Monday, September 13, 2010

So What's This Pepsi Refresh Grant Thing, Anyway?

What is Pepsi's "Refresh Everything" Project?

Pepsi is giving away 1.3 million dollars a month to organizations dedicated to doing good in their communities and across the country. Each month, up to 1000 applications are accepted starting at midnight (and for the October voting period, ending by 12:03am!) for different categories - Health, Arts and Culture, Food and Shelter, The Planet, Neighborhoods, and Education. Organizations can enter for 4 different levels of funding - $5,000, $25,000, $50,000, and $250,000.

Each month, Pepsi awards:
10 - $5000 grants
10 - $25,000 grants
10 - $50,000 grants
2 - $250,000 grants

The Center is in the running for a $50,000 grant from the Pepsi Refresh Project.

Who Determines the Winners?
You do! Well, you and everyone else in American with access to a computer or texting-enabled cell phone and a desire to help local organizations continue to help others! We will post voting information as soon as it becomes available to us. Voting will open at 6am on Oct. 1 for our voting period, and end at midnight on Oct. 31. Even if we don't win, the top 100 non-winners roll over to the next month and be eligible for voting again.

Please pass along the link to our event -!/event.php?eid=126695560713759&ref=mf - and our group - - on facebook to EVERYONE you know! Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, tell your friends' neighbors, and your neighbors' friends! We will need ALL the votes we can get to win!

What Happens if we Win?
If we win, we will be able to finance a number of improvements to The Center

*New Study Area
If we win, we will be renovating a room upstairs, away from the noise and distractions of The Center, where students who are riding the activity bus home, going to journey or lightforce, need a little extra help, or just want to get their homework done can do their work. Use of this area will not be madatory, though it will be heavily encouraged.

(Future quiet study area)

We estimate this room will require a little under half of our grant funding to renovate - we need to re-do the drop ceiling and insulate the room so it will be warmer in the winter, as well as adding heating and lighting. We also would like to put down some nice carpeting and add some comfortable workplaces for students as well as some couches and chairs for a quiet free-reading area.

If we win, the study area will also become the home of 10 new internet-ready computers with SAT/ACT prep software, language software, and other eduational software. We would also use some of the grant funds to upgrade our internet to support a 20-computer network.

Another addition to the study area, would be several bookshelves of age-appropriate, recent, young adult reading material. Many of our books in the downstairs area are outdated or are geared towards younger teens and children. Grant funds would be able to be used to fund a small library area where students would be able to enjoy free-reading.

*New Bathroom
Grant funds would also be used to renovate our old bathroom, which is currently closed off to students. This bathroom would be upgraded to be handicap accessible, and would get new flooring, a new paint job, and various other small projects that need to be completed.

*Additional Funding for Summer Learning Opportunities
Grant funds would provide additional support for our Summer Park Program at the Albion Boro Park for students entering grades K-6.

Grant funds would also provide for a new summer learning program for Middle and High school age students. Right now, we're looking into a weekly or bi-weekly program which would get students outside the Albion area to discover some of the interesting things around and near Erie County - for example, the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, to see the Niagara, or to visit a museum or planeterium - and then go to the Peninsula for a picnic lunch and some beach time! As with everything else The Center offers, this would be an optional event - but a whole lot of fun!

*Add New Recreational/Programming to The Center's Drop in Program
If we win, we would be able to work with several groups who are unable to totally donate their time, but would be willing to give us discounted rates - many students have requested hip-hop dance classes, or would like to have additional arts and crafts supplies and instruction. We would also be able to add new video gaming equipment, new pool sticks, and other small things that we need. Another thing that has been requested is a volleyball net for the basketball court. We will look for more student input on what you guys would like once the grant is won!

While a lot is still up in the air, this grant would provide many many many wonderful opportunities to the students in the Northwestern School District!


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