Grants & Scholarships

FIRE Grants

Catholic School and Parish Leadership

Catholic schools located within the boundaries of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph that are planning to enroll a child who has a significant intellectual / developmental disability or learning difference may apply for a FIRE grant if/when specific criteria is met. Catholic schools and parish communities receiving FIRE grants are committed to fully embracing inclusive education within their school and assuming ownership of the inclusion program. Potential grantees are encouraged to apply school enrollment policies and guidelines (tithing requirements, available space, etc.) when considering enrollment of a student who will need significant support. When possible, it’s desirable to offer special consideration for children who already have siblings attending the school.

Parents of Child with Special Needs

Please contact your school principal to request a meeting to express your desire for your child to attend your parish school. Parents are encouraged to provide any appropriate information to the principal including diagnosis, contact information of child’s current school, educational plans, etc., to assist the school in determining what resources will be needed to meet the specific needs of your child. All parents of children who benefit directly from FIRE Foundation support are asked to become members of Friends of FIRE!

Principals, Priests & Special Educators

FIRE has established a formal grant application process. Before qualifying for grant assistance, the following must be completed. Contact the Executive Director of the FIRE Foundation to discuss your school’s desire to enroll a student with significant learning / developmental differences who would NOT be able to attend without additional resources to learn more about partnership with the Foundation. The grant application process begins in January each year. Please contact the FIRE Foundation as early as possible to discuss the possibility of partnership. FIRE Foundation grants may cover a significant portion of your school’s inclusive education budget (15%-65%). To make this possible, FIRE requests the engagement of school and parish communities in fundraising endeavors. FIRE partners with schools that are willing to work together to build inclusive learning opportunities.

FIRE Scholarships

The FIRE Foundation offers two types of scholarships. Each year, a portion of the Foundation’s budget is earmarked for teacher scholarships and student scholarships (aka: Heart of FIRE Scholarships).

Teacher Scholarships

Teachers and/or administrators who wish to participate in continuing education opportunities that support and enrich inclusive teaching/learning practices are encouraged to contact the FIRE Office. In addition to a formal written request that outlines the course or conference content, applicants should explain how the course will aid in creating/strengthening inclusive learning environments. Please include costs associated with training. A committee of FIRE Board members will review the request and respond in a timely fashion. Applicants should make requests at least two months prior to the continuing education date.

Student Scholarships

The FIRE Foundation awards scholarships annually to students who attend FIRE partner schools (located within the boundaries of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph) and who have demonstrated a commitment to the philosophy of inclusive Catholic education. Applications are available from the FIRE Office or through the Principal’s Office of the FIRE Partner school that student attends. The Heart of FIRE Scholarship is awarded in the spring of each year to:

  • At least one graduating senior who demonstrates commitment to helping classmates who are diagnosed with a range of learning challenges through friendship, academic support and peer mentorship. (scholarships vary in amount but are usually at least $1000)
  • One or more graduating 8th graders who are planning to attend a Catholic high school. Applicants must demonstrate commitment to helping classmates who are diagnosed with learning challenges through friendship, academic support and peer mentorship. (scholarships vary in amount but are usually at least $500)

Check back for details for the 2024 Heart of FIRE Scholarship Application for HS Seniors or 8th Grade Graduate. Scholarship applications include a student essay as well as a recommendation from a teacher or adult who has observed the student supporting a peer who has an intellectual or developmental disability.