Educational Mini-Grants & Field Trips

DSCF9771Mini-Grants for Educational Enrichment and Field Trip Grants provide homeless housing providers with funds that may be spent on educational programs, projects, materials, and community excursions.

Since its inception in 1999, HCEF has offered yearly Mini-Grants of up to $2,000 each to homeless housing providers.  The grants are intended to provide on-site educational enrichment opportunities for children and youth experiencing homelessness at the locations where they reside or receive services. The addition of educational field trip funding, in partnership with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit (AIU), has enabled hundreds of children, youth, and their parents to explore the cultural and educational resources that exist within our region and beyond.

Examples of recent Mini-Grant projects include physical fitness, gardening, learning center technology, DJ workshops, science clubs, life skills, storytelling, puppetry, and art supplies.  Popular field trip destinations are Children’s Museum, Carnegie Science Center, Pittsburgh Zoo, National Aviary, and Just Ducky Tours.

Program Outcomes 2015-2016

  • $28,300 in Mini-Grants awarded to 16 agencies, impacting an estimated 415 children and 160 parents
  • $7,700 in Field Trip Grants awarded to 14 programs, impacting an estimated 350 children and 170 parents in a total of 45 field trips

What participants are saying:

“Parents have shared how grateful they are that the programs were offered to their children, because otherwise they may not have had these wonderful experiences.” – Homeless provider

“This is the beginning of creating the space for parents and children to use together to help the children and parents interact appropriately so that they can learn and grow together.” – Homeless provider

“Children said that field trips ‘made them feel normal’ and ‘like other kids.’  In addition, children also noted that while on field trips, they were able to forget their worries temporarily.” – Homeless provider

“I liked the ferret and the owl because of the feathers and when it went potty on the floor.” – Child

For more information, contact HCEF’s Manager of Educational Services.



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