WVHEA’s Regional Outreach and Development (ROAD) grant program began in 2003 when the WVHEA Board realized that our members weren’t interested in attending the annual homeschool conference. They were so busy that they just couldn’t manage another long drive or a day away. WV homeschoolers are busily engaged in their cities, towns and hollers and just don’t need or want to go very far for the camaraderie of other homeschoolers.
It occurred to the WVHEA board that this is progress. Homeschoolers can now find whatever support, information and involvement they need locally. They don’t have to drive across five counties to find another homeschool family, as our homeschooling forebears did.
So instead of trying to lure homeschool families away from home (which we already knew was impossible), we decided WVHEA would come to them. In a manner of speaking.
The WVHEA Board set aside some of the money that would normally fund a homeschool conference to create the Regional Outreach And Development (ROAD) grant program. Members were invited to apply for funding for programs, events, activities—whatever homeschool-related matters they or their group needed help paying for. We hoped to make possible projects that would enrich homeschoolers’ lives and promote learning. We aimed to foster the growth of local homeschool networks and inspire homeschoolers throughout the state to develop creative and appealing activities for their groups and their communities.
And that’s how WVHEA’s ROAD grant program was born.
Since then, members throughout the state have taken the ROAD grant challenge. North Central WV homeschoolers imported an Eastern Panhandle blacksmith known for his work with children. Huntington families started a homeschool band and used ROAD grant money for uniforms and other necessities. Together with funds from the Morgan Co. Public Library, ROAD grant money brought in a puppet show for the entire community. Ritchie County Home Educators used the ROAD to organize an education fair and publish their yearbook. The ROAD helped Greenbrier Co-op members finance their part in Lewisburg’s First Day celebration. Classes of all kinds—chemistry, art, drama, gym, writing—have been made possible with ROAD grant money. These are just a few of the projects funded by WVHEA’s ROAD grants.
The WVHEA Board invites you to make something exciting happen for homeschooling families in your area. Apply for financial assistance to help cover costs for your great idea or your group’s small but essential needs. ROAD grant money is not just for splashy special events; you can use it to help cover your group’s clerical expenses, such as mailing and copying newsletters. Click on Guidelines for more details and this application form for a printable copy of the ROAD grant application.
We look forward to learning about your plans.