Grants Fund Strategies To Mitigate Risk For Urban Areas Vulnerable To Raging Wildfires

At first, he heard the screams on the other end of the line. Then the phone went dead as Donald Kewley watched the flames draw nearer to his neighbor’s home. The next day, Kewley learned that the two young children and their grandmother, all of whom he tried to warn of the encroaching fire the night before, did not get out of their home in Redding alive.

The latest wildfire to rage across Northern California has killed at least eight people including two fire firefighters, destroyed some 1,000 homes and buildings, and scorched more than 260,000 acres in just a few days. Many more homes in the area are threatened.

That should not come as a surprise. Studies suggest that more Americans are choosing to live in areas prone to devastating wildfires. Some 43 million homes are in what scientists call the “wildland-urban interface", where residential homes are built on wildland vegetation, such as trees and shrubs.

Fire experts and climatologists says the current fire, which began in a rural community before roaring through the neighborhoods of Redding — a city of some 92,000 residents about 250 miles north of San Francisco – proves how vulnerable urban areas are to wildfires.

Hotter weather is drying out vegetation, creating intense fires that spread quickly from rural areas to city subdivisions, where wildland-urban interface has put these communities in destruction’s path. In just the past year, fires have devastated neighborhoods in the Northern California wine country city of Santa Rosa and the Southern California beach city of Ventura.

That’s enough of a reminder to prompt city leaders to call for more funding from the state legislature that would enable firefighters to respond more quickly to areas where conditions are ripe for a fast-moving blaze to start.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, said funds are available to assist these interface communities mitigate the unique risks they face from wildfires. GrantWatch.com posts these funding opportunities aimed at reducing hazardous fuel, and providing information and education, assessment and planning, and monitoring through community and landowner action.

While these grants fund strategies from the National Wildfire Plan to manage risk, on another front, lawmakers are debating who should pay for the billions of dollars in damage. Disaster relief is available through the Federal Emergency Management Agency for individuals and public organizations.

For individuals, the maximum FEMA grant is $32,000. That money can be used to repair or replace a damaged or destroyed home, vehicle or other property as well as cover costs for short-term living expenses. The catch is that FEMA grants can only be applied toward an expense not already covered by another government agency or insurance.

The “Carr Fire,” the most formidable of 17 blazes currently raging in California and among 94 across the United States from Texas to Alaska, was started by a spark from a malfunctioning vehicle at the intersection of iconic Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road in Redding. Officials say the blaze is already one of the 10 most destructive fires in California history. Last year, wildfires in California killed 44 people, burned more than 500,000 acres and cost the state some $9 billion in insurance claims.

Meanwhile, firefighters struggle to contain the active blazes across the nation as concern spreads all over the world for the victims left in the wake of these ravaging infernos. So far, citizens from 50 states and 18 countries have dug deep into their pockets to make donations to crowdfunding campaigns that support California residents affected by the Carr Fire.

YouHelp.com, a free crowdfunding website, where money raised for causes goes directly and immediately to the people who need help. Organizers who launch a crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp must provide detailed information about where the funds will go and how they will be spent.

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch.com

Literacy Grant Helps Nonprofit Break Down Prison Walls to Little Readers in Georgia

Every three months, Ann Van Pelt sits down in front of a video camera to read a story to her 10-year-old daughter. Van Pelt is serving a drug-related sentence at the Probation Detention Center, in Zebulon, Ga., and the Little Readers program is one of the few ways she connects to her “princess” while incarcerated.

HeartBound Ministries, which coordinates the literacy program, will continue to bridge the gap that separates incarcerated parents and their children through a $50,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation. The grant, under the foundation's "A Community Thrives" initiative," was one of 12 awarded to nonprofit organizations that aim to improve communities with projects centered around wellness, education, or arts and culture.

Andrea Sheldon, president of HeartBound Ministries, said, she “started crying” and “broke out in chill bumps” when she learned that the Georgia-based nonprofit had received a grant to continue to ensure time in prison is well-served.

But, the good news should not stop there. Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, said thousands of dollars are available to nonprofits across the nation to help empower local communities. GrantWatch posts these funding opportunities including grants that address adult or childhood literacy.

About 75,000 children in Georgia have a parent in prison. Those children who experience paternal incarceration between ages 1 and 5 are more likely to be retained in grades K – 3. At least 38 correctional facilities in Georgia have participated in the Little Readers program and book club, reaching more than 4,650 children and 2,400 inmates.

