Home > Social Emotional Learning Fund (SELF) Grant


SEF’s grant application period is now closed.

Applications for all SEF grants will be accepted between December 1 – April 1 of each year for funding for the following school year. 

SELF Grant


The Springfield Education Foundation is proud to offer funding for educators who wish to implement sustainable Social Emotional Learning opportunities for students attending Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, Oregon. Grants of up to $1,000 are available. We highly encourage—and will place a priority this year—on applications focused on developing positive school culture, school-wide kindness initiatives or developing student leadership.


The Springfield Education Foundation Fund for Social-Emotional Learning (SEF/SEL) was established by a gift from Stan and Cathy Paine, both long-time administrators in the Springfield School District. Stan served as principal of three Springfield Schools (Maple, Centennial & Ridgeview) for a total of 13 years. Cathy served as a school psychologist and as a special education coordinator for a total of 30 years of service in the Springfield School District. Since its inception, many other community members have contributed to the fund to help establish it as an ongoing program within the SEF.

The focus of this fund was chosen because it represents Stan & Cathy’s common interest and passion in children’s positive social development, physical safety and emotional well-being in school settings. According to CASEL (The Collaborative for Social and Emotional Learning), social and emotional learning (SEL) “is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.”

Learn more about the Oregon Department of Education’s planned SEL framework and standards, which were developed with an advisory group in 2022 and will be implemented in 2023 HERE.

What is SEL?

Social and emotional learning involves the processes of developing social and emotional competencies in children. SEL programming is based on the understanding that the best learning emerges in the context of supportive relationships that make learning challenging, engaging, and meaningful; social and emotional skills are critical to being a good student, citizen, and worker; and many different risky behaviors (e.g., drug use, violence, bullying, and dropout) can be prevented or reduced when multiyear, integrated efforts develop students’ social and emotional skills. This is best done through effective classroom instruction, student engagement in positive activities in and out of the classroom, and broad parent and community involvement in program planning, implementation, and evaluation. Effective SEL programming begins in preschool and continues through high school. CASEL has identified five interrelated sets of cognitive, affective, and behavioral competencies, which are listed below. Click category title for more information.

Self-awareness is the ability to accurately recognize one’s emotions and thoughts and their influence on behavior. This includes accurately assessing one’s strengths and limitations and possessing a well-grounded sense of confidence and optimism.

Self-management is the ability to regulate one’s emotions, thoughts, and behaviors effectively in different situations. This includes managing stress, controlling impulses, motivating oneself, and setting and working toward personal and academic goals.

Social awareness is the ability to take the perspective of and empathize with others from diverse backgrounds and cultures, to understand social and ethical norms for behavior, and to recognize family, school, and community resources and supports.

Relationship skills is the ability to establish and maintain healthy and rewarding relationships with diverse individuals and groups. This includes communicating clearly, listening actively, cooperating, resisting inappropriate social pressure, negotiating conflict constructively, and seeking and offering help when needed.

Responsible decision making is the ability to make constructive and respectful choices about personal behavior and social interactions based on consideration of ethical standards, safety concerns, social norms, the realistic evaluation of consequences of various actions, and the well-being of self and others.

Eligible Activities

Funds may be used to purchase SEL materials and provide training for the long-term and high-level implementation of empirically-validated social-emotional learning curricula. Some examples are described in the CASEL Guide, http://www.casel.org/guide/ though potential programs are not limited to these.

Funds may be used to establish and sustain the implementation of a school-wide character development initiative in which the traits of good character and positive social values are taught and reinforced to create a strong, character-based school culture. The long-standing character education program at Centennial Elementary School provides an example of what such a program might look like.

Funds may be used to develop and sustain the implementation of a multi-element positive school-wide culture, including school kindness initiatives, positive identity themes, student recognition programs and similar efforts to create and sustain over time a positive and enthusiastic culture for student learning, social development, collaboration and related activities to create an on-going positive culture within the school community.

Funds may be used to establish and sustain the implementation of a school-wide peace education program in which peaceful problem-solving and dispute resolution are actively taught and carried out in all settings within the school. The long-standing peace initiative at Centennial Elementary School provides a prototype for such an initiative. It includes a student-written and student-led Peace Pledge, a “peace place” and “peace process” for problem-solving and many peace-themed visual reminders throughout the school.

Child/youth development research consistently supports the positive effects of actively cultivating young people’s personal strengths and intentionally developing their academic and pre-vocational interests. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement programs such as the development assets, developmental relationships, developmental communities, REACH and SPARKS programs created by the Search Institute. Such programs actively develop young people’s skills, values, motivation, decision-making abilities, positive relationships, interests, and adult support. (See search-institute.org for details about these programs.)

Bullying and harassment are significant barriers to students’ feelings of safety and well-being at school and school-related activities. They can adversely affect student attendance, achievement, and graduation rates. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement an anti-bullying/anti-harassment curriculum and implementation campaign. Such programs should be consistent with current best practices in this field.

Many children and youth have life experiences that negatively affect their social development and readiness for success. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement, enhance or refine a school-based mentoring program for children or youth whose circumstances negatively affect their social and/or academic development. Such programs should be consistent with current best practices in the field of mentoring and positive youth development.

