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Eighth-grade students offer grants to nonprofits

A class of South Whidbey eighth-graders wants to give away $10,000, and they want to do it over their Web site.

The Langley Middle School Youth In Philanthropy eighth-grade English/communications class has $10,000 available to grant to nonprofit organizations that operate for the benefit of the South Whidbey community.

The application to apply for the YIP grant is available online at www.sw.wedmet.edu. To find the grant, click on Middle School and Youth in Philanthropy.

Interested organizations that do not have access to the Web site can request a copy of the application by contacting Susie Richards at 221-5100 or picking up a copy at the Langley Middle School.

The funds were given to the YIP class by the Glaser Foundation, an organization that supports Youth in Philanthropy programs in several schools.

The class has gotten help with figuring out how to use its money from Bill Carlstrom, a Freeland resident and trustee of the Glaser Foundation. Also helping out is Clinton's David Pfeiffer, an educator working with youth in philanthropy. The pair spend time in the classroom each week and, along with teacher Susie Richards, assist the students in identifying community needs, grant application development, community asset mapping, Web page development, interviewing community members and other tasks that have supported their course work.

The application deadline for grants is March 1. Grant awards will be announced on April 1.

"While organizations can apply for up to $10,000, we think it is more likely we will give a number of smaller grants," Richards said. "We feel like we can help more groups in our community that way."

Students in the class will decide which groups are to receive grants.

To date students have supported a number of programs in the community, including working in anti-tobacco booths at South Whidbey's Children's Day celebration in partnership with the Island County Health Department, by sponsoring a middle school dance, and by purchasing holiday bags and warm gloves for homeless teens.

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