Parents like Van Pelt who participate in the Little Readers program can pick out a shirt to wear, which allows them to feel and appear more comfortable before their children on video. Children, on the other hand, receive not only the DVD, but also a copy of the book being read, a personalized bookmark, literary resources, and other valuable tools to help them connect with their loved one.

Van Pelt, who has been away from her daughter for seven months, said the volunteer efforts of the program has strengthened her faith in humanity.

“To think that people set aside time to help me have a bond with my daughter,” she said. “is just amazing.”

Nonprofits, educators, small businesses, and concerned citizens frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants that promote literacy and boost reading and writing skills can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.comSign-up to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter which features geographic-specific funding opportunities.

  

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About the Author: Staff Writer at GrantWatch.com

Domino’s Pizza Grants Go Heavy on Asphalt To Repair U.S. Roadways, One Pothole At A Time

The world’s largest pizza company has come up with a new initiative that might seem anything but cheesy to municipalities across the United States.

Domino’s is offering grants to towns to help fill their “cracks, bumps and potholes” and make their roadways smoother. The Michigan-based pizza maker said the program was started to protect carryout orders from roads that are in poor condition and in need of repairs. Grants for roads can be found here.

“We can’t stand by and let your cheese slide to one side, your toppings get untopped or your boxes get flipped,” the initiative, dubbed “Paving for Pizza,” boasts. “So, we’re helping to pave towns across the country to save your pizza from these bad roads.”

Domino’s “Paving for Pizza” grants have already been awarded to Bartonville, Texas; Milford, Dela.; Athens, Ga.; and Burbank, Calif. In Milford, City Manager Eric Norenberg said Dominos grants helped fix 40 potholes in 10 hours. Other towns will be considered for grants based on customer nominations.

Potholes cause millions of dollars in vehicle damage, a large portion of highway deaths and ongoing headaches for motorists and municipalities. But, a good portion of the nation’s major roadways are beyond potholes. They are in such poor condition that many sections of interstates, freeways and major arterial roadways need to be completely rebuilt.

Domino’s is not the first fast food chain to attempt this approach. In 2009, Kentucky Fried Chicken selected five American towns to receive between $3,000 and $5,000 to fix potholes.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, said millions of dollars in grants are available for projects that address the nation’s crumbling infrastructure. But, according to the American Society of Civil Engineers, the U.S. would need to spend $4.5 trillion by 2025 to fix its ailing infrastructure; $2 trillion of that is for roads and streets alone.

The Trump administration has promised nearly $1.5 billion in grants to help rebuild highways, bridges and railroads around the country. However, those proposals are likely to be delayed until after the midterm elections.

In the meantime, Domino's is determined to save a pizza, one pothole at a time.

Municipalities, nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs and concerned citizens frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants to support civic initiatives including infrastructure projects can identify infrastructure grants that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.com. Sign-up to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter which features geographic-specific funding opportunities.

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch.com

You Name It: Federal Grants Fund Recovery Efforts From Costly Hurricane Season

Just as Hurricane Beryl was downgraded to a tropical storm over the weekend, here comes Chris. The third named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season formed off the coast of North Carolina on Sunday, and forecasters warned beach goers of potentially dangerous surf in the days ahead.

From Debby and Nadine to Michael and William, weather experts have already dropped names on this year’s potential storm threats if, and when, they ever form off the Atlantic coast. The first named storm of the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season, subtropical storm Alberto, failed to reach hurricane status.

When a community is ravaged by disaster, turn to GrantWatch for long-term grants and YouHelp for immediate funds.

Even though new storm-warning technology has decreased the average error in forecasting models, Alberto still led to several fatalities and an estimated $50 million in damage, primarily in Florida, Mississippi and Alabama. As these states take a collective deep breath, vast swarths of the country continue to focus on efforts to recover from $202.6 billion in damage levied by last year’s hurricane season, the most expensive ever.

In the aftermath, Congress passed several pieces of legislation to provide disaster relief to U.S. states and territories affected by such a devastating season. In September, President Trump signed another $15.25 billion aid package and later committed an additional $36.5 million in relief.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, said identifying federally funded grants and disaster relief programs does not have to be arduous. GrantWatch features an ongoing list of grants that local municipalities and government agencies, small business owners and U.S. citizens can pursue to rebuild homes, repair buildings and restore infrastructure left in the wake of natural disasters.

 

        IS YOUR NAME ON THE LIST?

