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Fractured Prism

Welcome to the Fractured Prism. This is my domain (I love the sound of that, kind of like my kingdom), where I will share reflections of the many facets of my life. At the very least, I am a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, friend, homemaker, teacher, counselor, and grant writer. Through the years, I have been professionally cut and polished or just accidental fractured into thousands of pieces and have thoughts about them all. I have found that I am writing for many reasons but mostly to share my small bits of wisdom. Come back often because each reflection will be different. My ultimate goal is to have a place where grant writers, grant reviewers and funders can network. So if you are into grant writing or grant reviewing please leave your name and email. Linda Beason

Peer Reviews

The peer review section is provided for those who are interested in being peer reviewers. I am not sure that all the contact information is current but you can always call the office and get current information.

Other Sources for Fractured Prism Articles:

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Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) Seeking Peer Reviewers

 The U.S. Department of Justice is recruiting Indian country professionals to serve as peer reviewers for Fiscal Year 2011. The Department is particularly interested in recruiting individuals from the following professions/disciplines:

Law enforcement

Prosecution

Corrections

Judges

Tribal court administrators

Victim advocates

Child welfare professionals

Attorneys

Probation officers

Mental health and substance abuse professionals

Individuals who are interested in being considered as a reviewer must be knowledgeable about tribal cultural beliefs, traditions, and practices, and must be able to demonstrate an expert level of understanding of at least one of the following issues:

Tribal court development and administration;

Community policing;Elder abuse;

Prevention programming for at-risk youth, including truancy and drop-out prevention activities, as well as pro-social skills building for adolescent girls;

Juvenile detention and reentry programming;

Sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, or stalking;

Child sexual abuse;

Services for children who witness violence, including trauma education and therapy;

Civil legal assistance needs of victims of violence against women;

Developing and operating safe homes, shelter programs, and transitional housing assistance programs for victims of violence against women; or

Developing and administering drug and alcohol prevention programs

Interested individuals already in the OJP Peer Reviewer Database need only make sure their current profile is up to date reflecting any applicable tribal experience. Individuals new to the peer review process may submit a copy of their curriculum vitae or resume for consideration to Vicky.Tsaparas@usdoj.gov.

__________________________________________

The Department will review your credentials and will contact you if your expertise is needed for this year’s peer review process. All non-federal reviewers will be compensated for their work, and will be expected to commit to participating in a review process that will take place both online as well as by phone.

 

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PEER REVIEW OPPORTUNITY FOR THE 2011 YOUTH ENGAGEMENT ZONE COMPETITION

The Corporation for National and Community Service (Corporation) is seeking qualified individuals to participate in peer review for the Youth Engagement Zones grant competition!  This competition and consequently the review are subject to the availability of appropriations for fiscal year 2011.

Needed Areas of Expertise

The Corporation is looking for individuals with extensive experience in service-learning, knowledge of programs targeting college access for underrepresented youth, understanding of how to align academic curriculum with content standards, and experience applying positive youth development principles to programming for middle and high school students. 

Because the Youth Engagement Zone Funding Opportunity Notice seeks grant applications that specifically align with the priority areas stated in the Serve America Act; accordingly, reviewers will need five or more years of demonstrated experience in service-learning and Education.

What to Expect

Youth Engagement Zone Peer Review      Monday, April 4 – Wednesday April 20, 2011
(estimated 40-50 hour commitment)   

 Orientation sessions will be held prior to Peer Review. Once confirmed, you will receive updates with additional information.

The FY2011 Youth Engagement Zone grant competition Peer Review is utilizing a distance-based Field Review model, allowing Reviewers to collaborate and complete their review responsibilities remotely, eliminating the need to travel or meet in person for participation in the review.

Each Reviewer will be assigned to a review panel, will read and assess their assigned applications individually, and participate in panel discussions regarding those applications.

