grant-writing for local work

In between dealing with various financial issues involving CIRCLE,

I wrote most of a proposal to the NSF

to support high school classes for the next two years—including money

for curriculum development, assessment, and research. The specific activity

that we’ll ask NSF to fund is map-making. If funded, our kids would make

a whole variety of interactive maps of their community that they would

post on their website: asset

maps, network maps, environmental maps, problem-solving maps, and historical

maps of the County. My current dream is that we will get funding from

several specialized sources to suppport work in particular fields over

the next 2-3 years. One source might fund a journalism after-school program

on Tuesdays; another would fund map-making on Wednesdays; and still another

would support community history work on Thursdays. (Clearly, since I have

another full-time job, I would only be able to come to these classes occasionally.)

All the classes would produce material for the Website. Once the site

was full of valuable material, we would convene community leaders and

citizens and say (in effect): This is something that belongs to all of

us, because it reflects the richness of our community. Would you like

to join us in adding material? Would you like to run the site as a nonprofit

association? We’re at your service, and we’re willing to back away if

it’s time for someone else to manage things.

The idea, in short, is to strengthen the community by building a new

independent association connected to a Website. But to get people interested,

the site has to have content. And since no one wants to fund us to build

an association, we need to go after specialized funders in various content

areas—such as NSF for geography. We’ll see if it works.

Mike Weiksner and Archon Fung have contributed nice replies to my posting

on the

blog.

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