In a Year One Pilot, Montana Children’s Trust Fund (CTF) is offering up to four $500 mini-grants to Family Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) Chapters to host a “Brain Builders Fair” in their community. Recipients of the mini-grant agree to plan and carry out a “Brain Builders Fair”, or other name of their choosing, to improve understanding of child development and increase access of preventative health programs to families in their community. A Brain Builders Fair includes elements of a resource fair and a family fun fest, integrating education of child development throughout the fair’s design. Montana CTF created the Brain Builders Fair concept with FCCLA members in mind and sees offering these mini-grants as a tremendous opportunity to serve Montana’s children and their families in a fun and meaningful way. CTF’s primary mission is to strengthen Montana’s families, and deeply values FCCLA’s aligned purposes.
Chapters are encouraged to explore and utilize the toolkit created by the Children’s Trust Fund to learn how community resource fairs can strengthen families and reduce child maltreatment. CTF designed the toolkit based on extensive knowledge of the “Brain Story” developed by the Center of the Developing Child at Harvard University and the Frameworks Institute. The Brain Story helps communicate the science and importance of early brain development using easy-to-understand metaphors. Using available posters, videos, and learning cards, FCCLA members can share Brain Story concepts at their resource fair to improve community understanding of child development and foster commitment to reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). For more information, explore https://www.albertafamilywellness.org/.
Grant Funding Sources:
All mini-grants of up to $500 are funded by Montana Children’s Trust Fund (CTF). Once awarded, the chapter will receive the amount via check; no receipts will need to be submitted in return to CTF. Up to four mini-grants, of up to $500, will be awarded in this pilot project. CTF hopes to continue partnering with FCCLA in future years, increasing the number of mini-grant opportunities.
Funding for CTF Brain Builders Fair mini-grants comes from private donations. For more information about CTF, visit ChildrensTrust.mt.gov.
Affiliated Montana FCCLA Chapters who receive a grant agree to
- Plan, execute, and evaluate a family fun themed resource fair integrating education on child development, within the required time frame;
- Use the Montana Children’s Trust Fund and MT FCCLA logos on materials;
- Mention CTF as the funding source in press releases;
- Promote the resource fair using social media and tag MT CTF in Facebook posts;
- Follow funding requirements;
- Submit a final report with pictures and evaluation data (see toolkit)
- from February up to April 1—Grant applications accepted online; reviewed and awarded on a rolling basis
- Projects must be completed by grant recipient’s end of school year
- Reports due 30 days after completion of resource fair (report form on FCCLA website)
- Submit the grant application and budget (use the template provided) online.
- Applications will be evaluated by CTF and MT FCCLA representatives.
- Chapter advisors will be emailed within 24 hours of the grant application being submitted. Contact Megan Vincent (Mvincent2@mt.gov) with grant submission questions.
- Proofread the grant before submitting. Be sure the chapter adviser has read it.
- Think about your overall objective and then think about the budget. Do not guess at the budget – include researched/appropriate costs efforts and check your prices before submitting.
- Ask yourself: Does what you are paying for make sense for your project? Do the purchases help to meet objectives?
- Utilize the advisor mentor program for assistance with grant writing.
- Consider partnering with other chapters for this project.
- Plan to take photos of the project, including booths and signage, to include with the report.
- Consider radio advertisements, videos, and social media—evidence of these can be submitted with the report.
- Reach out to CTF with any questions
- Ellen Guyer, Children’s Trust Fund AmeriCorps VISTA, (406) 444-6936, email@example.com