The Friendswood ISD Education Foundation (FEF) hosted the inaugural Student Grant Committee Meetings on Friday, Nov. 22 where a group of students selected grants to purchase with the funds raised on their campus through FEF’s Mustang Association campaign. The goal was to expand the ways FEF supports FISD by creating a unique learning experience for students.
“I am so proud of our Board for continuously seeking new ways to live out our mission,” FEF Executive Director Ashley Adair said. “It was such a joy to learn from and be inspired by the students that participated.”
The meetings were tailored to each age group and concluded with a vote giving each student a voice and choice in how to invest the funds.
At Cline Elementary and Westwood Elementary, students talked about giving and learned that a grant is just like a gift for their school that makes learning even more fun. Several commented that the experience made them feel like “bucket-fillers” as they worked together to represent all their friends at school.
At Bales Intermediate and Windsong Intermediate, students discussed nonprofits, fundraising, and service projects in which they have been involved. They were presented with four choices and split into groups to discuss the pros and cons of each. They debated which grant would have the greatest impact and how they would engage their fellow classmates in new and engaging learning opportunities.
“It was cool to learn about what the Friendswood Education Foundation does to help our schools. It felt good to know we gave the students at Bales something all kids can use and help them learn more,” Bales fourth-grader Katelyn Kinsey said.
At Friendswood Junior High and Friendswood High School students reflected on several questions about strategic giving such as, Is it better to give $1,000 to 10 organizations or $10,000 to one organization? Students quickly realized that giving away money is not as easy as it sounds and worked together to develop some guiding factors to help them make their grant selections. At the High School, the committee split into three groups to come up with their “pitch” for how to spend the funds. At the end, each individual voted for one of the three pitches to ensure all voices were heard.
FEF Board members attended to help facilitate each meeting.
“It was such an incredible experience seeing the grants through kids’ eyes,” FEF Director Leah Direkly said. Another Director, Brandon Kinsey, said he was so impressed with the students who all exemplified the spirit of educational empowerment through giving and servant leadership.
The Foundation has received tremendous feedback from students, parents, and directors that participated.
FEF Grant Committee Chair Niki Rhodes said, “This might just be my new favorite FEF activity and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”
You can support FEF’s Adopt-A-Grant Campaign by visiting the Foundation’s website at www.FISDFoundation.com and clicking the yellow button to browse this year’s grants.