The Home Depot kicks off its 2017 Retool Your School

In Its Eighth Consecutive Year, the World’s Largest Home Improvement Specialty Retailer Will Award Deserving HBCUs $360,000 in Campus Improvement Grants

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THE FIRST SHOVELS of dirt are tossed at the ceremonial groundbreaking for the HBCU 2014 Retool Your School winner, Stillman College in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The winning school can use the grant money to improve the campus appearance.

The Home Depot announced the launch of its 2017 Retool Your School Grant Program, offering Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) an opportunity to apply for grants to use toward creating sustainable renovations and additions to their campuses.

This year, The Home Depot introduced two ways to enter the Retool Your School program for 2017.

HBCUs will have the choice of opting into the program through the standard proposal submission, and for the first time ever, HBCUs can enter the RYS program through an all-new and exciting nomination process.

This nomination process allows HBCU faculty, staff, students and community supporters to nominate their favorite HBCU to participate in the program via Twitter and/or Instagram using the school’s sponsor-provided hashtag, which can be found at www.retoolyourschool.com. Accredited HBCUs with a minimum of 100 nominations will then qualify to enter the voting period.

Nominations were accepted by an authorized school administrator until February 10, 2017 to enter the voting period.

The second way for schools to vie for a 2017 Retool Your School campus improvement grant is by having an authorized school administrator complete the online registration form by providing primary contact information as well as an official school logo, which will be on the Retool Your School website. Once submitted, the school will be included on the website for the official voting phase of the program.

This information must be submitted by February 22, 2017, to enter the voting period.

Schools receiving 100 or more nominations during the official nomination period will be converted to votes. This year, voting begins February 24, 2017, and ends April 16, 2017.

During this period, the HBCU community can vote in two ways:

  1. By casting one online vote per day at www.retoolyourschool.com
  2. By using your school’s unique, designated hashtag to cast unlimited social votes through Twitter and Instagram.

The nine schools that receive the highest number of votes during the voting period will advance to the final round and submit their proposals. A panel of distinguished judges will evaluate each school’s proposal. Judges will consider the quality of each proposal and the school’s ability to execute the project within the specified budget. Proposals for all three grant levels must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on the HBCU campus.

A total of $360,000 will be granted to the nine HBCUs with winning proposals. The schools will be categorized in one of three clusters, based on each school’s student population. Each cluster will have three winners vying for one $50,000, one $40,000 and one $30,000 grant.

The breakdown is as follows: Cluster 1 is open to schools with a student enrollment of 4,000 or more; Cluster 2 is open to schools with a student enrollment of 1,201–3,999 students; and Cluster 3 is open to schools with 1,200 students or less.

The nine winners will be announced by May 11, 2017, at The Home Depot headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

The Home Depot Retool Your School Grant Program, established in 2010, encourages and recognizes innovative projects that contribute to the campuses of accredited HBCUs. Since the program’s inception, over 1.5 million dollars in grant money has been awarded to our nation’s

HBCUs to make sustainable improvements.

For the last two years, the Retool Your School Program has been recognized in Washington, DC, by the White House Initiative on HBCUs during National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week.

“With each year, we’ve seen the momentum and engagement around The Retool Your School Grant Program continually grow,” says Melissa Brown, Senior Marketing Manager at The Home Depot. “The program is the embodiment of the culture and commitment of The Home Depot’s support to community. At the Home Depot, we acknowledge and appreciate the vital contributions that HBCUs have made and continue to make to our nation’s rich history, and are proud to partner in this legacy.”

For more information on The Home Depot Retool Your School Grant Program, visit www.retoolyourschool.com.

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