Glade Park is still after Pepsi grant for school

Glade Park School earned enough online votes in November and December to spend a third month competing for a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant in January. But hope has dwindled that the school will beat out hundreds of other ideas to win the money.

Supporters were delighted to see the school qualify in November for the Refresh project, which allows people to vote every day for a month online or via text for their favorite project ideas. The two top vote-getters in the $250,000 category get money, while other top ideas get carried over for another try the next month.

Glade Park School’s idea to use grant funding to build a new, permanent home ranked in the 50s at its peak. Getting from the 50s to the top two may be a challenge the school simply can’t meet, according to Karyn Bechtel, president of On the Park, a nonprofit group supporting the school.

“We kind of feel like we’ve maxed out,” Bechtel said.

Plenty of time and energy went into getting the word out about Glade Park’s attempt to win the grant, and Bechtel said the school had support and votes from across the Grand Valley and as far away as France.

But getting people who are unfamiliar with the school excited about the project was difficult, and Bechtel said “more realistic” grant opportunities may be the best way for the school to find funding.

The Colorado Legacy Foundation is also in the running for a $250,000 grant in January after placing well but not high enough in December.

The foundation plans to help seven high schools, including Fruita Monument and Grand Junction, expand and improve their Advanced Placement class programs over the next three years, but it needs additional funding.

Samantha Long, director of the Colorado Legacy Schools program, the branch of the foundation concentrating on Advanced Placement programs, said schools involved in the program encouraged students and staff to vote for the program through daily announcements and newsletters.

It paid off: The legacy program ranked 19th a few days into December and finished in 41st place.

If the schools feel they can keep up or speed up the momentum from December or do better because January doesn’t have as many breaks from school as December, Long said she’ll encourage another strong campaign for votes.

“If we hear they can’t increase votes, we’ll kind of wait and see,” Long said.

To vote for either project go to


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