Grant & District Community Programs

Quarterly Newsletter - October 2020

The Community in District/Community Programs

It's been a year since I started as Director of Grants and District/Community Programs, and what a year it has been!

GDCP's 2019-20 focus was on grants and grant writing, management of the District's existing grant-funded programs, and establishing a School Based Development program. In 2020-21 our focus has expanded to include a greater emphasis on community. Healthy community relationships and partnerships are essential to providing our students and families with the supports they need for academic and social success. GDCP is working on projects that range from improving student nutrition and access to local produce to supporting families as they navigate the changes brought about by Covid-19, and from building a community coalition to meet shared goals to addressing the very real issues of inclusion and equity within our schools.

I often have to remind myself that all good work is a marathon, not a sprint. While, like all of us, there are times when I want change to happen now, I know that endurance and patience are the keys to lasting improvement both in ourselves and in our organizations. I hope that this year you begin to see the impact of powerful school and community connections. I know that many of you have been making these connections a priority and are seeing the appreciation and benefits of your personal outreach. Every positive connection we make, no matter how small, takes us further toward a better future for our children and the Lockport community. Thank you for taking such good care of your students in a time when taking care of ourselves and our families is more of a challenge than it has ever been.

Farm to School - Connecting Farmers, Food, and Families

I'm sure you have heard by now that we were awarded a USDA Farm to School Program Grant (I haven't been shy about sharing such great news). This is, personally, one of my favorite federal grant programs. Not only does it bring great things to students, schools, families, and our local agricultural community, it is one of the most effective and efficiently run programs I have ever worked on. I will admit that I was a little concerned about how we would modify our original program plan under the restrictions necessary in a post-Covid world, but thanks to the enthusiasm of Food Service Director Tom Heagerty and the Food Service staff, and our essential partnership with the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Niagara County, in particular Farm to School Coordinator Mollie McDonough, we are going full steam ahead! Look for monthly Farm to School Newsletters from GDCP with upcoming F2S events, links, virtual agricultural fieldtrips, and more!


When Bernie Smith and Heather Walton actualized the plan to bring the Techmobile out into the community to assist families with meals and remote learning technology they struck gold! The program was so well received when it ran for a week in August that we will be rolling it out each Wednesday in October. Based on data collected during the spring and summer for the Virtual Learning Environment Project we have expanded our Techmobile stops to include areas of the city that were previously not being reached, but that needed the support. Several local organizations (the U.A.W, First English Lutheran Church, and The Dale Association to name a few) were pleased to provide us with room in their lots to park the Techmobile and serve their surrounding community. Techmobile services would not be possible without the dedication of several staff, so special thanks to Chuck Hackmer, Mike Stover, and Rosemary Lutz along with Tom Heagerty, Kevin Guay, and Heather Bitka for their "behind the scenes" work to support the program. Expect to hear more ways that the Techmobile is being used to engage in community outreach!

Upcoming Grant Opportunities!

Have a project you'd like to do with your class or group? Need additional funds to make it happen? Consider one of these grant opportunities...we are here to help you succeed!

The NEA Foundation - $2,000 to $5,000 to address needs caused by the pandemic (12/1/20)

Association of American Educators - $500 for STEAM projects and materials (3/1/21)

Toshiba - $5,000 for creative and engaging STEM projects for grades 6-12 (12/1/20)

Gray Family Foundation - $25,000 to create outdoor learning spaces for grade 3-8 (11/13/20)

More GDCP Programs

21stCCLC LionKIND After School at Emmet & North Park

ESSA Programs (Title I A&D, Title II, Title IV, McKinney Vento, & School Improvement Grants)

Lion's Den and Second Step

Peachjar & Community Organizations

LCSD works with community organizations to make information about activities and enrichment opportunities available to families. We cooperate with approved community partners by posting eflyers online and distributing them electronically.

Grants and District / Community Programs

Pride in our Past...Faith in our Future

Holly Dickinson, Director