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Outdoor Exploration
Proposal for Initiating the
Outdoor Exploration Afterschool Program
11/7/2015
Danielle Johnson

Table of Contents
Letter of
Inquiry.............................................................................................
............................3
Cover
Letter...............................................................................................
.................................4
Executive Summary / Needs
Statement................................................................................5
Organizational
Background.....................................................................................
................6
Program
Description......................................................................................
...........................6
Program Goals and
Objectives........................................................................................
........8
Evaluation........................................................................................
...........................................9
Sustainability of the
Project.............................................................................................
.........9
Budget & Budget
Narrative.........................................................................................
..........10
Project
Timeline...........................................................................................
............................12
Communications
Plan..................................................................................................
...........14
Logic
Model...............................................................................................
...............................15

Letter from
Collaborator.....................................................................................
...................16

Letter of Inquiry
Outdoor Exploration Afterschool Program
September 30, 2015
The Ann Ranger Foundation
Attn: Ann Ranger, Director
200 South Whatever Street
Chicago, Illinois 60010
Dear Ann Ranger,

The Ann Ranger Foundation has done so much for the educational and social services for
children and families throughout the past fifty years. The funding provided to the children and
families all across the United States has greatly benefited our nation and will surely continue to
do so. One way to continue to do so would be through Outdoor Exploration, a new afterschool
program to help inner city children grades K-6 to supplement their curriculum and become
involved in their community through experiential education. Outdoor Exploration is a newly
founded organization started by an Experiential Education Masters Student at Minnesota State
University, Danielle Johnson, in an effort to provide students and communities in inner city
schools in the Boston area with a more diverse way to learn. Through this program, students will
explore the greater Boston area with help from instructors to learn about science, math, reading,
and other aspects of the curriculum through a hands on approach. Inner city schools are often
lacking proper funding and cannot provide the staffing or the funds to offer their students
opportunities to supplement their learning outside their classroom. Many students in these areas
are also often living around the poverty line and do not generally have access to programs such
as these because of cost. Here at Outdoor Exploration we use outdoor recreation and methods of
experiential learning such as service education and project based learning as an educational
vehicle to develop young childrens interest in their community and a desire to improve it
through various sustainability projects.
In recent years there has been a huge push in educational initiatives. Readiness programs
for each grade have grown a staggering amount, especially from preschool through elementary
school. Public and private schools alike tend to gear their educational time towards academic
skills like math and reading, and while those are important social skills and practical science and
natural history skills tend to fall by the wayside. Inner city schools are the target group for
Outdoor Exploration because many of these children have less access to nature and experiential
outdoor learning. School systems in these communities are struggling to stay afloat by
government and state standards students are really missing out on crucial aspects of their
education. Sociologist Jan Cooper found that 68% of young adults who commit crimes or
felonies were never given access to experiential learning in their classrooms and found what
education they did have (of the 32% drop out rate) found school to be boring and inapplicable to
their lives. She found that a staggering 64% of these students lacked access to productive
activities after school because of the lack of funding leading to gang involvement, higher rate of
high school dropouts, and higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse. By integrating more programs
like Outdoor exploration there will be more of an opportunity for this portion of the population to
become engaged in their community, find their passion, and lead to a better life for their families.
Outdoor Exploration is interested in collaborating the final budget amount of $72,694
with The Ann Ranger Foundation to fund the first two years of our program. Here at Outdoor

Exploration we are dedicated to serving the community and improving society as a whole
through adequate educative experiences, and we feel that our similarities in goas would make for
a successful collaboration with the Ann Ranger Foundation.
We would be honored and excited to discuss our organization and program goals in more
depth through a formal budget proposal. I have dedicated our lives to this cause because I have
seen firsthand the disparities in our public education system, and I know this program will be
successful in helping those students who are not gaining anything from that experience. We hope
that you will be able to support our cause. Feel free to call or email if you have any questions or
concerns. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Sincerely,
Danielle Johnson
Executive Director

