Thursday, August 20, 2009

Helping Johnny Walk to School: Sustaining Communities through Smart Policies Request for Proposal (Round 2)

Driven by concerns about the abandonment of older neighborhood schools and the siting of new schools outside of communities, the National Trust is offering a 12-month program to help organizations secure community-centered schools through implementation of state-level policies and practices. Through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Trust will select organizations in up to three states to receive a year of technical assistance and a $6,000 grant to: 1) research state policies and practices; 2) convene stakeholders to develop recommendations; 3) develop educational materials; and 4) publicly share policy findings. By participating in this program, organizations will help localities within their state site their schools in a way that not only achieves their educational objectives, but also anchors the local neighborhood, supports better public health, creates a cleaner environment, spurs economic development, and offers additional amenities to the community. Applications are due by September 16, 2009.

This is the second round of grants; in 2008, we provided six sub-grants to organizations in California, Illinois, New Hampshire, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina.

Through this grant and with help from the project’s Advisory Committee, the National Trust will provide grantees with the following technical assistance:

  • up-to-date research on issues affecting community-centered schools;
  • access to a network of policy experts and peer mentors;
  • help with placing state policy and practices in a national context; and
  • an in-state visit to your state by a policy expert or peer mentor to provide examples from other states and/or speak to a convening of stakeholders.

This program will help a nonprofit organization or coalition working on school policies, leverage their existing resources to:

  • research and summarize state policies and practices that impact school siting decisions;
  • create a network of interested stakeholders across the state;
  • develop policy recommendations;
  • develop a public information campaign to increase visibility of the issue statewide; and
  • ensure state-level policies and practices encourage community-centered schools.

FINANCIAL COMMITMENT: Each grantee will receive 12 months (October 2009 – October 2010) of technical assistance and a $6,000 grant to help encourage community-centered schools through state-level policies and practices. Selected grantees will be required to:

  • provide an in-kind match to cover costs of convening stakeholders (e.g., space rental, audio-visual equipment, catering, photo-copying, etc.);
  • provide one-night of lodging for a mentoring visit by a policy expert or peer mentor (if such guidance is requested by sub-grantee, the National Trust will cover travel costs); and
  • print and distribute educational materials (e.g., policy briefs, Fact Sheets, etc.).

This project is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the conditions of which will be passed down to the successful grantee. Organizations unable or unwilling to comply with the standard conditions outlined in CFR40 Part 30, should not reply.

GRANTEE SELECTION PROCESS: To apply, organizations should submit the application form with supporting materials by September 16, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. eastern time.

For more information about this issue and details about applying for this new grant opportunity, visit
or contact Renee Viers Kuhlman, Director of Special Projects, Center for State and Local Policy, at Phone: 202-588-6234, e-mail:

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