Some Review Participants are asked to serve as panel Facilitators who coordinate with Corporation staff to chair their review panel, facilitate panel discussions, and summarize applications’ strengths and weaknesses.

The review process lasts two to three weeks and may require 40-50 hours of work to complete. There are mandatory panel calls and orientation and training sessions that may require alterations to your normal schedule.

Reviewers will download, share, and print the review documents and applications using an online collaboration tool.

The Corporation offers Reviewers and Facilitators an honorarium for their participation in a grant review. The honorarium amount varies, but begins at $700.  Unfortunately, federal employees are not eligible to receive honorarium. 

How to Respond

If you are available and would like to participate as a Peer Reviewer for the FY2011 Youth Engagement Zone Grant Competition, send an email to PeerReviewers@cns.gov and we will note your interest for subsequent communications.  Indicating availability does not guarantee selection as a participant.

The Corporation has refined the requirements and qualifications for Review Participants. It is important reviewers’ eGrants profiles reflect their most up-to-date information and experience.  Reviewers will be selected based on the information they provide in eGrants.  Previous participation in Corporation reviews will not guarantee FY2011 recruitment. Please update your Reviewer Profile in eGrants. (eGrants LogIn Page)  If you have trouble accessing your account, please contact the National Service Hotline at 800-942-2677 or on-line at www.nationalservice.gov/questionsPlease do not create a new account.

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Conjunction Junction (music G5 plays while you are on hold)

Home from a tiring DOED review but it was a great experience.  Once again I reconnected with old friends and made new ones—all of whom I want to work with again!  Worked very hard but had time for a few nice dinners and visiting with friends. 

The review was organized and on track.  Can’t say as much about G5.  As usual the system waited until the worst of times to act really nasty.  I did not have problems at home but had to call the help desk every time I tried to connect at hotel (listened to Conjunction Junction for hours).  I will pass along one tip (that everyone else figured out long before me) that helped with the problem.  I installed Mozilla Firefox and used it instead of Internet Explorer and didn’t have any more problems.  Too bad I didn’t know that on Monday, Tuesday or most of Wednesday.

Hope to see everyone next round!

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Federal Funding Update for Youth Programs – Your Call to Action!

PLEASE READ!!!!  These are wonderful programs that we need to keep.

On Saturday, February 19 the House passed H.R. 1, its funding proposal for fiscal year (FY) 2011.  The House’s proposal includes $100 billion in cuts compared to the President’s FY 2011 budget. The proposal includes zeroing out the following youth programs: Mentoring Children of Prisoners, YouthBuild, Teen Pregnancy Prevention Community Grants, Teach for America, and State Grants for Incarcerated Youth.  It also significantly cuts the Corporation for National and Community Service, Juvenile Justice programs, Head Start and 21st Century Learning Centers.

For a complete list of cuts and reductions, you can click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/_files/ProgramCutsFY2011ContinuingResolution.pdf

The steep cuts set up a potential marathon spending battle with the Senate that, if not resolved by March 4th, could result in the first shut-down of the federal government in more than 20 years. 
What Will Happen Next:
According to Youth Today, “Who delivers the message will also matter. It will likely fall to champions of youth programs in the Senate to hold the line on any spending. ‘The Senate’s going to need to buck up, and it’s our responsibility to help them buck up,’ said Seth Turner, senior director of government affairs for Goodwill Industries. ‘Anybody being quiet is going to get creamed’.”
Since the House passed H.R. 1, focus will now turn toward the Senate. It remains to be seen how the two chambers will reconcile their differences. However, youth organizations must ensure that ALL Members of Congress understand how important it is to protect programs serving at-risk youth.
The National Alliance recommends programs  MAKE A LOT OF NOISE, so Congress understands that current allocations are simply not enough to serve this vulnerable population and to address the effects of the recession.  Additional youth advocacy organizations suggest:
Contact the youth/children staff members in your Representatives’ AND Senators’ Washington, DC offices. Call THIS WEEK.  Use a sample letter or sample talking points as a model. For example, BBBS.org or EndHomlessness.org.
If you’ve already called, that’s okay – call again! Now that there is a specific bill passed, you have something to respond to.
Report any responses from you or your networks to your national advocacy groups so your voice is part of many.

