In order to qualify for funding, events need a purposeful component (an ask or activity) for families to partake in. Association members must be included in their interactions. F.A.S.T. events should be welcoming, purposeful, and sustainable. These events are not meant to be one and done!
Overall, the best events are those where parents converse with our members on what they want to see in their schools and community, and our members team up to work with the parents to make things happen. We cannot organize parents around our issues, but we can look for places where our issues and parents/community issues intersect and build coalitions that are grounded in action around those things.
Consider who the powerful groups are in your town (PTA, religious groups, city recreation, etc…) and how you can utilize F.A.S.T. to form a positive proactive relationship with them. When you form and develop these relationships in your community, they will often be there to support your association when help is needed.
What events qualify for funding?
Here are just some examples . . .
- Partnerships, discussions and programs focusing on family involvement.
- Family involvement workshops through which parents and caregivers learn more about helping children succeed in school. These events include activities for children so that families can attend them together.
- Visits by school employees to participating places of worship and other community meeting places to invite and encourage parents and caregivers to participate in teacher conferences and school activities.
- Support for legislation that would allow parents to take time away from work, without loss of pay, to address children’s needs at school.
The F.A.S.T. online application is open from July 15 – Jan. 15.
Twenty working days are required for all approvals. Promotional items ordered from njeapridestore.com often take at least three weeks for delivery.
F.A.S.T. grant applications submitted for events after they have occurred cannot be accepted.
Your application will go through an approval process at your regional office before your regional Organizational Development Field Representative will receive the application.
Before submitting your completed grant application, please ensure that:
- Your total requested F.A.S.T. funding does not exceed your yearly budget.
- Your local president has approved this proposal.
- You indicate that you will use a sign-in sheet at all of your events in order to collect as much contact information from participants as possible.
- Your local association is being recognized for funding the event; not NJEA or the school district, and your full association name (NO ABBREVIATIONS) is being prominently displayed on all materials.
- At all events offering refreshments, a table-top sign is placed that reads to the effect of, “Refreshments sponsored by the Anytown Education Association: your children’s teachers and Educational Support Professionals.”
- Any introductory speakers at events will thank your local association by name for its generous sponsorship.
- “Other” costs are detailed.
- Your events which are held in school district facilities are BoE approved.
- You did not request items not funded.
- Meal expenses do not exceed allowable amounts.
- You indicate that your association banner will hang at all your events.
- Consider writing press releases for your activities and submit them to local media outlets (newspapers, TV, etc.) in a timely manner.
Pride and F.A.S.T. are two separate programs with a clear difference between the requirements for funding. Pride events can engage the community, the school, or just serve as an opportunity to market and brand your association.
F.A.S.T. events bring families and the association together for the betterment of public education. All F.A.S.T. events must have an organizing component to them. F.A.S.T. cannot be used for marketing, branding, or sponsorship (ie: food for established events, local organization sponsorship, etc…)
Although every F.A.S.T. could qualify for Pride funding, not every Pride event could qualify for F.A.S.T. funding.