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Grants to Washington, DC Public Schools, Charter Schools, and CBOs for School-Based Garden Programs


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USA: Washington, DC

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School Garden Grant (SGG)

District of Columbia Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) - Division of Health and Wellness

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #138581

Grant Description

Grants ranging from $10,000 to $35,000 to Washington, DC public schools, charter schools, and community-based organizations to maintain and operate educational gardens. The purpose of this grant is to support staff who will oversee all aspects of the garden, including program management, garden care, and instruction.

The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Division of Health and Wellness is soliciting applications for the District of Columbia School Garden Grant (SGG). The purpose of this grant is to:
1) Increase the number of students that engage in school garden programs.
2) Increase the number of classroom teachers that are including garden-based teaching into their teaching practice.
3) Increase the number of schools with garden programs.
4) Institutionalize school garden programs to ensure staying power.

While over half of the school gardens in the District are staffed, data collected by OSSE indicates that the biggest barrier schools face in establishing and sustaining garden programs is the lack of staff to oversee the program. Staffed garden programs engage more students and teachers than gardens that depend solely on volunteers, community members and dedicated parents. These programs are also more likely to have greater staying power. This grant seeks to establish new school gardens and expand and sustain existing garden programs by supporting staff to increase the number of students and teachers that are engaged in garden-based teaching and learning. The SGP recognizes that there are many successful staffing models, therefore this grant does not require that school garden programs subscribe to a particular model. More background information on school garden staffing models can be found in the HSA Farm-to-School and School Gardens Reports.

Intended Population:
The intended population for the District of Columbia’s SGG is:
- Students enrolled in grades pre-K-12 attending public schools and public charter schools in the District.
- Classroom teachers in pre-K-12 public school and public charter schools in the District.

Funds may be used for the following purposes must be approved by OSSE before purchase:
- Meals and/or snacks for students during grant-related activities.
- Food for demonstration/educational purposes (ex. cooking demo, taste tests to promote healthier food choices).
- Snacks for parents, teachers, or community members at grant-related trainings or community events (ex. School garden work events, garden-based trainings for teachers).

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  • Others (see text field entitled "Additional Eligibility Criteria" for clarification)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

OSSE will accept applications from public schools (i.e., schools within the District of Columbia Public Schools), public charter schools and CBOs that support school garden programs. Public schools and public charter schools must have completed the 2018-19 school year school health profile, required by Section 602 of the HSA (D.C. Official Code §38-826.02). For more information about the school heath profile, please contact Avani Dhamsania.

Applying public schools and public charter schools:
Public schools and public charter schools must partner with a CBO that supports school garden programs focuses on school garden projects. A Service Provider List is available, this list includes organizations that have previously partnered with schools to support garden programs. Applying schools may choose to collaborate with any organization; however, evidence supporting that the organization has the experience and capacity to support the project must be provided. A letter of commitment regarding the partnership is required from each organization.

Applying CBOs:
Applying CBOs A CBO may submit up to three applications, each application must encompass a minimum of one and a maximum of four school campuses. Applying CBOs must have experience supporting school garden programs. A letter of commitment regarding the partnership is required from each school.

Fiscal Sponsor:
The DCPS central office, the central office of public charter schools, and CBOs that support school garden programs are eligible to serve as fiscal sponsors for this grant.

Funding Restrictions:
Funds must be used to support activities described in the program requirements of the RFA and/or to support the program goals.
- A minimum of 80% of the project budget must be allocated to staffing, such as teacher stipends, staff salaries, and/or professional services.
- A maximum of 20% of the project budget may be allocated to items such as garden supplies, curriculum and indirect costs.

Indirect Cost Rate:
Public school and public charter schools applying for a grant must also apply to receive an indirect cost rate by email. Community based organizations will automatically receive a 10% indirect cost rate.

The funds may not be used for:
- Travel expenses (ex: hotels, airline tickets, and per diem) for both staff and students.
- Any costs associated with field trips

Pre-Application Information:

Announcement Date: June 6, 2019
RFA Release Date: June 21, 2019
Pre-Application Question Period Ends: August 13, 2019
Application Submission Deadline: September 4, 2019 at 3 pm EST

Applying public schools and public charter schools:
Public schools and public charter schools may submit one application for each school campus. DCPS schools must apply through its Office of Federal Programs and Grants. For more information, please contact the Grant Administration Team directly with your intent to apply by July 24, 2019.

OSSE will provide matchmaking support to applying public schools and public charter schools that are interested in partnering with CBOs, and applying CBOs that are interested in partnering with public schools and public charter schools. Applicants should contact the OSSE school grounds specialist at Sam Ullery to indicate their interest before the question period deadline of August 13, 2019.

OSSE has implemented a reimbursement process for all grantees. Grant award payments are reimbursable on a weekly basis. Program costs must be paid by the grantee to the payee prior to requesting reimbursement; it is not sufficient for costs merely to be incurred.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to participate in one of the webinar information sessions. A recording of each information session is available.
- School Garden Grant Information Session:
- Register here to view recordings:
- Enterprise Grants Management System (EGMS) information:
- 2019-21 OSSE School Garden Grant:
- School Garden Funding:

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Eligible schools and organizations may apply for an award amount of up to $35,000 per school. The range for possible awards is $10,000 to $35,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant period is two years beginning on Oct. 1, 2019 and ending on Sept. 30, 2021 contingent upon funding availability and the grantee’s satisfactory implementation of the proposed program. Applicants must re-apply for the second year funding. See Continuation Funding in the RFA in Supporting Documents for more information.

Contact Information:

Apply online:

OSSE Contact Information:
Sam Ullery
School Grounds Specialist
Division of Health and Wellness
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
1050 First Street NE
Washington, DC 20002
Desk: (202) 741-6485

- For more information about the school health profile, please contact Avani Dhamsania at
- Apply to receive an indirect cost rate by emailing
- Grant Administration Team:

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