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Peer Reviewing in the “Good Old Days”!

(This is a great post from a friend and fellow reviewer, Karen Y. Williams.  Think I will quit whining and get back to work!) 

I thought that I would share a few comments about my experiences reading Title III grant applications for the U.S. Department of Education “back in the day.”  I often chuckle when I head new reviewers complain about the current review process.  So I thought that I could offer some perspective on how far things have come.  Back in the 80’s, we did not read applications online.  We did not type our comments on the computer.  We did not read at home.  I recall arriving in DC on Sunday, and attending a four hour orientation session.  Review panels were  comprised of three members; two seasoned reviewers and one new to the process.  A  DOE staff member was assigned to each panel and a seasoned review served as chair of the review process.  We would meet with the DOE staff member after the orientation, sign the conflict of interest forms and pick up our grant applications.  Back then there was no page limit for applications.   The rules were different.  Applicants could put their responses in the appendix and single space the text.  The grants were often over 500 pages!  So when I attempted to pick up my applications, I remember having to make multiple trips because the applications were so heavy I could only carry two or three at a time—and I usually would have eight to ten—and sometimes twelve—applications.  And, the pay rate was one flat rate for the week—it was not based on the number of applications reviewed!   Back then, we hand-wrote our comments.  If there were conflicts, spelling errors, illegible handwriting, or any changes, it was time to pull out those bottles of “white-out” and paint!   And, when changes were really substantial, there was lots of staple-removing, collating, and re-stapling.  By the end of the week, I remember having to carry those heavy grant applications back to the DOE staff member.  Yes, those were the good old days!

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Peer Reviewers Needed for 2011 Professional Development for Arts Educators Program

The Professional Development for Arts Educators (PDAE) Grant Program at the U.S. Department of Education seeks application reviewers for its upcoming grant competition, scheduled to begin in late April or May 2011.  Reviewers will receive an honorarium based on the number of applications reviewed.
 
The grant program supports the implementation of high-quality professional development model programs in elementary and secondary education for music, dance, drama, media arts, or visual arts, including folk arts, for educators and other arts instructional staff of kindergarten through grade 12 (K-12) students in high-poverty schools.  The purpose of this program is to strengthen standards-based arts education programs and to help ensure that all students meet challenging State academic content standards and challenging State student academic achievement standards in the arts. 
 
Reviewers must have experience in one of the following areas: arts or arts education; elementary school education; middle school education; high school education; school administration; professional development; special populations; curriculum development; or research evaluation.  Reviewers may not have served in three consecutive previous grant reviews for this program.
 
The review process is conducted entirely via the Internet and conference call.  Reviewers are assigned to panels comprised of three people and a panel facilitator.  Each member of the panel reviews the same 10-12 applications.  Applications are generally 25 pages of narrative and may include additional pages of appendices.  Reviewers download their assigned applications from the https://www.g5.gov site.  Each reviewer attends a reviewer orientation conducted by Department of Education staff and subsequently evaluates and scores the applications based on the program’s selection criteria.  After reviewers enter their scores and comments, conference calls are conducted to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the applications.  While discussion is required, consensus is not.  Conference calls are scheduled at least three times during the review period, which may last up to 15 working days depending on the efficiency of the panel.  Reviewers must be available for all scheduled conference calls during the entire period.
 
This is an electronic review that includes group conference calls.  Each reviewer must have:     1)  Access to the Internet and a printer. 2) The ability to interact within a web-based environment & 3)  The ability to send and receive email
 
If interested, please submit by February 28, 2011 a (1) current resume and (2) completed Reviewer Checklist (attached) to: pdae@ed.gov.

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Love All My Broken Hearts!