Hurricane Names for 2018

Hurricane recovery continues long after headlines disappear. Texas, hit hardest by Hurricane Harvey last August, learned only last week that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will dispense $5 billion in federal housing grants to help state residents recover. Some $2.3 billion will be directed to Houston and Harris County — the area most affected — while the remaining $2.7 billion will fund land office programs to aid other parts of Texas devastated by the storm 10 months ago.

The largest portion of the grant — just more than $1 billion — will help homeowners with rehabilitation and reconstruction. Another $100 million will reimburse homeowners for up to $50,000 of repairs. The grant also includes $275 million for homeowners to sell their homes to the government.

Although researchers continue to debate whether there will be more or fewer hurricanes this season and thereafter, most believe future storms will be stronger. Hurricanes in the next few years are also expected to be wetter and slower-moving over whatever areas they hit. If these conclusions hold true, communities hit by hurricanes will be at greater risk for coastal flooding.

Municipalities, local government agencies, small businesses, nonprofits, community-based groups, and citizens frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants that provide relief from natural disasters including hurricanes can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.comSign-up to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter which features geographic-specific funding opportunities.

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch.com

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The Book on Narcan: Grants Train Librarians — Unlikely First-Responders — in War on Opioids

What sounded like snoring led security guards at the Penrose Library in Colorado Springs to a stall in the men’s restroom, where a spoon, lighter and needle left on the floor told them something was wrong. Sure enough, the snoring was instead the dangerously shallow breathing from a man who had overdosed. Not after one, but two doses of Narcan, the officers were able to revive the man and bring him back to life.

Narcan is the prescription name for naloxone, an emergency medication that when sprayed directly into the nostrils offsets an opioid overdose and removes the victim from the brink of death. At the beginning of this year, the Pike Peak Library District serving El Paso County, Colorado, began training security staff to administer Narcan. But that’s not all. Through a grant from Aspen Pointe, a Colorado Springs nonprofit that offers mental health, counseling services and treatment, library officials purchased 48 doses of the drug.  

Library systems, in other cities ranging from Philadelphia to San Francisco, have also begun stocking and training staff to administer Narcan. The nasal spray is just a temporary fix for the addict, but a response that an increasing number of unlikely groups across the United States are being asked to make. But, establishing intervention programs to identify and rescue addicts who have overdosed in Colorado or providing access to treatment and education in other parts of the country requires money.

The good news is the justice department set aside almost $59 million in grants last year for programs across the nation to address the opioid crisis. The task continues to challenge both nonprofits and for-profits alike. More than 63,600 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2016. Most of those deaths involved opioids.

Grants, at least, have proved to be a heathy start. Officials in North Carolina claim more than 5,000 people — almost four times the number they expected – have been helped by a federal grant to tackle the opioid crisis that grips their state and the nation.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch, said state and federal agencies are targeting programs that will enable law enforcement, firefighters. first-responders, medical practitioners and nonprofit groups to react in the event of an opioid emergency. Policymakers believe putting the overdose antidote in the hands of public safety personnel and others will save lives. These support programs and other funding opportunities to increase public awareness about the pitfalls of opioid and substance abuse are posted on GrantWatch. 

Some programs that have already secured funding are touting success. Following a rapid five-year climb in the number of fatalities, outfitting first responders throughout Massachusetts with Narcan is credited with decreasing the number of opioid-related deaths in the state in 2017.The Springfield Fire Department, which serves the largest city in western Massachusetts, paid for an initial $2,000 supply of the opioid antidote through a grant program.

U.S. Surgeon Gen. Jerome Adams wants even more people to carry naloxone, but some health advocates believe the recommendation carries little weight due to the drug’s high price tag. Generic naloxone costs $20 to $40 per dose. Narcan, the nasal spray, costs $125 for a two-dose carton, according to ADAPT Pharma, the company that manufactures the drug.

That’s why lawmakers are directing more grants to not only pay for the life-saving drug, but prevention and treatment initiatives as well. And many of those efforts begin by training non-traditional first-responders how to administer Narcan.

With the help of two grants totaling more than $4 million from the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Lisa Cleveland, an assistant professor at UT Health San Antonio School of Nursing, has organized training sessions that have taught about 80 police officers and medical practitioners how to dispense Narcan. A second round of training is planned for later this year to verse participants including the families and friends of abusers, whom otherwise would not be considered potential life-savers but now find themselves on the front-lines.

