Dreams and Grants

The Magic of Grant Season

My boys wake up each morning counting the days til their favorite time of year – summer vacation. While they grumpily get up wishing for lazy summer mornings, afternoons at the pool and overnight camp, I am living in my favorite time of year — grant season.

All year I track federal policy discussions, legislation and budget process in anticipation of those few weeks when notices inviting grant applications are published. Much of the work on grant proposals happen way before the request is published in the Federal Register. My team and I have been crunching numbers, gathering data and exploring possibilities with partners for months. Yet, I don’t really start dreaming until that notice is published.

Some read the Federal Register and see technicalities, loop holes and bureaucracy. I read the Federal Register and see the faces of 4th graders understanding math for the very first time thanks to their AmeriCorps tutor, middle school students in scuba suits at the bottom of a pool understanding the concept of zero gravity, parents stepping onto a college campus and really believing college is an option for their son or daughter.

For me, grants are an avenue to realize the dreams I have for the children and families in my rural community. As I load the boys into the car this cold Friday in May, they count down the days to Freedom. I count down the minutes until I can sit back with my coffee, dig into the Federal Register and dream.

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