Junior Membership Classroom Grants

Written by: Jamie Burchfield, Junior Membership National Chair & Candace Cain, National Vice Chair Junior Membership Classroom Grants
March 23, 2018

The Junior Membership Committee's Helen Pouch Memorial Fund celebrates 80 years of impact in 2018. Since its inception, the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund has primarily supported the DAR's objective of education through financial donations to our DAR Schools. 

Originally proposed by the Midwest Regional Assembly of Juniors in Chicago in March 1938, the fund was named in memory of Helen Pouch, daughter of Mrs. William H. Pouch, Honorary President General and the first National Chair of Junior Membership. Fundraising was so successful the first year, three $100 scholarships were awarded to the DAR Schools: one to Kate Duncan Smith DAR School, one to Tamassee DAR School, and the third to another DAR supported school which would rotate each year.

Fast forward 80 years and fundraising for the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund has continued to soar allowing Juniors to award more than $200,000 annually to the DAR Schools, an adopted National Project, and the new Classroom Grant Award Program. The primary fundraiser for the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund is the sale of patriotic jewelry and DAR-branded accessories in Junior Shoppes at state meetings, events, and Continental Congress each year.

Beginning in 2017, for the first time, classrooms in every state were presented the opportunity to benefit from funds raised by Junior Members through the implementation of the Helen Pouch Memorial Fund Classroom Grant Award Program. Fifty-one $500 grants were awarded to classroom teachers impacting more than 10,000 students nationwide. These grants have been featured in spotlight posts on the Junior Membership Facebook page. Be sure to "like" us to see the impact of these projects (www.facebook.com/DARJuniorMembership).

In 2018, two $500 grants are available for each state and the District of Columbia! Applicants must be a classroom teacher for grades kindergarten through 12th grade, must be endorsed by a local DAR chapter, and complete the grant award application.  The Grant Award Program is administered through State Junior Membership chairs who, along with a panel of judges, review all applications for their state and determine two winners and a Runner-Up. Should a state fail to recommend two recipients for the grants, runners up will be eligible to receive one of the remaining grants. Priority is given to states within the same Division and no state may receive more than three grants. 

Applications and information on the grant program may be obtained by contacting your state's Junior Membership chair. Grants must directly impact students and may not be used for continuing education/workshops for the teacher.  The grant is a one-time award and recipients are not eligible to re-apply in future years.

Additional information about the Junior Membership Classroom Grants is located on the Junior Membership Committee's webpage: www.dar.org/JrMembershipClassroomGrants.   

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