Middle school science teachers (grades five through eight) in Jefferson County can go to arcf.org, now through Oct. 1 to apply for grants through Arkansas Community Foundation's Science Initiative for Middle Schools (SIMS) program.

Middle school science teachers (grades five through eight) in Jefferson County can go to arcf.org, now through Oct. 1 to apply for grants through Arkansas Community Foundation’s Science Initiative for Middle Schools (SIMS) program.

The deadline for applications is Oct. 1.

The SIMS program encourages hands-on science instruction by providing funding to help teachers purchase for science experiments. Proposed projects must meet the state science curriculum frameworks, and the cost of project materials must not exceed $500. Up to 300 SIMS grants will be selected from the proposals submitted in counties served by one of Arkansas Community Foundation’s 27 local offices, including the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation.

“We’ve expanded the application period this year to give teachers more time during the summer and after school starts to complete their applications,” said Chris Castoro, executive director. “We sent letters out in May, but the deadline is fast approaching now.”

The SIMS program uses an online application process through a partnership with DonorsChoose.org, an organization that helps teachers find funding for classroom projects. Instructions can be found at www.arcf.org. A local committee from the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation will review proposals from teachers in our area. DonorsChoose will ship all requested materials directly to the teachers whose proposals are selected.

Annual funding for this program is made possible by an endowed gift to Arkansas Community Foundation from the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. For more information about the SIMS program, visit www.arcf.org or call our local office at 870-850-7934

Arkansas Community Foundation makes grants to improve the quality of life in our state and collaborates with individuals, families and organizations to build local communities through philanthropy. ARCF has more than $150 million in assets and has provided more than $90 million in grants since it began operation in 1976. Contributions to ARCF, its funds and any of its 27 local affiliate offices are fully tax deductible.