All the proceeds from CAPS’ Evening for Education are awarded as grants, so the total eligible funding is determined after our event in August. We calculate how much money is available per student and then determine how much to award at each school site based on student enrollment. This is an attempt to spread the grant funds equally throughout the Atascadero Unified School District and impact each and every student. Because this method does limit small schools like Creston and Carissa Plains, we take this into consideration and are extra generous to them.
The window for grant writing and submission opens in the fall. CAPS will announce the size of the grants, which can range from $100 to $1,500. The grant should not be for supplies or projects that would normally be funded by school or district’s budgets. Also, requests that exceed the maximum amount will not be reviewed. We try to award grants to the most creative and interesting projects. Teachers have 2 weeks to complete their grant requests and submit them to our mailbox at the District Office. The grant requests are reviewed by grant readers who only know the grade level and school so that each request is considered as impartially and fairly as possible. Our grant readers are retired AUSD teachers from the elementary grades, middle school, and high school. The readers can provide expertise and answer questions about programs or other things relevant to the age group.
The panel of grant readers meets about one or two weeks after the deadline to make their decisions. Once the grantees are chosen, CAPS works to fulfill the grant requests immediately.