Cover Letter
October 8, 2015
The Ann Ranger Foundation
Attn: Ann Ranger, Director
200 South Whatever Street
Chicago, Illinois 60010
Dear Ann Ranger,
As the creator of Outdoor Exploration, I appreciate this opportunity to submit a full
proposal from our nonprofit organization Outdoor Exploration to the Ann Ranger Foundation.
Outdoor Exploration is a newly founded nonprofit organization that focuses on providing after
school supplements to inner city school students through experiential and outdoor education.
Through experiential education, we are able to decrease the negative effects of living in a low
income and often hostile environment and improving the quality of education for these students
outside of the struggling classrooms. Our mission is to use experiential and outdoor education as
a method to teach young children grades K-6 in the Boston area to redefine their love for
learning through community based projects, service learning, and sustainability activities.
In the following packet, you will find all the descriptions pertaining to our organization
and the specific program for which we are requesting funding. With your financial support in the
amount of $72,694, I would be able to not only kick start my organization, but also pave the way
for similar educational programs in the future. I appreciate your time, consideration, and
continued commitment to positively impacting the students of today for a better tomorrow.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Sincerely,
Danielle Johnson
Executive Director

Needs Statement
In recent years there has been a huge push in educational initiatives. Readiness programs
for each grade have grown a staggering amount, especially from preschool through elementary
school. Society is insisting that we strive to get each child ready for the next grade as quickly as
possible and are unfortunately leaving some crucial aspects of a childs education out of the
picture. Public and private schools alike tend to gear their educational time towards academic
skills like math and reading, and while those are important social skills and practical science and
natural history skills tend to fall by the wayside. Especially in inner city schools where children
have less access to nature and experiential outdoor learning, and in these school systems that are
struggling to stay afloat by government and state standards students are really missing out on
crucial aspects of their education. Outdoor Exploration is designed to help these struggling
students and school systems to integrate experiential and outdoor learning into a childs life who
may not necessarily have access to it. Sociologist Jan Cooper found that 68% of young adults
who commit crimes or felonies were never given access to experiential learning in their
classrooms and found what education they did have (of the 46% drop out rate) found school to
be boring and inapplicable to their lives. She found that many of these students lacked access to
productive activities after school because of the lack of funding which led to gang involvement,
higher rate of high school dropouts, and higher rates of drug and alcohol abuse. By integrating
more programs like Outdoor exploration there will be more of an opportunity for this portion of
the population to become engaged in their community, find their passion, and lead to a better life
for their families.

Organizational Background
Outdoor Exploration is a newly founded nonprofit organization started by Experiential
Education Masters Student at Minnesota State UniversityDanielle Johnsonin an effort to
engage more elementary aged students specifically in inner cities, to experiential educative
processes. Through our afterschool experiential education programs, we are able to decrease the
negative effects of living in low income communities, such as gang related violence, as well as
re-instill a love for learning in students who struggle to succeed academically. Our mission is to
use experiential and outdoor learning as a method to teach children grades K-6 in the Boston area
to redefine their love for learning through community based projects, service learning, and
sustainability activities.

Outdoor Exploration is a new program in the Boston area that draws from aspects of
programs all over the county. This afterschool program takes groups of around 15 students
between kindergarten and sixth grade in inners city schools out into the community to experience
learning in a way they do not in a traditional classroom. During their time in this program they
will learn how to contribute to their learning and their community in a positive manner. By using
the knowledge they gain in their traditional classrooms in science, math, history, English, art, etc.
the students will engage in community projects consisting of sustainability, public art, gardening,
recycling, and more. By the end of this year long program, students will have contributed to
multiple projects in the community which should increase their interest in community
sustainability, improvement and a higher interest in learning. This program will instill an
appreciation for their natural environment and the importance of preserving nature, world
perspective, increased self-confidence, and responsibility.
Danielle Johnson has a bachelors of education in elementary education with a second
major in European history in 2015. Since 2006, she has worked with a diverse group of children
including a large number of students who speak English as a second language. She has also
worked in a number of settings including child care, both private and public schools, and outdoor
recreation settings. Danielle has a passion for teaching students of all ages and is dedicated to
improving the lives of others through hands on learning that benefits more than just the students
involved.

