear that this would not be possible. Chalkboards just are not made or sold in this area. We did however find whiteboards, and after a large community discussion, it was agreed that whiteboards would be a better option. After this, the Cost Analysis Committee set out to find all the information needed to apply for the grant and passed it on to the Grant Application Committee.

The entirety of this project has been and will continue to be executed by the community of Shroma. The writing of this grant has been translated and approved by the community members. (For a more detailed explanation of the committee roles, please see the description of the proposed project.)

The community and teachers of Shroma are capable, willing, and excited to carry out these plans to bring new resources to the school. Proof of this is how many people have already donated their time and local contacts to obtain the needed information to apply for this grant, even before any money has been guaranteed or awarded. There are also many others who have pledged to take action once the grant money does arrive. The people of Shroma take pride in the education in their village.  This project is multi generational and will impact the community as a whole.  Every community member has voiced strong interest and dedication to this project.

How many people will participate in this project? 30

Approximately how many people will benefit from this project? 400+ (Currently, there are 384 students enrolled and attending the school in Shroma. But, the actual number of children this project will positively impact is incalculable.)

How will the project be maintained and continue after you leave? If there are any usable old chalkboards, they will be moved to the private music rooms and recycled. All of the unusable chalkboards will be loaded into a truck and driven to Ozurgeti (the nearby town) and properly discarded. I will give the teachers an orientation on how to care for the boards and the importance of keeping their markers out of the students reach. And of course, when the school is not in session, all doors are locked which will also protect the whiteboards. With these efforts combined, the whiteboards will last longer.

Please describe what other local support you will receive to help sustain the project such as a partnering organization or local officials. There will be no need for other local support to sustain the project once it is complete. During the first two Committee phases we did reach out to Marina Goguadze (the Guria regional representative from the organization called Teach and Learn with Georgia) for help locating businesses that sell whiteboards in the larger cities.

Please give us a detailed timeline of the project. 

Action Plan:

Cost Analysis Committee Will: (DUE DATE: OCTOBER 8th)

  1. Count how many whiteboards are needed. (1 hour)
  2. Find a seller of whiteboards in Batumi. (2 days)
  3. Calculate the total cost, including tax and petrol. (3 days)

Grant Application Committee Will: (DUE DATE: OCTOBER 14th)

  1. Draft the grant application.
  2. Translate grant application into the local language. (1 day)
  3. Gather committee approval of grant application (2 hours)
  4. Send grant application online (1 hour)

When Grant Moneys are Awarded:

Logistical  Committee Will: (Total Time to complete: 8-14 days)

  1. Order and purchase the whiteboards. (estimated 1 week for bulk orders to arrive at store)
  2. On a Saturday, we will drive to Batumi and pick up whiteboards, return to Shroma. (6 hours)
  3. Committee members will coordinate the preparation of the classrooms for arrival. (3 hours)
  4. On Sunday, they will coordinate where each whiteboard will be installed. (4 hours)

Instillation Committee Will: (Total Time to Complete: 2 weekend days +)

  1. On a Saturday, Current classroom chalkboards will be taken down and recycled and desks and chairs moved aside in preparation for the arrival. (3 hours)
  2. On Sunday, the new whiteboards will be unloaded from van and installed in classrooms according to the Logistical Committee’s plan. (4 hours)
  3. Any usable old chalkboards found will be installed in the private music rooms. (2 hours)
  4. Any unusable old chalkboards will be driven to Ozurgeti (the nearby town) and properly discarded. (4 hours)

Whiteboard Orientation and Care: (Total Time to Complete: 30 Minutes )

  1. On Saturday, I will give all teachers an orientation of how to best care for the whiteboards. The co-teacher will translate. (30 minutes)

What is the total amount of money you are requesting for this project?  $1551.00 USD/2,590 GEL

Please list how the funds will be allocated. (Please note that the entire instillation of the whiteboards will be done by volunteer community members and teachers who will not be paid.)

  • $1527.00 USD (2,550 GEL) will purchase 15 Whiteboards. ($102.00 USD/170 GEL – Each) Please note that the tax is included in the cost of the whiteboards.
  • $18.00 USD (30 GEL) will purchase Petrol to travel to and from Batumi to pick up the whiteboards. Please note that a community member has volunteered their van and is not charging for the use of the van other than petrol.
  • $6.00 USD (10 GEL) will purchase Petrol to travel to and from Ozurgeti to properly discard all the old chalkboards. Please note that a community member has volunteered their van and is not charging for the use of the van other than petrol.

Will the community be contributing any supplies or labor to the project? YES

Please include any additional information you have regarding the proposed project.  I believe this relatively low-cost change would have the largest affect on the students’ abilities to learn.  The country Georgia, as a whole, has set out to improve their education system. However, any improvements in the quality and consistency of the education are lost when the teacher cannot easily convey their knowledge to the students.

New and better infrastructure is necessary, but can be very costly. However, the cost to purchase whiteboards is not. Currently, the school of Shroma only has illegible old chalkboards. As a volunteer teacher, I’ve had first hand experience with them and when I try to write with chalk, I cannot read what I have written because the quality and condition are so poor.

With the money from this grant, we can give these students the most essential tool needed for learning and success….a whiteboard in every classroom, and teachers who are ready to get into the classroom and teach more effectively and with more enthusiasm. Once this happens, every school day has the potential for something great to be discovered!

Please obtain at least 10 community members support of this project. 

  1. Nino Mjavanadze – Cost Analysis Committee
  2. Tamuna Kereselidze – Grant Application Committee / Translator
  3. Nana Samkharadze – Grant Application Committee
  4. Nino Chkhaidze – Grant Application Committee
  5. Rusudan Tsetskhladze – Logistical Committee
  6. Rusudan Bakanidze – Logistical Committee
  7. Matkhvala Nakaidze – Logistical Committee
  8. Akaki Karchava – Installation Committee
  9. Valeri Keburia – Installation Committee
  10. Dato Bolkvadze- Installation Committee
  11. Tengo Lomadze – Community Driver to and from Batumi
  12. Marina Goguadze – TLG Guria Regional Representative

 

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