SPARC Student Action Grants Reward Student Innovation & Leadership

DEADLINEFOR SPRINGAPPLICATIONSISFEB. 28

The Sun Prairie Action Resource Coalition (SPARC) is offering grants up to $500 to student groups that want to start or continue projects that find solutions for challenges impacting our community and/or schools.

Priority will be given to projects that address poverty and hunger, racial and social justice, the environment, public education advocacy, civic engagement, voter registration, and other service projects that benefit and build the Sun Prairie community.

Application forms are at https://tinyurl.com/SPARCStudentAction. The deadline is Feb. 28. Grants will be awarded by April 1.

All students in Sun Prairie Area School District grades 8-12 are eligible. Funds, for example, could be used to:
• Start a club or student organization that fills a need in your school,
• Bring in a speaker or hold a workshop on a topic that benefits students,
• Start a project that meets a need in the community,
• Hold a training that would help empower others,
• Find a solution to an existing problem (like starting a food pantry in the school).

Students need to get approval from a faculty advisor and submit the application to SunPrairieAction@gmail.com (or mail to Heather DuBois Bourenane at 681 Broadway Drive, Sun Prairie, WI 53590).

Grants cannot be used for partisan political projects or projects intended for personal financial gain. If the proposal is to start a new club or group, the group must have a designated faculty advisor and follow all Sun Prairie Area School District regulations for clubs. The advisor must sign the application. If the application is not associated with a new or existing club or student organization, the proposal should be signed by a faculty member willing to supervise the project.

Questions can be asked of Heather DuBois Bourenane at (608) 572-1696 or hlduboisbourenane@gmail.com. SPARC Local Action Fund is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supporting the Sun Prairie community. All projects must be in accordance with 501(c)(3) law and must support the community good.

Last year, Sun Prairie students were awarded $1,500 in SPARC Student Action Grants to find student solutions to community problems

The grants demonstrate the leadership potential of students and a remarkable ability to find micro-level solutions to community problems.

Three grants totaling $1,000 were awarded to Sun Prairie High School’s Black Student Union. Groups of students showed real initiative and creativity in their proposals, and SPARC decided to spread the awards across several projects to support their forward-thinking work.

The BSU Accountability Team, led by Mauriana Barksdale, was awarded $250 as seed money for fund a campaign to spread awareness of data revealing a “gap” between African American and white students within the high school. Students wrote that their “goal is to make students aware of this data, and hold mini conferences which are student led.

A grant of $250 was granted to Jada Kyles, who spearheaded a holiday giving project. Her idea to engage students in creating culturally-relevant gift baskets of food for families of need for the holidays impressed us in its double-impact as both a teaching tool and a way to give back.

Jada Kyles’ forward-thinking was also behind our third grant. SPARC awarded the maximum prize amount, $500, to fund a project that was immediately put into action by the Black Student Union team under her leadership: creating Care Packages for Teens, to help students who are homeless or simply in need of sanitary products.

The other grant, in the amount of $500, was awarded to Ariana Milner, Ryan Carter, Diamond Alexander, Elizabeth Sauk, and Steven Dohm, a group of students at Prairie Phoenix Academy/Main Street Community School to help get a “Food Flexibility” program off the ground. Students want to play a role in planning and coordinating afterschool classes to teach people how to prepare and cook healthy, high quality meals on a budget

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