Program Description
The Outdoor Exploration founder saw a gap between motivation and learning, but also in
the number of programs offering experiential education methods as a tool for students living in
low income areas. Outdoor Exploration was founded to instill a lifelong love for learning in these
children grades K-6 through nature and community based hands on afterschool activities.
Children in these low income areas of cities like Boston are particularly susceptible to
destructive life choices such as dropping out of school, drug and alcohol abuse, gang related
violence, and much more. The objective of Outdoor Exploration is to not only supplement the
content children are learning in schools through experiential learning techniques to instill a love
for learning in these students, but to also provide a safe afterschool alternative for their families.
Many parents of children in low income areas are not working a regular 9-5 job, many are
working strange hours and/or more than one job to keep their families afloat. Because of this
these parents often dont have the time to look after their children when school is over, and this
unsupervised time is when children can be subjected to these destructive habits mentioned above.
Outdoor Exploration will provide these students with a healthy and positive afterschool
experience that will lead to an improvement in family and community life.
Outdoor Exploration will function four out of the five school days in a week. The first
four days of the week throughout the entirety of the school year will be spent teaching groups of
fifteen or fewer students supplementary lessons through experiential learning methods. Using
their community and the nature surrounding their city, these students will learn the importance of
community service and sustainability among other topics and how nature influences their daily

lives. This afterschool program will cost nothing to the students involved and will cover many of
the topics they are already learning in school in order to supplement their learning. Topics will
vary within each subject by grade and will change every quarter along with the regular school
schedule. Below is the summary of activities taking place during a typical week in Outdoor
Exploration:
Monday: Sustainability

Mondays will vary throughout the year based on the season between sustainability and
nutrition lessons. Students will be learning about gardening and seasonal fruits and
vegetables that they can grow in a community garden. During the winter months when
gardening is not the ideal project, we will have an indoor garden/ greenhouse where
students can work with smaller plants like herbs and learn the differences in the processes
of growing different plants and foods. Not only will students be learning about foods they
can grow but they will also be planting flowers and other kinds of plants to learn about
their place in nature and what they do for the community.

Tuesday: Reading

Tuesdays are dedicated to reading and literature. Many children lose their love for
reading in school because they are forced to read texts that do not interest them and they
start to see reading as more of a chore than something enjoyable. Tuesdays are a way to
take their love for reading back and reinvent it. Students will engage with literature by
choosing their own books, learning about the histories of their favorite authors, acting out
scenes from their favorite books or plays, watching movies that correspond with their
favorite books and spotting the differences, and learning about different aspects of live
theatre in their community as it pertains to literature.

Wednesday: Community Art Project/ Service Learning

Wednesdays will be dedicated to service learning in the community. This is going to look
different every week because they will be working on different projects within the
community depending on their grade level. For some it may look like community service
by helping clean up parks and learning about the effects of littering and garbage, for the
older students it will be a community art project. This art project will be a year-long
project where the students work together to create a mural for the community. Students
will have the responsibility of collaborating, designing, and putting together the entire
project. This teaches the importance of teamwork in a positive and supportive
environment.

Thursday: Science/Natural Sciences

Thursdays are another day that will vary in topic each week. The point of the natural
science days is to get students involved in nature through a variety of outlets. Animals,
insets, geology, biology and meteorology are just a few different topics we will be
covering. Lessons can also involve visitors from wildlife centers, field trips to the zoo,
tours of weather centers, hikes or nature walks, and many other activities. Depending on
the students interests the teachers will formulate lessons and activities around what they
like.

Program/Project Goals & Objectives


The goals of Outdoor Exploration are to:

Re-instill a love for learning with underprivileged children in struggling school districts.
Teach children in these schools about ways to improve their community through service
learning and sustainability projects.
Teach science, history, math, and English as well as art and other subjects they may be
learning in school through a different approach (experiential education) in order to
reinforce what they are learning within the classroom and connect it to real world
problems and projects.
Empower students to strive for a better lifestyle and avoid harmful substances like drugs
and alcohol by getting them involved in their communities in a more productive way.
Identify the outdoors as a healthy form of recreation, relaxation, and educational
experience
Impact a concentrated number of children locally but larger groups globally by bringing
more awareness to the issues low income, inner city children have and providing healthy
productive alternatives to education and lifestyle choices.

