Home Depot’s annual Retool Your School Contest for historically black colleges and universities has Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU), excited.
Home Depot is awarding $300,000, a total of nine grants for their annual contest. Participating colleges and universities are categorized by student enrollment into three clusters. Each cluster is awarded a Tier I Grant, a Campus Pride Grant and a Tier II Grant.
FAMU’s Office of Communications collaborated with the Sustainability Institute to get all documents completed in order to participate in the contest.
Sustainability Institute intern, Andrea Pugh who completed the grant application for the competition, said she is looking forward to FAMU possibly receiving the money for the reconstruction of an eco-classroom on campus.
“The eco-classroom has the potential to make significant positive impacts for students, faculty, and the greater community,” Pugh said.
The eco-classroom, which will serve as a non-traditional learning center, will also provide educational demonstrations for the community on renewable energy, environmental conservation, food security, and other sustainability related initiatives. It will also serve as a place for positive community social interactions, as a seedbed for entrepreneurial possibilities related to compost and produce (herbs), and generate opportunities for student volunteer engagement across campus.
Pugh said the Sustainability Institute has implemented creative ideas to create more excitement about voting.
“We have seamlessly integrated the hashtag into our daily social media activity. We have attached the hashtag to ‘green’ fun facts, community happenings and other news.”
Asia Johnson, Information Specialist for the Office of Communications, spearheaded the campaign to encourage students to vote and use the hashtag on social media.
“Mrs. Stewart and I reached out to the Sustainability Institute to do a proposal. We let them know that we would take the helm of the social media campaign,” Johnson said.
Johnson came up with the concept of an April Fool’s Day video for social media to promote voting. The video was produced on campus and featured campus student leaders.
Students KeyAaron Dishman, a fourth-year broadcast journalism student from Tallahassee, Fla., and his friends developed a daily routine to push fellow students to vote.
“We walk around the campus and remind people to vote and we’re almost always in Coleman so we go to each floor and make sure people have voted on their phones and computers. We do this every day. This competition is important to all of us,” Dishman said.
Alumni voiced their concerns about the rules and what other schools were doing and decided to launch the Home Depot Retool Your School Matching Gift Campaign to match the amount of money the university will receive from Home Depot.
As always, Rattlers have been working together to win this competition for the advancement of FAMU.
The Retool Your School competition ends April 24.