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Vote for FAMU for The Home Depot Retool Your School Grants
March 8, 2012

To cast your vote, click here.

– Perhaps you have voted online for your choice of best singer, biggest loser or favorite movie star. Now it is time to vote for Florida A&M University (FAMU) as it competes to win up to $50,000 in the annual Retool Your School competition, sponsored by The Home Depot.
Retool Your School is a competition among historically black colleges and universities. Each participating institution submits proposals for a Tier 1 grant, worth $50,000; a Tier 2 grant, worth $10,000; and this year, for the first time, a Campus Pride grant, worth $25,000.
Online voting will run through 11:59 p.m., April 10. People may vote for FAMU once a day per email account during the entire voting period by going to http://www.retoolyourschool.com.
FAMU’s $50,000 proposal is to install filtered-water refilling stations across campus and to reward volunteers who help with a variety of projects with reusable water bottles. The goal is to cut down the number of single-use plastic water bottles thrown away on campus. Students will receive a reusable water bottle if they volunteer to help clean up campus, collect recyclables, plant trees or participate in other health and environmental initiatives.

“In 2009, we calculated that Leon County residents throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles per month,” said LaRae Donnellan, journalism professor and adviser to the FAMU Green Coalition. “In the United States as a whole, it’s estimated that we throw away 2.5 million plastic bottles per hour!”
FAMU’s $10,000 proposal is to build an outdoor classroom with an elevated deck for FAMU’s New Beginnings Child Care Center. This educational research center provides childcare services for student-parents and others in the FAMU community.
“The outdoor classroom will help us optimize our early learning activities by providing another space for young children to learn and explore,” said Reva Myers, the center’s director.
FAMU’s $25,000 campus pride proposal is to install solar-powered cell phone and laptop recharging systems at campus bus stops on The Set. Solar panels would be installed on the bus shelter roofs. While waiting for the bus, students could plug in their phones and laptops for a quick recharge.

The FAMU Green Coalition won a $10,000 Retool Your School grant in 2010. The money was used to build a rainwater-collection system on Jackson-Davis Hall and to build an accompanying green space between Jackson-Davis and Lee Hall.

“More than 80 students, a dozen FAMU faculty and staff, and about 20 volunteers from The Home Depot helped prepare the soil, plants trees and shrubs, and build benches in the green space,” said Ryan Mitchell, FAMU senior environmental specialist.

Volunteers coordinated by the FAMU Green Coalition will oversee the new projects, should FAMU win one of the Retool Your School grants.
For more information about the online voting process or about FAMU’s grant proposals, contact LaRae Donnellan at (850) 561-2765 or larae.donnellan@famu.edu.

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