a grant proposal by - California State University, Long Beach

MAY 2012
The purpose of
this project was
to design a
program, to
sources, and to
complete a
application to
fund the
program for
Research strongly indicates that children who
come from low-income families and
communities are more likely to face a variety
of challenges, which can negatively affect
their academic achievement (Cooper, Crosnoe,
Suizzo, & Pituch, 2010).
Although the benefits of family involvement
are many, low-income and families of color
often face a multitude of barriers that make it
difficult to be actively involved in their
children’s education (Alameda-Lawson, et al.,
2010; Turney & Kao, 2009).
Social Work Relevance
•Considering the various positive effects of family involvement, it is
important to utilize social work knowledge and skills to promote family
involvement (Cheung & Pomerantz, 2011; El-Nokali, et al., 2010;
Semke, et al., 2010; Wilson, et al. 2011).
•Social work knowledge and skills are ideal for serving as the broker
between schools and families in order to educate, advocate, and help
build understanding among diverse students, families and schools
(Cheung & Pomerantz, 2011; El-Nokali, et al., 2010; Semke, et al.,
2010; Wilson, et al. 2011).
•The implementation of family involvement programs with the outreach
efforts done by social workers should help improve the lives of students,
families and the overall school environment.
Cross Cultural Relevance
The conditions of a child’s home and school life can greatly affect his/her educational
outcomes (Gleason & Dynarski, 2004).
•Factors such as neighborhood poverty and family stress often faced by lower
income and minority families contributed to the achievement gap among lowerincome and middle-class students as well as between ethnic groups (Berliner,
•English language learners may experience more academic challenges and are
more likely to attend public schools that have low standardized test scores (Simon,
et al., 2011).
•Educational family involvement has a buffer effect on children’s education, across
race and socioeconomic status.
Therefore, family involvement programs that target low-income, culturally diverse
families are of tremendous value to the diverse communities.
Target population
The target population was parents of William Northrup Elementary, a
kindergarten through 8th grade school and part of the Alhambra Unified School
District. The student population is predominantly Latino (55%) and Asian/Pacific
Islander (41 %) (California Department of Education, 2010). Eighty one percent
of the children are eligible for free or reduced lunch meals and 47% are
English Language Learners.
Strategies used to identify and select a funding source
The grant writer explored opportunities at the federal, state and
foundation levels. Internet searches were utilized as well as a thorough
foundation search at La Pintoresca library. Search terms entered in the grant
search were parent involvement, family involvement, education, parent
education, parent engagement, low-income, parent empowerment, family
services, early childhood education, drop-out prevention and family resources
and services
Methods Continued…
Funding Source
The Joseph Drown foundation was chosen because its primary focus is in supporting educational
programs in the Los Angeles area that aim to resolve existing problems in public or private K12th schools. Other areas of interest include, community, health and social services, medical and
scientific research, and arts and humanities.
Sources for Needs Assessment
The California Department of Education website provided the Academic Performance Index
(API) scores, the California Standards Test Scores, truancy rate, suspensions and expulsions
among students as well as the ethnic make-up of the teachers. Additionally, information was
gathered through discussions with William Northrup staff and written school materials.
Projected Budget Range and Categories
The budget will cover the personnel required to run the program, including the social worker,
family engagement worker and child care workers. The budget will also cover program
supplies, equipment, printing, food supply, travel expense, participant incentives and
administration. The projected budget range for the first year is $139,406.00.
Grant Proposal
Program Summary and Description
The purpose of the family involvement program is to improve children’s academic
achievement, increase family participation, and improve parent-teacher
relationships. The program components will include outreach efforts, parent
education classes, teacher training and family friendly events. The yearlong
program will provide services to the families, staff and students enrolled in
kindergarten through third grade.
Population Served
Families in the primary grades will be targeted since research suggests that early
academic success and school attendance are linked to positive outcomes (Cooper
et al., 2010; Sheppard, 2009).
Grant Proposal Continued…
Program Objectives
The objectives of the program are to:
A. Increase the number of parents involved in their children’s education by 30%.
B. Significantly increase parent knowledge and skills about the educational system
and how to support their children’s education by providing weekly workshops.