Allies, including Chera Kowalski, have already come under fire. But, Kowalski isn’t a paramedic. She’s just a librarian at the Free Library of Philadelphia. The branch is situated in a small park — nicknamed Needle Park for the addicts who routinely inject drugs there. In 2017 alone, Kowalski saved six lives, each after administering Narcan. Kowalski hasn’t been called into a life-saving role since, but, because of her advocacy and inspiration, her library has stepped up Narcan training for staff and has hosted education sessions for the public.

Nonprofits, small businesses, entrepreneurs and concerned citizens frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants to curb substance abuse can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.com. Sign-up to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter which features geographic-specific funding opportunities.

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch

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Badge of Honor: Jacksonville Nonprofit Awarded Grant from National Endowment for Arts

School was out, but fifth-grader Maia Thaxton was sticking around to practice for an upcoming production of the “Wiz.” She and other students at John E. Ford Montessori School take part in a twice-weekly program that connects them to the visual and performing arts through the Cathedral Arts Project in Jacksonville.

At a time when nonprofits in Florida are competing for what some are calling the worst state funding for the arts in years, Cathedral Arts Project will receive a $100,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. CAP will apply the money to administer and publish a survey, analysis and report about arts on the First Coast (a region of the U.S. state of Florida, located on the Atlantic coast of North Florida).

The program will be carried out through Any Given Child Jacksonville, an advocacy arm of CAP, a nonprofit provider of ongoing instruction in the visual and performing arts for elementary and middle school students in Duval County.

More than $80 million was approved to be disbursed through 1,071 grants as part of the NEA’s second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Projects receiving support in this latest round of funding range from a classical guitar education program for elementary students in Missouri to a printmaking residency for Native American artists in Oregon.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com said a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts provides a badge of honor that organizations can utilize to reach out to additional donors for funds. She said an NEA grant can also unlock matching grants from state and local agencies.

The NEA, which has been repeatedly targeted for cuts in funding, in February announced an initial $25 million in grants aimed at providing jobs to artists, administrators and other creative workers and creating arts experiences for millions of people. Additional awards will be made in the coming months. These NEA funding opportunities as well as others grants in support of the arts from government agencies, corporations, foundations, and local nonprofits can be identified on GrantWatch.  

Cathedral Arts Project CEO Kimberly Hyatt said a cut in state funds will affect the number of after-school programs that her nonprofit can offer and, as a result, how many students can be served. Cultural and arts grants from the state can be as high as $500,000 for buildings like museums and symphony halls. But, recently approved state funds for CAP are less than a quarter of last year’s figure. Though initially recommended for the maximum program grant — $150,000 — Cathedral Arts Project will receive less than $10,000 toward its overall $2 million budget.

Nonprofits, public and private foundations, small businesses and entrepreneurs frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants for the arts and cultural programs can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.com. Sign-up here to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter which features geographic-specific funding opportunities.

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch

National Small Business Week 2018

Each year since 1963, the president has issued a proclamation calling for the celebration of National Small Business Week.  The dates for National Small Business Week this year are the dates April 29 – May 5. 

Free virtual presentations by Google, Constant Contact, Visa, Chase for Business and Square are being offered this week.  Whether you are a nonprofit or for-profit you should sign up for each conference below to enhance your business sense and gain insights from industry leaders.

While the SBA doe snot give grants, except for limited research and development and exporting, they are a valuable business resource that complements your grant search on MWBEzone.com.

 

National Small Business Week First-Ever Virtual Conference

Conference will feature webinars, mentoring sessions and business resources

WASHINGTON – As part of National Small Business Week, April 29 – May 5, the U.S. Small Business Administration and SCORE, mentors to America’s small businesses, will host the first- ever National Small Business Week Virtual Conference. The conference will include educational webinars, mentoring sessions and business resources. National Small Business Week cosponsors Visa, Chase for Business, Constant Contact, Google and Square will host webinars. The webinars are free of charge, but registration is required.

 

NSBW 2018 – Virtual Conference Schedule:

1.      How Changing Consumer Behavior Impacts Your Business 

Presented by Google
May 1, 2018
1-2 p.m. EDT

Technology allows you to understand consumer behavior better than ever. Join this webinar to learn how these insights can help shape your digital marketing plan, and what you can do to position your business for success.

Register here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/virtual-conference 

 

2.      Get New and Repeat Business on Autopilot with Email Marketing 

Presented by Constant Contact
May 1, 2018
4-5 p.m. EDT

Your business thrives on bringing in sales from new and existing customers. Wouldn’t it be great if you could bring in those sales more frequently without having to spend a lot of time doing so? In this webinar by Constant Contact, we’ll show you some simple ways to repeatedly reach customers with email marketing.

