The financial problems facing our schools are enormous. Money is rarely available to fund additional projects outside of the established budget. Teachers who would like to enhance their student’s learning experience are often faced with the unfortunate reality that money, even relatively small amounts, is simply not available. For example, items such as a field trip to a museum, the possibility of augmenting the curriculum with additional books, or simply providing basic school supplies, are often not possible due to a lack of funds. Many times just a small amount of money can make a world of difference, for as the saying goes “while it is very difficult to slay a giant, if you can catch him by his thumb you just might bring him down. The trick is to catch his thumb!”
The Project Helping Hand program provides grants of as much as $500 per classroom to teachers with a specific need for a specific project. Each year, Monterey public school teachers, grades K through 12, are encouraged to submit a request to the Project Helping Hand Committee to fill a need not typically included within their school budgets. For example, a teacher may request $350 to help pay the transportation costs associated with a field trip to the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum. The Project Helping Hand Committee is entirely comprised of Monterey Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club members, who meet to review all submitted applications and then approve which grants to fund. Since its inception in 2008, the MPSRC Project Helping Hand program has awarded 130 grants totaling $70,012.74.
It usually takes more than money to fix a problem. However, sometimes adding a little bit of money to the right place is all that a dedicated teacher needs to make education both interesting and effective for their students. Our teachers know where the gaps in their budgets lie. The Monterey Peninsula Sunrise Rotary Club seeks to give these dedicated teachers the helping hand needed fill these gaps, and in turn, provide the type of learning experience every child deserves. As our name suggests, Project Helping Hand is not intended to do all the work, rather we simply extend a hand to assist our teachers in the heavy lifting they do every day for our children.