SSEF Accepting Grant and Scholarship Applications to Support ISD 748

The Sartell-St. Stephen Education Foundation is accepting applications for its 2010 scholarship and grant programs.

 
SSEF will give $1,500 awards to two graduating seniors, one for a student who has been active in community service and the other to a student who will be pursuing a degree in science or technology.
 
Applications are available at the Sartell High School guidance office or on the SSEF Web site, www.ssef.net. Scholarships will be awarded June 2 at the SHS Senior Awards night.
 
SSEF also will be awarding $16,500 in grants this spring, a 10 percent increase over last year.
 
Grants are open to district staff and student organizations working to improve student achievement. Preference is given to projects that support early childhood programs, new technology, mentoring programs, academic extensions or gifted and talented opportunities.
 
Grant applications will be available at each school and the SSEF Web site. Grants will be announced in May.
 
For a dozen years, SSEF has been funding educational programs for children from preschool through 12th grade in the Sartell-St. Stephen school district. These programs include Building Language Together, Battle of the Books, Prairie Fire Theater and Sabre Splash.
 
SSEF was started with a grant from the DeZurik family in 1998. The foundation continues to raise money for school programming through its annual fundraiser, A Toast to Autumn. The 2009 event raised a record $55,000.
 
"Over the last few years, we've stepped up our fundraising efforts and the amount of support we've seen has been spectacular," SSEF Chairman Adam Heathcote said.
 
With donations on the rise, SSEF has been able to increase grant and scholarship levels in 2010. It also reached a milestone, building its endowment fund for the first time.
 
"Previously any money raised ... has gone to grants and scholarships," Heathcote said. "We've been stepping up the grant amount every year and the last few years we have not had to take any money out of the endowment. But this will be the first year we're actually putting money back into it."
 
Heathcote said the foundation's goal is to build the endowment so it can support larger projects and maintain consistent grants and scholarships regardless of donations.