A Touch of Understanding estimates the true cost of a presentation for 40 students at $1,500.  Through our non- profit organization, ATOU solicits enough funds to bring the cost down to $600 per 40 students.

Suggested ways to bring ATOU to your school:

  • Fundraising or being sponsored by their Parent Teachers Organizations
  • Social Clubs
  • Individual Contributions
  • Service Organizations:
  • Kiwanis
  • Rotary
  • Lions
  • Soroptomist etc.
  • Through Various Grants (see example below):

Proposal For A Project Based Learning Grant




Title of Project:              Creating a Community of Caring through A Touch of Understanding


Primary Subject Area:     Demonstrating Social Skills through poetry, art and technology


Grade Levels Served:      2,3,4,5,6 directly

                                        K,1, , shared information

Number of Students

Served:                            330 directly

                                        120 shared information


Amount Requested:          $5,000

                                        Novice applicant


Description:  While __________________School socially and academically integrates 3 special education classes, our school needs to develop awareness and empathy for the social needs of all students.  


I/We agree to fulfill the requirement to submit paid receipts for expenditures, and to file a project/program evaluation report by the designated date. I/We understand that all major equipment and/or instructional materials purchased with this grant must remain in the ___________School District, and that the intellectual property rights for materials and sample projects created remains with the ________ Educational Foundation to enable their subsequent use by all employees in the _____Unified School District.


Date:__________________                       Date:__________________


______________________                      ______________________


Classroom teacher/Parent                          Principal ____________

Proposal Narrative


a)    Purpose:

Need:  With the addition of a third special education class, ______ would like to develop awareness and empathy for everyone on our school campus.

·       Avoid and eliminate teasing/taunting/physical/emotional abuse of anyone who seems different

·       Reduce the possibility of individuals feeling isolated or rejected

·       Protect and advocate for those who seem “different” by those who “fit in”

·       Promote positive relationships between students, that go beyond tolerance – to respect, appreciation, admiration and friendship.

·       Improve self image of students due to respectful interactions with others.


Phase I

1.    Student will share what they already know about disabilities. 

2.    Students will formulate questions about disabilities and the kind of social climate that would maximize social and academic achievement.

3.    Students create a rubric of 6 stages of positive self-interaction with people having disabilities.

4.    Students rate their interaction with people with disabilities.

Phase II

5.    All 2nd through 6th grade students will participate in a 3 hour hands-on disability-awareness program participation course delivered by a non-profit agency: A Touch of Understanding, Inc.

The goals of A touch of Understanding (ATOU) are:

·       To educate children and young people to appreciate, rather than fear, differences in others

·       To raise the level of understanding and respect in school environments and beyond.

·       To improve the learning environment and help all children reach their potential and goals.

·       To improve the lives of individuals with disabilities.

·       To have our students, who will soon be adults, internalize this knowledge and understanding, to enhance their future relationships, career and personal experiences.

·       To have our communities fully accept and include individuals with disabilities.


A Touch of Understanding is run by a small paid staff and volunteers from the community, including disabled volunteers from the community.


Students will carry their new understanding back to the community through take-home handouts, follow-up activities included with the program, and one or more articles in the local newspaper/school website.


This program will include hands-on activity stations and discussions of:

a.    autism (through a program developed with the assistance of professionals from the MIND Institute and Autism Speaks)

b.    bullying

c.    physical disabilities-blindness, cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, loss of limbs, hearing impairment

d.    cognitive difficulties-developmental delays-learning disabilities

6.   Students will share the experience with their family through take-     

home handouts.

          Phase III

7.     Within 2 months of participating in A Touch of Understanding, all students will have small group interaction with the one of the 3 special education classes, assisting in academic areas.

8.    Within 3 months of participating in A Touch of Understanding, students will have a choice of expressing their feelings through a Powerpoint presentation, poetry or art display.

9.    By 4 months, a video/film of the student’s presentations will be organized by students and a trained professional.

10. Video will be shown and discussed with students K-6th.

11.  Ongoing reflections of this experience will be recorded in journals of 4th, 5th and 6th grade students, reflecting their experiences with Touch of Understanding and small group interactions. 

Examples of journal questions:

What is your first feeling when seeing a person with a disability?

          Do you know anyone with a disability?  How do you know they have a disability?

          Have you ever been bullied?

          Have you ever bullied someone else?

          What do you think people should know about friends you have met at our school who have disabilities?

     Students will have an opportunity to hear and share the journals.

12. Students will revisit the rubric of positive interaction with students with disabilities.

13. Students will re-score themselves on the rubric.

14. Goal- 90% of students will have a more positive rating on the rubric in relationship to interaction with all students on our school campus.




Budget Narrative


A Touch of Understanding 9 workshops = $4,000

Journals for 2nd-6th graders = $350

Interaction activities with special education students =$150

Professional help with editing video/film = $500


Total= $5,000


Project/Program Selection


I.  The project/program enhances and improves student achievement.

·       Addresses Technology and the Arts with experiential projects using Powerpoint, poetry and art.

·       Engages students as active participants in the learning process through stations that lets students experience/ meet people with disabilities in a structured hands-on activity.

·       Stimulates and motivates students to achieve academic excellence for everyone on campus through empathy and positive role models.

·       Encourages specific learning objectives and ways of measuring the effectiveness of project/program activities through journals and personal projects (technology, poetry, art)

·       Includes specific learning objectives and ways of measuring the effectiveness of project/program activities through pre/post student made rubrics.

·       Addresses the state’s academic content standards for artistic perception, creative expression and character education. 

“Effective schools seek to develop and reinforce character traits, such as caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, through a systematic approach that includes adult modeling, curriculum integration, a positive school climate, and access to comprehensive guidance and counseling services.”

Elementary Makes the Grade! (CDE, 1999)


II. The project/program can be replicated

·       Our PTC will be asked to fund future A Touch of Understanding Workshops for upcoming 2nd graders (60 students per year), to continue the climate of acceptance of all students at ____ School.

·       The video/movie will be available for future viewing.


III. The budget supports the project/program and expenses are cost effective.

·       A Touch of Understanding estimates the true cost of a presentation for 40 students at $2,000.  Through their non-profit organization, ATOU has solicited enough funds to bring the cost down to $480 per 40 students.