At the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, we’ve heard exceptional, innovative, and even wild concepts at our annual Symposium On Our Youngest Citizens and follow-up surveys for the past few years, and we know you have some amazing ideas for improving the lives of children in Pierce County. With funding from generous donors, we’re excited to partner with you to bring these projects to life.
We’re always looking for new ways to invite children’s presence, ideas, and wonder in neighborhoods across the county, and we encourage all interested community members to submit project proposals for the grant program.
Following the Museum’s mission to “honor children and champion play” and vision that “communities embrace the power of play and value the contributions of children,” we seek to fund community action projects focused on developing a child-centered community. Successful projects will recognize and advocate for the needs and rights of children as citizens, increase the visibility of children as members of our communities, and/or positively influence systems that surround children and families.
Each group will develop and implement a specific project that will engage youth and children of our community – listen to their voices and inspire adults to reconnect with their own inner child. To carry out these projects, the Museum will disperse small grants up to $2,000.
Applications are now closed for Scooter Grants. Request for proposals will be released in May 2021.
FAQ | Scooter Grants
Scooter Grants are named and funded in memory of Children’s Museum of Tacoma Board member Scott Marshall, whom we lost in December 2017. Scott had a beloved alter-ego: “Scooter” the Clown. After graduating from clown school, he was known to make special appearances as Scooter at local community events. Scott loved the Symposium on our Youngest Citizens and was so proud of the Museum’s role in building a child-centered community, so it seems natural that his own love of children would live on by making our community a better place for them.
Small grants will be awarded to successful project proposals that bring more play, in unexpected and new ways, into the lives of Pierce County children. These projects might engage their grown-ups in play as well. Projects could address many of the spaces and interactions children experience throughout their days such as stores, restaurants, or other businesses; medical and social services; neighborhoods and parks; or childcare and schools.
Any Pierce County resident with a great idea for making our communities more child-centered and play-powered is eligible. You’ll also need at least two friends committed to helping with your plan. Individuals working together, non-profits, businesses, advocacy groups, neighborhood coalitions, service groups and more can apply. In fact, we hope to build a cohort of projects representing a broad range of interest groups.
Children eight and over are encouraged to apply, with an adult acting as the primary contact for the project. And, since children are the focus of this grant program, be sure to think about how children will be involved in the project planning process and engaged in implementation.
The sky’s the limit! But awards will be restricted to one per lead applicant. Although, if you’re a go-getter, you can participate in other projects, just not as the lead application.
We hope to award 4-6 grants up to $2,000 each. Applicants will receive communication on funding decisions the week of September 9, 2019.
Applications are currently closed. Please check back in early 2021 for information on proposals.
The project must be intended to benefit the general public, rather than an individual, small group, club, or association. For example, funds may not be used for a private school’s or preschool’s play ground, unless it is accessible to the general public. Funding is project-focused and cannot be used for an organization’s general operating or capital campaign expenses. If used to support an event, it must be the launch of a longer-range program or effort intended to have ongoing elements. Grant funding will support expenses incurred from October to March.
The Request for Proposals for Scooter Grants are usually released in spring, for projects that will be occurring in the fall. Keep an eye out in April-May for more information and deadlines!
The Museum will run Washington State Patrol and National Sex Offender public website background checks on the primary contacts for each finalist. Awardees will sign a contract agreeing to grant requirements, including a background check and an IRS form W-9. Finalists must be able to pass a Washington State Patrol and National Sex Offender background checks. The contract will commit awardees to delivering the project as described in the proposal, reporting expenses, submitting reports (including photos/videos) to document the project impact.