Many students, even some with very good potential for success, underachieve in school, and eventually in life, due to a lack of belief in their own abilities, a lack of motivation, under-developed skills, or a lack of sufficient personalized opportunity or support. SEF/SEL funds may be used to develop and implement a comprehensive, systematic, and on-going program of leadership development at any school level that is designed to help students discover their leadership potential and to put that potential into practice to develop leadership experience.

Funds may be used for training and implementation of school-wide activities stemming from the Oregon Department of Education’s initiative on social and emotional learning.  (See ODE’s Framework and Standards HERE)


Ineligible Activities

  • Activities not falling within one of the categories listed above.
  • Stand-alone, one-time events (assemblies, speakers, field trips, “fairs”, “(focus) nights”, (e.g. “SEL night”, etc.) However, such activities could possibly be part of a larger program of activities for one of the above categories, providing that these activities lead to the implementation of an ongoing structure or support of activities that promote strong socio-emotional learning.
  • One-time training without implementation follow-up support and without the expectation of ongoing use of the trained skills by all school staff.

Who can apply

  • Must be employed by Springfield Public Schools in Springfield, Oregon, and be responsible for the administration of the project or directly involved with its implementation.
  • Individuals or collaborative staff teams can apply, with one primary applicant. Primary applicant will be listed on social media and press releases unless specifically requested.
  • Must be involved in the instruction of students or related support services.
  • Projects benefiting any and all age groups from kindergarten to twelfth grade are eligible for consideration.


December 1 – Grant applications available
April 1 – Grant applications due by midnight
May – Recipients notified and grant funds available
May 31 – Project evaluations due for grants awarded in the previous spring

Selection Process

  1. Only online applications will be accepted at this time. Visit this website to access the online application portal between December 1 – April 1.
  2. Applications will be reviewed and awarded by the SELF Grant Review Committee comprised of the following members: Cathy and Stan Paine; Patrick Kennedy, representing the Paine Family Trust; Board representative selected by the executive director; and others as determined by the SEF Board of Directors.
  3. In an effort to reduce bias, please do not include the names of any SPS staff, SPS schools, or any other school identifier in Project Details, Narrative, or Budget sections. Identifying information should ONLY be shared when requested. Your proposal will receive an identifying number referenced throughout the review.
  4. Grant awards will be announced in May 2024 and grant funds will be available shortly thereafter. 

Requirements of Grant Proposals

  • The proposal must include the evidence base for the proposed program.
  • The implementation must be broad in scope; it may not be limited to one classroom or a single group of students.
  • Prior to submission, you must receive approval of your project and grant application from your building principal or administrator. Include their name and email on the application in the space indicated. If selected, applicants will receive a principal/supervisor approval form that must be completed before funds are released.
  • Shortly after the application period ends, you will receive a “Level 1: Site-Based Grant Internal Application” Form. You must fill out this form and return it to the SPS
    Grant Accountant within 10 days of receipt.

Responsibilities of Grant Recipients

  • Use the grant for the purposes stated in the application materials.
  • Funds must be spent within the 2024-25 academic year. Any remaining funds are to be returned to the Springfield Education Foundation for reallocation. If the program continues, it should be sustainable beyond the initial grant funding period.
  • Agree to share project results in staff meetings and to the SEF Board and Stan and Cathy Paine if requested.
  • Submit a written evaluation at the completion of the project, no later than May 31, 2024. Evaluation form can be found at SEFLane.org/grants/grant-evaluation.
  • Projects and evaluations must be completed before applicants can receive funding for a future grant.

When applying for this grant, please remember the following:

  • Grants are to be used to fund projects that are not provided for in school and district budgets.
  • Objectives and outcomes need to be consistent with school and district mission, goals, or initiatives.
  • When creating your budget, research carefully and be realistic. Example budget available at SEFLane.org/example-budgets.
  • Equipment purchased with SEF grant funds is considered the property of Springfield Public Schools. Please notify SEF if you plan to move and take your equipment to another building.
  • Only one SELF Grant proposal per applicant is allowed.
  • Repeat funding requests are allowed and will be considered annually on a case-by-case basis.

Please note:

Please do not include the names of any SPS staff, SPS schools, or any other school identifier in Grant Details, Narrative, or Budget sections. Identifying information should ONLY be shared when requested. Applications with identifying information may not be considered.

Helpful Resources

Click Here to view PDF

-Considerations for Individual Support
-Key Components of Effective SEL Practices in Schools


-SEL core competencies
-SEL program guide
-SEL resource library


-What is SEL?
-SEL programs
-SEL resources


-Developmental assets
-Developmental relationships
-Engaging families


-SEL competencies
-SEL dashboard and playbook
-SEL surveys
-School climate
-Equity & inclusion
-MTSS (multi-tiered systems of support)
-Teacher/staff SEL & well-being


For more information, contact Christina San Filippo at 541-726-3243 or info@SpringfieldEducationFoundation.org.

Please apply online between December 1 and April 1.

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