In an effort to bring awareness to our organization, we have collaborated with Minnesota State
Universitys Masters of Experiential Education and Masters of Educational Leadership Programs
to provide information for teachers and other staff. This will not only bring awareness to our
program and programs like it, but also demonstrates the benefits of outdoor education and its
connections to future school wide and independent learning.

Evaluation and Sustainability of the Project


Evaluation
At the end of each quarter students will be asked to complete a brief survey (Grades K-2 will be
a verbal survey transcribed by the teacher) on their favorite part of the quarter. If there was a

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project or activity that they really enjoyed they would be asked to explain what it was and why
they enjoyed it. Negative feedback is welcome as well, if there was a project or activity that the
kids really didnt enjoy or see the purpose of we would ask them to explain it and how we could
improve it. There will also be an end of year evaluation of the program asking the same
questions but of the entire year. We would be looking for consistency among the positive
feedback, if there was a project that a lot of children liked, as well as what went well throughout
the course of the year and what didnt, and if improvements were made on disliked activities
throughout the course of the year or not. Teachers will also be asked to take a survey with similar
questions but relating to the teaching process of these activities and their thoughts on changes
and improvements. These evaluations will allow us to monitor if our intended short term goals
are being met within the organization and will allow multiple opportunities for alterations
throughout the programs operation.

Sustainability of the Project


At Outdoor Exploration we have a fairly extensive five year plan starting with our startup
budget in order accomplish our goals for future growth and expansion. In our first year we will
begin in the city of Boston and some of its surrounding low income towns, like Allston,
Brighton, and Somerville. By the fifth year we hope to be successful enough to expand our
program to the city of Dorchester and its surrounding areas to cater to a larger number of Boston
area children. We hope to be able to visit places such as the Symphony, the Museum of Fine Arts,
the Public Gardens and the Fens, along with other prominent aspects of the greater Boston area
as well as prominent aspects of each town such as the Franklin Park Zoo. Our ten year plan
includes expanding to other cities such as Chicago and New York. Our plan to expand over the
years would ideally not increase our class sizes so there would be an increase in need for
teachers and regional directors in different cities. A variety of grants would fund our program
while we would eventually transition to be financed by sponsorships as well as grant-based aid.
The budget outline below reviews the annual cost of this program, which would be about
$87,500 in its first year and would decrease a bit as the program develops. Our organization
comes at no cost to students and families in these areas. Families that choose to participate in
Outdoor Exploration that are not struggling financially will have the option to sponsor the
program through donations to contribute to the variety of children the program can
accommodate. All students should have access to experiential learning and be able to make the
most of their community surroundings regardless of their financial status.

Budget and Budget Narrative


Expenses
Executive Director
Andrea Wang
Teachers
Fringe Benefits
Consultant Fees

Year 1
$6,000
$5,000
$28,800
$500
$1,000

Year 2
$6,000
$5,000
$28,800
$500
$0

Total Project
$12,000
$10,000
$57,600
$1,000
$1,000

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Transportation
Vehicles
Transportation Fuel
Insurance
First Aid Kit
Food
Office Supplies
Outdoor Supplies
Webpage
Promotional
Expenses
Misc. Equipment
Program Evaluation
Staff Training
Total Expenses
Total Indirect Costs
(25% rate)
Agency Applying
Grant A- Teller Grant
Grant B- Simmons
Corporation
Grant C- Anne
Ranger Foundation
Total Project Cost

