Stevenson Ranch vies for grant to support schoolwide art projects

Kids create kites out of paper bags, drawing their wishes for the future on the bags, during Saugus High School's Students Matter Club's Sunshine Day Camp at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School on Friday, April 7, 2017. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Stevenson Ranch Elementary School is one of hundreds elementary and middle schools throughout the state competing to win a large grant from Scholar Dollars to support ongoing programs and projects.

And it’s asking for the community’s help to get those dollars.

Each year, the Scholars Dollars program awards more than $300,000 in grants to elementary and middle schools in California. Grant awards are based on school size, so schools like Stevenson Ranch Elementary, in the category of 651 to 900 students, are eligible to win one of four grants worth $20,000.

The winners are chosen based on the number of online votes they receive for their grant proposals.

With the community’s help, and daily votes on, the school could be one of four in the state to receive the grant.

With the grant money, Stevenson Ranch’s school leaders and Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) hope to create new school and community building art projects that support student teamwork and self-esteem.

“We had a parent approach us who found similar projects… and thought it would be a great idea,” Stevenson Ranch Principal Chad Rose said. “We would like to partner with our PTO and put together projects that would be part of campus beautification while tying them to self-esteem, team building and our curricular area.”

A mock-up of the rock garden at Stevenson Ranch Elementary School that students would create if the school is awarded a Scholars Dollar grant in 2018. Courtesy Photo

The first project would include students decorating rocks around a theme of community responsibility related to a literature section at each grade level.

“Kids would decorate a rock that would represent self-esteem and self-worth,” Rose said. “It would be tied to a piece of literature at each grade level to create the rock garden.”

Other potential projects include a wall mural on the playground area and a mosaic tile garden. All of the community art projects would combine elements of visual art with social responsibly themes that promote positive self-esteem and appreciation for teamwork and individuality, according to the school.

“We thought it would be a great way to help kids to become more aware of their actions and build an awareness of others,” Rose said.

Currently, Stevenson Ranch Elementary is placed 24th on the list of 465 grant entries for schools of all sizes.

Voting for the Scholars Dollars grant program is open until Friday.

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