Grants R’ Us
Today, I officially found out that in one month, I had 3 grants funded! Say what’s a grant? Well, as Community Economic Development Peace Corps Volunteers, grants basically bring fear into the heart of most (or maybe that’s just me). Each grant requires hours of tireless labor, eyes that stop focusing from way too much computer screen time, and the terrible… Goals & Objectives section. Luckily, funded grants mean much more – opportunity, a chance to impact your community, and in this case, a legit ceiling that’s not about to cave in!
So which projects got funded, here you go interested readers:
Expanded Meeting Room Capacity for Youth and Probationer Programs – “The Guria Youth Resource Center (GYRC) plans to repair the infrastructure of a crumbling roof and put a door on our meeting room. The organization currently has one private meeting room that seats 30 people but needs to add a door to our second, smaller meeting room that houses 15 people in order to allow meetings for probationers and children to go on concurrently. GYRC began working with probationers two years ago and hosts the only reintegration and resocialization program for probationers in the region by combining professional skills trainings with psychological workshops. Along with probationers, the organization teaches disadvantaged children English, civic activism, and computer skills. The current facilities only house one group at a time. The youth center desires to create space for both equally important groups to afford each the proper privacy and care. The increased meeting space with allow for an additional 40 people to attend professional development trainings, free English classes and clubs, and civic education workshops. With the community’s assistance and donated professional labor, GYRC will tear down the roof, install a new door and ceiling, and organize additional events to better serve probationers and youth in and out of school. The organization has a twelve-year history working with youth in the regional capital, 30km from the Black Sea, and focusing on projects involving English education, civic activism, volunteerism, technology, and increasing economic opportunities for disadvantaged groups.
*Huge thanks to the Returned Peace Corps Volunteers from Tennessee! This PCPP grant was based on crowd source funding, and the RPCV group donated over 1/3 of our needed budget (http://tnrpcv.org/grants/).
Sustainability through English - “The project “Sustainability through English,” will be implemented in the community of Ozurgeti at the Guria Youth Resource Center. The project aims to promote the sustainability of the organization through professional and physical capacity building by focusing on improving our English curriculum through acquiring high-quality materials, standardizing classes, and adapting all resources to various ages and levels.
With no major university or English language institute in Guria, the Guria Youth Resource Center stands as one of few service providers for high-quality English learning outside of private tutors. To increase the quality of our programs, we first need to acquire up-to-date permanent resources as our existing resources are either on loan from PH International or outdated using only cassettes and no videos. Also, we want to provide services to a younger group of students just beginning their English studies (5-10 years of age) to act as a feeder program for our higher-level English courses. First, we want to purchase teaching books, adapted reading resources, and interactive computer programs and games. Second, GYRC desires to hire a trainer recommended by the resource distributor or a US Embassy Senior English Fellow to train our staff on teaching methodologies and adaptive techniques for varied ages and levels. Next, a “Technology in the Classroom” session will be conducted by Peace Corps volunteers to inform staff of the new books and resources’ technological capabilities as well as Internet resources currently at their disposal. All sessions will be recorded and shared with other volunteers and future teachers and volunteers. After the trainings as our third step, our English teaching staff will create a set curriculum for each level to increase quality control and standardize our curriculum. Fourth, our organization will develop a “Kids Corner” focusing on younger children (5-10 years old) to ensure this group has an outlet in Guria to improve pronunciation, lower level speech and grammar, and comprehension. Next, we will create a marketing plan to reach out to our new target group – youth (5-10 years old), which is outside of our largest current demographic constituent pool (6th-11th grade students). Sixth, we will execute a “Kids Corner” summer camp and performance followed by enrolling interested parties. Finally, we will monitor and evaluate the first month of services provided for English courses and “Kids Camp.”
3. SELF Camp West - “SELF (Self-Esteem through Leadership and Fitness) Camp promotes civic engagement, gender equality, and healthy lifestyles in Georgia. The children who are selected to attend are from low socio-economic, religious or ethnic minority status in rural Adjara. SELF Camp is partnering with BEDEC, which conducts trainings about building healthy life-skills, continuing education and business development throughout Georgia.
The camp will focus on building leadership, self-esteem and healthy lifestyles by conducting trainings that educate the participants. Sports and other physical activities will also be included to further the development of these skills. The camp will be conducted in Georgian by 3 Georgian peer educators who will have completed a training course conducted by PCVs before the camps inception.”