$6,000

$6,000

$12,000

$3,500
$4,000
$2,000
$3,000
$1,000
$3,000
$1,500
$1,500

$3,500
$4,000
$2,000
$3,000
$1,000
$2,600
$300
$500

$7,000
$8,000
$4,000
$6,000
$2,000
$5,600
$1,800
$2,000

$1,500
$200
$3,000
$70,000
$17,500

$1,500
$200
$3,000
$65,700
$16,425

$3,000
$400
$6,000
$139.400
$34,850

$7,500
$21,875
$21,875

$5,125
$27,334
$18,222

$12,625
$49,209
$40,097

$36,250

$36,444

$72,694

$87,500

$87,125

$174,250

Salaries: Outdoor Exploration employs to full time directors (Executive and assistant) to manage
operations and oversee the program throughout the year. The Executive director is paid a
monthly salary of $500 and the assistant director receives a monthly salary of $417. Six parttime teachers at Outdoor Exploration also receive wages of $400 monthly. While the executive
and assistant directors work year round to develop the program and improve each year depending
on the needs of the students and the communities, part-time teachers work only during the school
year (September-June) to work with the students schedules.
Payroll Taxes and Benefits: This covers the $59,600 that are dedicated to the teachers, fringe
benefits, and consultant fees.
Staff Training: Our staff training will consist of a weeklong training session that will serve as
preparation for the school year to come. This week will be held in a different location each year
(most likely a retreat center or campground of some sort) in and around New England. This week
will be dedicated to briefing the teachers on the students they will be working with and their
some of the academic or emotional baggage they may come with (IEPs etc.). Teaching practices
as well as new ideas for projects and curriculum prep will also be covered over the course of this

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week. The cost covers lodging, any materials needed, and any speakers that may attend to bring
new energy to the staff.
Consultant Fees: The Experiential Ed and Ed Leadership departments at Minnesota State
University Mankato will be consulted frequently as expert advisors for the program, providing
tips and techniques for outdoor and experiential education that can improve the program.
Professors in these departments will also be speakers at staff trainings and other periods
throughout the year.
Travel/Transportation: Outdoor Exploration will be renting two school busses for larger trips
with the older children in the program (fieldtrips and service learning days) for the amount of
$4,000. When minor transportation is needed (community service and sustainability days) the
organization will rent 15 passenger vans for the cost of $2,000. In the future, Outdoor
Exploration hopes to become large enough to be able to purchase vans, but renting is a more cost
effective method at this point in time. Fuel for these busses and vans will get around 12 miles to
the gallon and the average trip would be no more than 20 miles. Vans and busses would needed
to be filled with gasoline about once in every three trips. Depending on the price of gas
throughout the year, we have budgeted $3,500 for fuel per year.
Equipment and Supplies: This is a fairly general group that will cover the costs of office
supplies, art supplies, and outdoor supplies. These supplies can range from post-its, to rain gear
for the children to gardening tools.
Insurance: This will be covered through Anthem Insurance at a cost of $4,000 a year. Anthem is
the largest for-profit managed health care company in the Blue Cross and Blue Shield
Association. This insurance will cost us roughly $45 per camper assuming each grade level has
at least 15 students.
First Aid Kit: The first aid kit would need to be well stocked at all times. Each teacher would
have one with them while they teach. The expense should be divided by 6. This would be
initially a large expense, but upkeep of the kit as it is replenished would be minor.
Webpage: As part of their salary, the assistant director will be in charge of website upkeep and
maintenance. Much like the first aid kit this will initially be somewhat of a large expense for the
domain name, web space, and graphic design image creations, but maintaining it will cost very
little.
Miscellaneous Equipment: Outdoor recreational equipment is put to good use and especially
when being used by children can break or malfunction. This budget will allow for us to replace
and repair unexpected malfunctions in equipment as well as purchase any equipment we feel we
need outside of the supplies budget.
Miscellaneous Expenses: This budget is for unanticipated expenses.

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Grant A- Teller Grant: This agency will cover $49,209 of the overall price for the first two years.
Grant B- Simmons Corporation: This agency will cover $40,097 of the overall price for the first
two years.
Grant CAnn Ranger Foundation: The Ann Ranger Foundation will be the grant we will have the
most connection with. Our ideals align well and we trust that the foundation will support us in
our endeavors to provide a proper education to every child no matter their financial or
educational standing. The estimated amount needed from the Ann Ranger Foundation will be
$72,694 in total for the first two years.