Register here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/virtual-conference 

 

3.      The U.S. Economic Outlook and Its Impact on Small Businesses

Presented by Visa
May 2, 2018
1-2 p.m. EDT

Join Visa’s Senior U.S. Economist Jay Hawkins as he shares the near-term outlook for the U.S. economy including the health of consumer spending, housing prices, and more. You’ll learn how consumer spending preferences are changing, what stock market growth and volatility mean for consumer spending, and what all of this means for small businesses.

Register here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/virtual-conference 

 

4.     Grow Your Business in 2018

Presented by Square
May 2, 2018
4-5 p.m. EDT

Join this webinar by Square to learn how to use small business technology tools to streamline your work and give you back valuable time

Register here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/virtual-conference 

 

5.      Hug Your Haters: How to Embrace Complaints & Keep Your Customers

Presented by Chase for Business
May 3, 2018
1-2 p.m. EDT

In this webinar sponsored by Chase, Jay Baer, founder of Convince & Convert, reveals brand-new, proprietary research into why and where your customers complain, and why the rise of customer complaints is actually an enormous opportunity.

Register here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/virtual-conference 

 

6.      Sharing Your Story Through Video

Presented by Google
May 3, 2018
2:30-3:30 p.m. EDT

Today’s consumers can watch video content whenever and wherever they want. This creates an opportunity for businesses to reimagine the role of video content in their marketing strategy. Join this webinar to learn best practices for connecting with consumers through online video.

Register here: https://www.sba.gov/national-small-business-week/virtual-conference 

 

Additional National Small Business Week cosponsors Lockheed Martin, National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), UPS Store, Raytheon, Verizon, DexYP/Thryv, Salesforce, Facebook, Main Street Hub and Comcast Business will host booths during the Virtual Conference.

For-profit entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses, particularly minority and women-owned, frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at MWBEzone.com. When you subscribe to either MWBEzone.com or GrantWatch.com, you are given access to both websites.

 

About the Author: For additional information on National Small Business Week, please visit http://www.sba.gov/nsbw.
The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the

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www.sba.gov/nsbw

Veterans Assistance Grants Help to Reduce Homelessness among Military Service Members

Indebted Americans recognize one homeless veteran is too much. But, thanks, in part, to grants that support veterans assistance, from both government, corporate and private foundations, the number of homeless veterans has been cut in half this decade.

Homelessness is just one of the problems veterans confront. Mental health issues and physical disabilities also plague many veterans who lack resources to find civilian jobs. The National Alliance on Mental Illness found one in four active duty service members to have experienced some form of issue with mental health. This startling high statistic may be connected to a suicide rate that is significantly higher than those for civilians, especially among female veterans.

Veteran Assistance Grants are designed to reintegrate military service members into civilian life. The Colorado Division Of Veteran Affairs offers grants to Colorado nonprofits for programs that involve “mental health services, job training, family counseling, housing for homeless veterans, employment assistance, and other forms of assistance.”

This grant — listed on GrantWatch.com — helps to improve quality of life and well-being through programs that foster self-sufficiency and economic development, increase access to healthcare, housing and supportive services, increased food security and enhanced relationships.

Entrepreneurs, nonprofits, public and private foundations, and small businesses frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants that support veterans, can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.com

Sign-up here to receive the weekly GrantWatch newsletter, which lists geographic-specific funding opportunities.

 

 

 

About the Author: A graduate of SUNY Albany, Lianne Hikind is a staff writer for GrantWatch.com.

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[1] https://www.va.gov/HOMELESS/pit_count.asp

Wake-Up Call: DOJ Grants Address Campus Sexual Assault, Dating Violence, Stalking

The wake-up call is ringing throughout higher education and particularly loud and clear at the University of Hawaii, where educators are digesting the results of a survey that delved into sexual harassment and gender-based violence both on and off campus.

The survey, which comes at a time of heightening awareness across the nation, found that 22 percent of the female students at the University of Hawaii have experienced dating or domestic violence, and about 12 percent have been sexually harassed or stalked during their time at the school. Another 8.5 percent of the female students said they'd experienced nonconsensual sexual contact. 

Of immediate concern to university leaders is that only 27 percent of the students questioned, knew how to report an incident if they became a victim.

