Building Grit Kit Grant Application 

About the Grant

The Building Grit Kit provides a framework for educators to work with students to help them build skills to increase  grit and resiliency and to strengthen social and emotional learning skills. The grant provides a virtual visit and ongoing consultations with award-winning author Jo Watson Hackl and her team with participating faculty and students over the course of four to six weeks. A limited number of schools will be awarded the grant. The grant can be implemented in the spring, summer or fall of 2023 or the spring or summer of 2024.

About the Instructor and Facilitator

Jo Watson Hackl is the best-selling author of Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe, which won the Southern Book Prize and is an Amazon Teacher’s Pick. She is also a first-generation college graduate and used writing skills to earn scholarships to attend both Millsaps College and Yale Law school. At Yale, she was awarded the prize for the best student article in the Yale Law Journal. She is a Liberty Fellow, a Riley Fellow, and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Grit and resiliency have taken her from the tiny ghost town where she grew up to the Ivy League, boardrooms of major companies, and beyond and she is passionate about equipping students with tools to help them increase their own grit and resiliency. She has worked with experienced educators and a neuroscience major to develop the Building Grit Kit. She has presented to over 24,000 educators, students, and other professionals.


The objective of this program is to help students become the hero in their own story by building skills that promote grit and resiliency and strengthen social and emotional learning. Through this project, students identify their interests, strengths and things that they would like to work on. They set short, medium, and long-term goals, brainstorm potential obstacles to those goals, develop effective strategies to help them navigate around potential obstacles, and strengthen skills to help get them closer to their goals. Students also identify positive adult role models who can help them in their journey. Students also explore positive habits that they can build into their daily lives to help them become the best version of themselves, and destress and recharge with a variety of nature-based and team-building activities. The program uses the book Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe as a springboard for this work. If funds are needed in order to purchase copies of Smack Dab, Jo is happy to connect you with her grant-writer friend, who has volunteered to help write grants to obtain funds to purchase books.

Grant Application and Selection Process

The educators and schools who receive this grant are expected to participate fully in the planning and implementation process, which requires a significant time commitment. Interested educators are required to submit a grant application (below).

All participating educators are required to be actively involved throughout the implementation and evaluation process. Administrative support and cooperation are important to planning a successful program, so be sure to discuss this with your principal and all educators who would be affected by this program. In selecting schools to participate, consideration will be given to a variety of factors, the most important of which are the quality of your proposal and the motivation of applicants. In particular, well-planned implementation of this program, feedback and data collection are required. Participating schools should be prepared to report data on an aggregate basis (with no individual identifying data) on factors indicative of students’ engagement before and after implementation of the Building Grit Kit including:

❖      Attendance and tardy rates

❖      Performance on standardized tests

❖      Homework completion rates

❖      Class participation and measures of SEL skills

❖      Disciplinary referrals

 Data should be collected and reported on a baseline (pre-program implementation) and after program implementation basis. Grant proposals are reviewed by a selected committee of readers. Face-to-face virtual interviews are required for educators under final consideration. Participating educator(s), along with the principal or assistant principal, are required to attend this interview. The final decision will be based on this interview, along with the written proposal.

Grant application form is below

Grant applications are due by March 15, 2023. 

Please email with any questions about the application process or the program.
Sign in to Google to save your progress. Learn more
Email *
School District *
School physical address, phone and email
Contact Educator Name: *
Full Job Title: *
Grade Level(s) with whom you work: *
Your email: *
Preferred start date for grant implementation: *
What motivates you to apply for this grant? *
 Additional comments including administrative support for this project:
How many classrooms would you like to participate in the implementation of this grant? *
What are the grade level(s) of the classrooms that you would like to participate in the implementation of this grant? *
Is your school a Title 1 school? *
Do you need help with funding in order to purchase copies of Smack Dab in the Middle of Maybe for students participating in the program? *
Please affirm that you have the approval of your principal or assistant principal and to agree to the statements below:

Before applying, educators and administrators should be aware of the responsibilities included with successful receipt of this grant. If you have any questions, please contact 
Clear form
Never submit passwords through Google Forms.
This content is neither created nor endorsed by Google. Report Abuse - Terms of Service - Privacy Policy