Dallas South News Wire (The Home Depot)
Five Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in Texas have been announced as finalists in The Home Depot’s 2011 “Retool Your School” campus improvement grant program. These contenders are competing for $150,000 in on-campus improvement grants and are counting on their communities, alumni, friends and the public to help them win.
From March 1 to April 22, supporters can visit www.retoolyourschool.com to vote for their favorite school and sustainable campus improvement project and help make a difference for generations of students to come. One $50,000 grant and ten $10,000 grants will be awarded. The Home Depot® will announce the winners on May 16, 2011.
“The ‘Retool Your School’ grant program was developed last year as a way to provide lasting improvements to HBCU campuses. As finalists compete for funds to make vital on-campus renovations, it is now time for their communities to get involved and help them win. With proposals for projects such as creating serene outdoor study areas and building greenhouses and community gardens, these campus upgrades will benefit current and future students, as well as the surrounding communities,” said Trish Mueller, senior vice president and chief marketing officer, The Home Depot.®
More than 54 percent of the nation’s HBCUs applied to the “Retool Your School” grant program. Local HBCUs selected as finalists include Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College, Paul Quinn College, Southwestern Christian College and Texas Southern University.
These schools will face stiff competition from participants in Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia, as well as the U.S. Virgin Islands. Area residents and school alumni should log on and vote at www.retoolyourschool.com to ensure that their local school brings home the grand prize.
Some of the potential improvement projects entered by the 56 HBCU finalists include projects that will affect the campus and community as a whole, such as installing eco-friendly bathrooms, adding wheelchair ramps and automatic access doors, creating sustainable landscaping projects, replacing windows with Energy Star rated fixtures, installing solar energy systems and motion sensors to reduce electric consumption in classrooms, starting community gardens and campus greenhouses to encourage healthy eating, and creating nature trails accessible to the surrounding community as a fit living initiative. Each of the proposed improvement projects will enhance campus life for many years.
To apply for the “Retool Your School” grants, HBCUs were required to submit applications via the “Retool Your School” Website by the February 22 entry deadline. During the online voting period, currently underway, consumers will be able to view descriptions of major and minor proposals and can cast one vote per day for their favorite HBCU. Following the online vote, a panel of distinguished judges will also evaluate each school’s proposal.
Projects will be judged based on votes posted to the Website, as well as the judges’ evaluation as to the relevance to the proposal requirements as listed on the Website and application. Entrants must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on their campus, and special attention will be given to schools that pitch eco-friendly plans. The winning schools will be determined based on a combination of online votes and the judges’ evaluations.
The 2011 Home Depot “Retool Your School” HBCU Finalists
Gadsden State Community College
Arkansas Baptist College
Philander Smith College
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff
Delaware State University
District of Columbia
University of the District of Columbia
Florida A&M University
Florida Memorial University
Albany State University
Morris Brown College
Kentucky State University
Southern University and A&M College
Southern University at New Orleans
Coppin State University
Morgan State University
Alcorn State University
Mississippi Valley State University
Fayetteville State University
Johnson C. Smith University
North Carolina A&T State University
North Carolina Central University
St. Augustine’s College
Cheyney University of Pennsylvania
Clinton Junior College
Denmark Technical College
South Carolina State University
Meharry Medical College
Jarvis Christian College
Paul Quinn College
Southwestern Christian College
Texas Southern University
U.S. Virgin Islands
University of the Virgin Islands
Norfolk State University
Saint Paul’s College
Virginia State University
Virginia Union University
Bluefield State College
West Virginia State University