Increased awareness will help. So, too, would money. The survey, one of the first known nationally of college students to explore intimate partner violence, cost about $175,000 to conduct.

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, said the Office of Violence against Women in the Department of Justice sponsors grants to support efforts to create or revitalize campus responses to sexual misconduct. On GrantWatch you can find these grants and many others, when available under the grants for higher education category.

DOJ recently awarded a $300,000 grant to Sacred Heart University. The grant couldn’t have come at a more appropriate time. In 2016, four rapes were reported on campus according to the Annual Campus Crime & Fire Safety Report issued to the federal government. Sacred Heart will use the grant money to enhance victim services, implement prevention and education programs and develop and strengthen campus security and investigation strategies.

James Mohr, the vice chancellor of student affairs at Washington State University, said the Spokane campus will apply the $300,000 DOJ grant to reach out to students to let them know there are programs to assist them. The money marks the third successful grant awarded to Washington State to enhance programs for victims of domestic or dating violence or stalking.

Meanwhile, the University of Hawaii system waits for the results of a 2014 audit by the Civil Rights Office in the U.S. Department of Education, which is looking into Title IX compliance. The federal law prohibits sex discrimination in education.

 

About the Author: Staff Writer for GrantWatch.com

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In Parkland Shootings Aftermath, Lawmakers Propose Grants to Fund School Safety Initiatives

There was something about him that troubled more than a few fellow classmates and led police to the Southside High School cafeteria, where they discovered the 18-year-old student armed with a .22 caliber Ruger semiautomatic. Inside a duffel bag beside him, Elmira Police found 14 pipe bombs, three carbon dioxide cartridge bombs filled with gunpowder, one propane bomb and a sawed-off shotgun with several rounds of pellets.

All 1,200 students were evacuated, and no one was hurt before police apprehended Jeremy Getman on Valentine’s Day 2001, exactly 17 years prior to the date a gunman opened fire at Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, leaving 17 dead and the living to ask why. 

Sadly, threats of violence at school have become somewhat a sign of the times. On average, 50 threats are reported each day in the United States. That’s compared to 10 per day at the end of 2017. And while some of these incidents no longer generate national headlines, they do continue to pressure legislators, educators and law enforcement to develop sound prevention initiatives that can thwart future attacks. Whatever those ideas are, they will likely require a financial commitment to realize.

The good news is that even though politicians are divided about gun control measures, the government is offering grants to support research that will help schools throughout the nation improve safety and respond more effectively to potentially violent incidents. Grants to USA Nonprofits, For-Profits, IHEs, Agencies, and Individuals for Research on School Violence

Most schools have already taken steps to curb violence since the Columbine massacre in 1989, but they have done it without federal funding or oversight. Now, in the aftermath of the Parkland shootings and with debate at a highpoint, lawmakers want to encourage schools to do more to safeguard classrooms with training, reporting and crisis intervention.

Introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) the Students, Teachers and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Act, if approved, will fund for four initiatives:

  • — Training programs to prevent violence and identify warning signs for school staff, students and law-enforcement.
  • — Technology and equipment to improve school security and infrastructure, such as reinforced entryways and locks on classroom doors, and the development of anonymous reporting systems, like the Safe Utah smartphone app.
  • — School-threat assessment and crisis intervention programs including mental health responses.
  • — Local law enforcement and school police officers.

The House has already introduced its version of the STOP School Violence ACT to fund safety initiatives. The bill is backed by Florida congressman representing Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL), as well as Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL) and others.

Their legislation would fund a grant program to train students, teachers, school officials, and local law enforcement on how to identify and intervene early when signs of violence arise. The measure also creates an anonymous tip line to report potentially dangerous people.

Lawmakers believe the schools safety initiative is a start, even if the legislation does nothing to address gun control. Researchers have watched money to study gun violence run dry since 1996, when Congress blocked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from allocating funds for firearms injury prevention. Although not a ban on federally funded investigations, some researchers believe the move has had a “chilling effect on studies that has lasted more than two decades."

Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch.com, acknowledged limited funding devoted to gun control research, but said schools can still begin to develop heightened safety programs based on grants that are available to look at mental health and conflict resolution in at-risk youth.   

Nonprofits, public and private foundations, small businesses and entrepreneurs frustrated by the often-overwhelming process involved with searching for grants can identify funding opportunities that are easy to read and simple to comprehend at GrantWatch.com. Sign-up here so you too can receive the GrantWatch weekly grants newsletter prepared specifically for your organization's location.

About the Author: Staff Writer at GrantWatch.com

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