Project Timeline
This grant timeline is 24 months long and the project timeline for this grant will run from April
1, 2016 June 25th, 2018. This will allow us time to prepare and organize staff training and
student groups, as well as run two full successful school years.
Year 1
Phase 1
April 1st-May 30th: Accepting student applications
April 1st- June 30th: Accepting teacher/staff applications and hiring process
Phase 2
June 15th 2016: Student selection process
Phase 3
July 1stAugust 1st 2016: Program preparation
Phase 4
August 2nd September 1st 2016: Staff Training
Phase 5
September 2ndOctober 31st: Intro to the program for kids, Start Unit 1
November 1st- December 20th: Finish Unit 1
December 21st: End of unit staff meeting
Phase 6
January 5th 2017February 29th: Unit 2
January 5th-February 29th: 2017 Fundraising activities
March 1st: End of unit staff meeting
Phase 7
March 2ndApril 30th: Unit 3
April 30th: Spring fundraising activities
May 1st: End of unit staff meeting
Phase 8

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May 2nd -June 25th: Unit 4


June 26th: Student surveys
June 27th: End of year staff meeting to review the year and suggestions for improvement

Year 2:
Phase 1 April 1st-May 30th: Accepting student applications
April 1st- June 30th: Accepting new teacher/staff applications if necessary
Phase 2
June 15th 2016: Student selection process
Phase 3
July 1stAugust 1st 2017: Program preparation
Phase 4
August 2nd September 1st 2016: Staff Training
Phase 5
September 2ndOctober 31st: Intro to the program for kids, Start Unit 1
November 1st- December 20th: Finish Unit 1
December 21st: End of unit staff meeting
Phase 6
January 5th 2018February 29th: Unit 2
March 1st: End of unit staff meeting
Phase 7
March 2ndApril 30th: Unit 3
May 1st: End of unit staff meeting
Phase 8
May 2nd -June 25th: Unit 4
June 26th: Student surveys
June 27th: End of year staff meeting to review the year and suggestions for improvement

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Number of Months Per Phase Year 1


Phase 8
Phase 7
Phase 6
Phase 5

Phase Number

Phase 4
Phase 3
Phase 2
Phase 1
0

Number of Months Phase Lasts For

Communications Plan
The target audience is
School children grades K-6
Low income communities (inner city schools)
The nature of change among the target audience is
To educate
To inform
To bond
To promote
The specific knowledge, attitude, or behavior to be achieved is
Lifelong love of learning
Healthy lifestyles
Positive effects of sustainability
Happiness
Confidence
Importance of community involvement
The amount of change desired is
100% growth in math and/or reading scores on the MCAS
Increase in attendance
The target date is

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May 31, 2017


Logic Model
Outdoor Exploration: Children in low income school systems and inner city communities
struggle to have positive educational experiences and often fall into unfortunate and
sometimes harmful situations because of it.
Outdoor Exploration Goals: To improve inner city students outlook on education and
encourage them to have a positive impact on their community and in their own lives by
participating in Outdoor Explorations experiential education programs.

Outputs

Activities

Gardening
Recycling
Community art
projects
Service Learning

4 Weekend trips per

year for grades 4-6


Teach afterschool

groups of 15 kids or
less
Year-long program
families can choose to
re-apply for at the
beginning of the
following school year

Short Term Outcomes


Long-Term Outcomes
Intermediate Outcomes
Community
experience
Increased
self-esteem and
and
Students
taking initiative in
confidence
in learning
global
perspective
their own learning
Increased interest in improving
Increased
Students thinking about their
low income community life
participation,
future and education in a
confidence,
Decreaseand
in middle school and
more positive approach.
high schoolindropout
rates to
independence
Less students
fall victim
students.
Improvement in low income
drug and alcohol abuse and
environment
lifestyles
Students
learn how
gang related violence
to work
cooperatively in
groups towards a
common goal

Letter form Collaborator


May 15, 2016
Outdoor Exploration
Attn: Danielle Johnson, Executive Director
1902 Warren Street
Mankato, MN 56001
Dear
Danielle Johnson,
Your program Outdoor Exploration sounds like a life changing experience for some youth in our
community. I would be absolutely thrilled to work with you on organizing the community art

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pieces with each of your classes. Obviously each class will be different but I think we will be
able to work together on making age appropriate art pieces to contribute to the city of Boston.
You have expressed an interest in doing mural work with the fifth and sixth grades and there may
be some additional charges for permits and such to paint on certain buildings but it should not
raise your budget by too much. We can talk about these prices in more depth when we meet in
July. We look forward to working with you on such a great project for these kids, good luck
getting started and we will see you in July.

Sincerely,
Judy Benson
Made by Me Inc.