The Home Depot Kicks Off the 2013 “Retool Your School” HBCU Contest

The Home Depot announces the kick-off of its fourth annual Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant Program. The 2013 Retool Your School Grants will total $195,000 to be awarded as one $50,000 Tier I Grant, one $25,000 Campus Pride Grant for the school that receives the most votes and social media activity, and twelve $10,000 Tier II Grants. Schools are required to submit a brief description of their projects by Feb. 11, 2013 for consideration, with full proposal details due by March 11, 2013. Online voting will take place from Feb. 18 to April 15 at

The goal is to provide sustainable and lasting renovations to give new life to the campuses of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). Each year, the outpour of support for the program from alumni, students, parentsand the community grows. Since the program’s inception in 2010, more than three million votes have been cast as the HBCU community bands together for their favorite and most deserving HBCU school projects.

“The Home Depot is thrilled to once again offer the Retool Your School Campus Improvement Grant available to HBCU’s,” said Melissa Brown, manager of multicultural marketing, The Home Depot. “Now in its fourth year, we’ve seen incredible growth of support and popularity of the program. It is such a rewarding program connecting with our communities and it takes school spirit to a whole new level.”

The Home Depot’s goal is to connect with the community by awarding grants for projects that will have a lasting impact. Last year, Lincoln University of Pennsylvania received the Tier I Grant of $50,000, torestore the exterior and entryway of Lincoln Hall, one of the most historic buildings of the University. The first-ever Campus Pride Grant of $25,000 was awarded to Alabama A&M University. In 2011, grand prize winner Bethune Cookman University, located in Daytona Beach, FL, received $50,000 to install automated access doors and a wheelchair ramp in its Student Center to accommodate students, faculty and staff members with disabilities. Past Retool Your Schoolproposals and projects have included recommendations for eco-friendly and sustainability upgrades.

“While this program encourages alumni, parents and community members to participate in the transformation of their favorite HBCU, it also emphasizes creating an eco-friendly environment,” said Dr. Lezli Baskerville, Retool Your School program judge and president & CEO, National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education. “This program not only provides our schools with the some of the funding needed to build and reconstruct, it prepares them to be sustainable institutions for years to come.”

During the online voting period, HBCU supporters can view descriptions of projects and cast one vote per day for their favorite HBCU project. Following the online vote, a panel of distinguished judges will also evaluate each school’s Tier I and Tier II project proposals. Judges will consider the depth of each proposal and the school’s ability to execute the project within the budget of $50,000 (Tier I) or $10,000 (Tier II), as applicable. Campus Pride Grant recipients will be awarded to the school with the most votes and socialmedia activity, as assessed by The Home Depot. Proposals for all three grants must highlight how each project will make a lasting, positive impact on the HBCU campus. The Home Depot will announce the grant recipients on or around May 3, 2013.

The Retool Your School program is a unique competition that extends to alumni, family and friends, students and the community-at-large to vote for their favorite HBCU project. For more information on The Home Depot Retool Your School Grant Program, visit

Online voting will begin Feb. 18, 2013.

Photo credit: The Home Depot,

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