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Glenmont Elementary a finalist for $25,000 grant

Middle school puts in for own award, community can vote through March

Glenmont Elementary School has been declared a finalist in the Pepsi Refresh Project grant program and is on its way to receiving $25,000 to continue its Building Community Through Dance program.

The program came in seventh in votes received out of 1,000 ideas in the grant category for the month of February. The top ten ideas receive funding, but must first be vetted by Pepsi to ensure the money will be spent properly. The official winners are expected to be announced March 22.

Glenmont Elementary Principal Laura Heffernan declined to comment before the official announcement is made.

A spokesperson for Pepsi also declined to go on the record before the winners are named.

The Refresh Everything program will be doling out $20 million over the course of 2010 to worthy causes, as determined by nationwide Internet vote. $1.3 million will be distributed every month through grants of various sizes, plus spot grants that will be handed out by local bottlers.

Pepsi elected to launch the grant program rather than buy advertising during the Super Bowl this year.

February was the first round of voting. Other BC programs are already getting involved for March's contest, however.

At the Middle School, teacher Jennifer Steil has applied for a $25,000 grant to reinstate the Step Up to BCMS summer program for incoming sixth graders, which was discontinued three yeas ago.

The Step Up program brings 20-25 incoming sixth graders into the building for two weeks in August to help acclimate them to the middle school experience, said Steil.

"They're varying fifth graders that have anxiety issues that make it difficult to transition to the middle school," she said. "It's the kids who just struggle with making friends, with self confidence, with becoming comfortable in a new setting."

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