The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation awarded a $1,000 mini-grant to Comstock Public Schools for their upcoming sixth-grade field trip to Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium on January 6, 2019.
In an effort to spark student interest in STEM in a local and global context, Comstock staff are utilizing a variety of cross-curricular activities culminating in a field trip for all sixth-graders to Shedd Aquarium. Students are doing much of the fundraising for the trip themselves by selling items during lunchtime, keeping finance logs, and tracking individual savings accounts. Students have also engaged in activities focusing on marine life, the Great Lakes, and environmental protection (including starting a school recycling club).
However, as 100 percent of the district’s student population receives free breakfast and lunch, the sixth-grade team has also sought outside funding to offset trip costs. The district’s Awesome Foundation award will be used for student transportation, while the students raise the money for their admission and meals.
Margaret Munger is assisting with organizing for the trip. She has been a teacher in Comstock Public Schools for 19 years, teaching English and physical education. This year she has also served as a behavior coach, helping both students and teachers create a safe and successful learning environment. “Watching the students get excited about this project, water life preservation, fundraising, and keeping track of their own progress has been very uplifting,” she says. “I hope to travel with the group to see the culmination of all their work.”
The Ann Arbor Awesome Foundation is the Ann Arbor chapter of the Boston-based micro-philanthropic organization known as the Awesome Foundation. Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1,000 or the local equivalent, come out of the pockets of the chapter’s “trustees” and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.