Schools all across the North American Division are buying laptops, iPads, e-boards; participating in project-based learning; and sending teachers to STEM training — all to ensure students have the tools they need to not only work in today’s economy, but to lead in it. Where is the funding for much of this cutting edge technology coming from? Versacare, Inc.
Versacare, Inc. is an independent private foundation created to “serve humanity by engaging in activities that will further the kingdom of God and restore the Image of God in man. We believe this fidelity to the Gospel of Jesus urges us to emphasize human health and dignity and the search for knowledge.” Since 1990, Versacare has awarded nearly 1,200 grants to Adventist institutions totaling more than $26 million, a high percentage of which has gone to Adventist education.
The grant application process is streamlined, but thorough. Schools submit their technology vision and what they need to achieve it by December 31, 2019.
This year Versacare is providing $5,000 grants to small schools and $10,000 grants to larger schools. In total, Versacare plans to provide $1 million to Adventist education in North America this year.
Is Versacare’s funding having an impact on our students? The real-life examples below answer this question with a resounding “yes.”
Vista Ridge Academy in Colorado had a tired, outdated computer lab. That is, until they received a $10,000 Versacare grant to update their technology. The school community was so energized from this generous grant they raised funds to contribute to the project and students are benefiting from a sparkling new lab with technology enhanced learning.
Highland Adventist School in rural Appalachia also added to the Versacare grant monies to send some of their teachers to STEM training at Loma Linda University’s EXCEED program. The teachers brought back project-based learning ideas that have revitalized their school. They also received EXCEED funding to start a student-centered, school-wide Monarch Butterfly garden project and rehab their greenhouse. They stretched their $10,000 grant to purchase an e-board for the high school and Chrome books for the computer lab. A teacher from the school commented, “The impact of this grant will change students’ lives for years to come.”
Chinook Winds Adventist Academy also received a $10,000 grant from Versacare to purchase 25 iPads. The school reports this allowed the students to research, solve problems, pose new problems, address issues, build on each other’s ideas, and communicate their knowledge in a relevant and unique way.
One Chinook Winds student commented, “I really enjoy the iPads that are bought for the school. Currently I am using the iPads for a science subject or project on elephants. Did you know? That an elephant can get drunk on eating unripe fruit. The next fact is kind of sad. Elephants are endangered, which means they could possibly go. . . . The African elephant and Asian elephant are different in many ways.”
Adventist Educators Apply Here
The North American Division Office of Education and Versacare are aiming for record participation in the grant process this year, with plans from Versacare to distribute $1 million. If you are an Adventist educator, please apply for your Versacare grant — the sooner the better. If you have an Adventist school in your community, we encourage you to contact them and let them know about this opportunity and see if you can help with the application process, raising matching funds, and uplifting them in prayer.
For more information about the grant visit https://versacare.org/application-guidelines-stem/ to apply for a STEM grant or to learn more about Versacare’s 2020 STEM grant program.
Your classroom or school can get $5000 - $10,000 in grants for STEM this year! Fill out the easy application form and you can make your STEM dreams come true.
Get your application in now (or at least before December 31, 2019)! If you need help or encouragement contact Leisa Standish (NAD Elementary Education Director) at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— Leisa G. Morton-Standish, Ph.D., is Elementary Education director for the North American Division.