Above all else, guard thy heart for it is the wellspring of life.
Proverbs 4:23

Today is “Wear Red for Women” day.  I discovered this while watching TV this morning and was dismayed to discover that I had nothing red with me.  A vague memory surfaced —my daughter gave me a beautiful red dress pin last year and as I was packing for this trip and I had caught a glimpse of it in the corner of my suitcase and wondered why it was there and not in my jewelry box. I didn’t have time to take it out- so this morning I rummaged around and there it was, bright and shiny.  I proudly pinned it on, proud that I could pay tribute to my own sweet survivor.

 Several years ago on a cold winter night many miles from home, we got a call that our daughter was in the hospital.  We quickly gathered our stuff and started the trip home on a long lonesome road with little traffic and practically no cell service.  I was alone in my car and about an hour out, I got a patchy call and thought I heard “heart attack” before I lost signal.  I told myself that wasn’t possible and went through all of the possible scenarios…appendix, gall bladder, anything but a heart attack.  This was my strong, vibrant daughter, still in her forties.  A heart attack wasn’t possible…or was it?  Her father had survived a heart attack the year before…

 It was indeed a major heart attack and the symptoms had nothing to do with chest or arm pains.  The worst of the pain was over before the ambulance arrived and the EMT crew (as they nonchalantly ambled along) diagnosed it as “indigestion”.   In contrast to the nearly unmistakable “classic” chest-splitting, gasping-for-breath symptoms, many heart attacks (especially in women) present symptoms that are often mistaken for indigestion or muscle aches.  Women can have very atypical symptoms such as dizziness, light headedness or fatigue.  Women also have a habit of getting help for others but not themselves.   

 Heart disease is the number one killer for both men and women, and patients are getting younger.   If your family has a history of heart problems, you should always be aware and go for heart scans.  Our family has luckily been able to put all our broken hearts back together.  Father, husband, daughter, brother and son…

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Health Professions and Nursing Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Grant

Agency Name

Health Resources & Services Administration

Description

The Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) program promotes diversity among health profession students and practitioners by providing scholarships to full-time students with financial need from disadvantaged backgrounds, enrolled in health professions and nursing programs. Participating schools are responsible for selecting scholarship recipients, making reasonable determinations of need, and providing scholarships that do not exceed the allowable costs (i.e., tuition, reasonable educational expenses and reasonable living expenses), as defined in this funding opportunity announcement.  

Current Closing Date for Applications: Feb 28, 2011   

Link to Full Announcement

https://grants.hrsa.gov/webExternal/SFO.asp?ID=664AA66F-B316-4FE8-AC44-2FD519756BFD

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Free Grant Writing Training

The Foundation Center offers free webinars that are short online grant writing training.  Register to participate without cost.

Topics include grantwriting basics, proposal budgeting, and finding funders (as well as other topics).

The Center also offers free longer tutorials, interactive online training courses that reinforce lessons with interactivity, assignments, and self-tests.  (Some tutorials have a cost but many are free.)

http://foundationcenter.org/getstarted/training/webinars/guide_webinar.html

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Improving Literacy through School Libraries: FY 2011

The purpose of this program is to improve student reading skills and academic achievement by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media centers; and well-trained, professionally certified school library media specialists. 

Eligible Applicants

Public and State controlled institutions of higher education 

Additional Information on Eligibility:

Eligible Applicants: LEAs, including charter schools and State-administered schools that are considered LEAs under State law, in which at least 20 percent of the students served by the LEA are from families with incomes below the poverty line based on the most recent satisfactory data available from the U.S. Census Bureau at the time this notice is published. These data are Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates for school districts for income year 2009. A list of LEAs with their family poverty rates (based on these Census Bureau data) is posted on our Web site at http://www.ed.gov/programs/lsl/eligibility.html.

Agency Name:  Department of Education

Link to Full Announcement:        Improving Literacy through School Libraries: FY 2011

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