Three local community projects conceived by University of Florida undergraduates are getting a little extra support from the Bob Graham Center for Public Service's Healthy Civic Campus and Community program.

The program, modeled after the international Davis Projects for Peace, awarded a total of $5,000 to three student-run grassroots projects in Gainesville.

“We are surrounded by a great deal of student ingenuity and passion for helping others, but there is not much in the way of financial support for launching such endeavors,” Emma Humphries, civic engagement coordinator at the Graham Center, said in a news release.

Launched this year, the program invited undergraduate groups to submit project proposals and received 12 submissions. They were evaluated on creativity, impact, achievability, sustainability and transferability.

Four groups were asked to give presentations before a committee represented by the Graham Center, the UF Honors Program and the Center for Leadership and Service.

“Because you don't typically find opportunities for undergraduates to write grant proposals, the process was more labor intensive than we originally anticipated,” said Shelby Taylor, digital/communications director for the Graham Center.

Not only does it give the Graham Center a chance to support students helping out in the community, the program gives them the experience of writing grants, she said.

The committee selected three projects:

The Lake Forest Garden group of eight students received $3,400 to build a garden at Lake Forest Elementary School that can be used as an outdoor classroom and teach students about nutrition.

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