“LET’S GO!” FIELD TRIP FUND FAQS

How Does The “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund Grant Program Work?

The “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund Grant Program provides grant reimbursement subsidies to eligible schools or youth-serving organizations to help support the cost of transportation for their science, nature, outdoor or environmental-based field trips. Transportation subsidy payments are only provided after a field trip has been completed – we will reimburse applicants between $500-1000/bus, depending on location (see additional details below). We do not directly provide or coordinate bus transportation.

IMPORTANT: The “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund supports the cost of transportation, only. This grant can not be used to cover entrance fees, program costs, parking or any other ancillary expenses.

We do not coordinate any program scheduling through this grant. That is the responsibility of the teachers or school representatives. You should request your desired field trip dates and programs with your field trip provider before submitting your application.

Who is eligible?

All schools with an FRPM % of 70 or greater (60% for Santa Clara County schools going to eligible locations within Santa Clara County), or youth-serving organizations that serve these schools (see below), or schools that show at least a 70% socioeconomically disadvantaged student population, within the 9 Bay Area counties are eligible to apply. See additional information about eligibility, below.

    • Eligible counties include: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Solano, or Sonoma.
    • Your field trip must serve students from grades TK-12. At this time, college or adult-aged groups are not eligible.
    • A science, nature, outdoor or environmental-based field trip.
    • To a location managed by a non-profit or governmental organization. Field trips to for-profit institutions are not eligible.
    • Schedule their field trip during the active school year. Field trips must take place before June 30th*.
    • Each class or group of students is eligible for one grant per school year.
    • When possible, grade teams should apply together for one grant award.

*Funding may be available for eligible summer programs. Please contact us at bus@environmentalvolunteers.org to ask.

How do I know if my school or group is eligible?

All schools with an FRPM % of 70 or greater (60% for Santa Clara County schools going to local field trips), or youth-serving organizations that serve these schools, or schools that show at least a 70% socioeconomically disadvantaged student population, are eligible to apply. Schools can verify their current FRPM level by one of three ways:

    • Use the most recent year of reported income data for your school: see the most recent year’s available FRPM Report.
    • Show at least a 70% socioeconomically disadvantaged student population on their most recent SARC (see SARC Summary).
    • Use the most recent year of % Unduplicated Pupil Count for your school: see the most recent year’s available UPC % Report.

How much will the grant subsidize?

The “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund provides transportation reimbursement subsidies to successful grant applicants as follows:

    • The maximum subsidy is $500-1000 per bus (depending on location). Additional costs will be the responsibility of the applicant school/organization.
    • The fund will do everything possible to support as many buses as are required to allow your entire grade/student population to participate in the requested field trip. However, some limits may be applied.
    • The fund supports either round-trip transportation for a to/from field trip (not overnight), OR a single date (and single direction) for an overnight field trip.
    • The “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund supports the cost of transportation, only. This grant can not be used to cover entrance fees, program costs, parking or any other ancillary expenses.

What types of field trips are eligible for this program?

The “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund grant program supports field trips that are science, nature or environmental-based, or field trips that take place in outdoor settings. Examples include field trips to Science Museums, Zoos, Open Space Preserves, Nature Camps, etc. Field trips to for-profit institutions (such as amusement parks, pumpkin patches, etc.) are not eligible.

Who can apply on behalf of my school or youth-serving organization?

Whenever possible, we ask for applications to be submitted directly by the teachers or educators whose class(es) will be attending the field trip. Otherwise, school teachers, principals, office staff, parent volunteers, and organization staff/educators are welcome to apply on behalf of a class or student group.

What is a “youth-serving organization”?

For the purposes of the “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund, a “youth-serving organization” is considered an out-of-school program or organization that serves youth or young adults (birth to 24 years). Youth-serving organizations must specifically serve a low-income community with 70% FRPM or greater.

How do I apply?

Teachers/Organizational staff are expected to do a little preparation before submitting an application:

    1. Before applying, contact the location or field trip provider you are interested in working with to make sure they have capacity to provide a field trip for your students. Applications must have a designated location in order to be considered for support (i.e. TBD is not an acceptable response, and your application will not be considered). We do not coordinate any program scheduling through this grant. That is the responsibility of the teachers or school representatives.
    2. Check with other teachers in your grade to make sure you aren’t duplicating effort; there should only be one application for each grade team if you’re all attending the same field trip location.
    3. Submit your application based on the time of year your field trip is tentatively scheduled to take place: Fall/Winter or Spring. Follow additional instructions on the application form.
    4. If your date(s) or location need to change, let us know at bus@environmentalvolunteers.org as soon as possible. Changes reported after the field trip has already taken place may void your grant eligibility.
    5. As soon as possible, confirm who will be providing your actual transportation (see below).
    6. Funding is limited; grants will be awarded on a rolling basis as long as funding is available.

WHEN Should I apply?

Applications for the “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund must be submitted before your field trip is scheduled to take place. We cannot fund field trips retroactively.

IMPORTANT: Make sure you use the correct application for your field trip.

Funding for each time period is calculated differently, and grant awards generally can not be rolled over between one application to the next.

Funding is limited. You should submit your application as soon as you’ve planned your field trip (but see notes above).

NOTE: Applications for the 2023/2024 school year have now closed. Applications for 2024/2025 will open up again in August. Please check back after August 1st for additional details.

How do I reserve a bus?

Check first with your school district to see if district buses are available. If your district does not have buses and you do not have access to buses from another district, please use the transportation service with the lowest cost. We recommend First Student, or Durham School Services, but there may be other good alternatives in different areas. The Environmental Volunteers does not directly coordinate bus reservations.

How do I get my money?

The “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund grant program is a reimbursement-based program. To receive reimbursement, after your field trip has been completed, please send a copy of the official bus invoice and the completed Reimbursement Form that you received from us to Bus@environmentalvolunteers.org. Invoices must be the actual invoice from the transportation provider (school district or private charter company); handwritten copies are not acceptable. Please note that reimbursement checks to individuals are strongly discouraged, and can only be provided if the reimbursement request is accompanied by a signed Admin letter on school letterhead. Reimbursement checks will be sent to the address designated on the submitted Reimbursement Form.

In most cases, the school will need to pay the up front costs of the transportation to the bus company, and the “Let’s Go!” Field Trip Fund will reimburse the school. We can not send payment in advance of a field trip.

IMPORTANT: Reimbursement paperwork (the completed Reimbursement Request form and the official transportation invoice) is due no later than 30 days after your field trip has been completed. Paperwork that is not received within this timeframe may cause your grant award to be canceled, and funding reallocated to another school.

What happens if my Field trip Changes?

After you’ve submitted your application, any changes to your field trip (especially location, time of year, number of buses needed, and grades of students participating) must be communicated to us at Bus@environmentalvolunteers.org before your field trip takes place, as some changes may impact your grant eligibility. Changes requested after the field trip has already taken place may result in funding cancellation.

As a general rule, we are unable to roll over funding between one application window and the next, and you may be required to submit a new application with the new information. Some exceptions apply. EV staff will discuss options when you notify us of your changes.

 

Have additional comments or feedback? Please contact Bus@environmentalvolunteers.org