C. Create better relationships between teachers and families by increasing parent
teacher interaction.
D. Improve teacher’s ability to communicate with and engage parents by providing
monthly teacher development workshops.
Program Evaluation
Program effectiveness will be evaluated by the social worker. Parents and caregivers
will complete family involvement surveys at the time they enter the program and at the
end of the year. Family involvement will be measured from sign-in sheets for the
workshops and socials. Additionally, report cards and test scores of children will be
compared to those children that did not participate. Similarly, teacher surveys will be
given out before and after the teacher development workshops to explore changes in
their interactions with and perceptions of family involvement.
Lessons Learned
Implications for Social Work
It was necessary to identify the needs of the
school as well as existing programs. The
literature review was instrumental in
helping the writer frame the purpose,
objectives and strategies for the
Grant writing is a process that takes time,
revisions, commitment, patience and
knowledge. The grant must be written in
a way that engages and persuades. The
grants objectives must be clear, concise
and measurable.
The grant writer found that budgeting
required meticulous planning and
consideration. For instance, every detail
and expense had to be accounted for
and justified thoroughly in the budget
Unfortunately, public institutions like schools
are often the first to suffer budget cuts
that directly impact the entire community.
Given the comprehensive and lasting effects
of family involvement, social workers
should be at the forefront designing
programs that target low-income and
culturally diverse families in order to
promote family involvement in a school
It is important that social workers advocate,
educate and inform about the various
benefits that family involvement
programs provide to families, schools and
Grant writing, program design and program
implementation are skills that are
beneficial for social workers.
Securing funding through grant writing is a
more effective outlet to address the
Alameda-Lawson, T., Lawson, M. A., & Lawson, H. A. (2010). Social workers’ roles in facilitating the collective involvement of
low-income, culturally diverse parents in an elementary school. Children & Schools, 32, 172-182.
Berliner, C. (2009). Poverty and potential: Out-of-school factors and school success. Boulder and Tempe: Education and the
public interest center & education policy research unit. Retrieved December 21, 2011
California Department of Education. (2010a). School demographic characteristics. Retrieved March 8, 2012, from
http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/Acnt2011/ 2010 BaseSchDC.aspx?allcds=19-75713-6011118&c=R
Cheung, C., & Pomerantz, E. M. (2011). Parents’ involvement in children’s learning in the United States and China: Implications
for children’s academic and emotional adjustment. Child Development, 82, 932-950.
Cooper, C. E., Crosnoe, R., Suizzo, M., & Pituch, K. A. (2010). Poverty, race, and parental involvement during the transition to
elementary school. Journal of Family Issues, 31, 859-883.
El Nokali, N. E., Bachman, H. J., & Votruba-Drzal, E. (2010). Parent involvement and children’s academic and social
development in elementary school. Child Development, 81, 988-1005.
Semke, C. A., Garbacz, S., Kwon, K., Sheridan, S. M., & Woods, K. E. (2010). Family involvement for children with disruptive
behaviors: The role of parenting stress and motivational beliefs. Journal of School Psychology, 48, 293-312.
Sheppard, A. (2009). School attendance and attainment: Poor attenders' perceptions of schoolwork and Parental involvement
in their education. British Journal Of Special Education, 36, 104-111.
Simon, C., Lewis, S., Uro, G., Uzzell, R., Palacios, M., & Casserly, M., (2011). Today's promise, tomorrow's future: The social and
educational factors contributing to the outcomes of Hispanics in urban schools. Council Of The Great City Schools. Retrieved
from http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet? accno=ED526965
Turney, K., & Kao, G. (2009). Barriers to school involvement: Are immigrant parents disadvantaged? Journal Of Educational
Research, 102, 257-271.
Wilson, S., Tanner-Smith, E., Lipsey, M. W. (2011). Dropout prevention and intervention programs: Effects on school completion
and dropout among school-aged children and youth. Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. Retrieved
from http://www.eric.ed.gov/contentdelivery/servlet/ERICServlet? accno=ED519121

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