ExCel Endowment Fund grant applications are available online at the Decorah Community School District's website at decorah.k12.ia.us for students in grades 6-11.

Click the "Foundation" link on the home page or click the "Scholarships" link under the District Info heading, and go to the second entry listed under "Our Programs" to access the application.

This year students will be able to fill out their application on their computer, but will need to print it off to obtain the required signatures before turning it in to the district's central office.

ExCel is an arm of the Decorah Community School District Foundation, and awards grants to students who are pursuing summer opportunities.

Depending on funding availability, priority is given to students attending programs in academic and technical fields, followed by those in fine arts.

Students currently in grades 6 through 11 and enrolled in the Decorah schools are eligible. This includes students who are home-schooled but supervised by the DCS and students enrolled in St. Benedict Elementary School.

Thanks to a generous donation from the Marion E. Jerome Foundation, this summer the ExCel committee will be able to help fund a greater than usual number of applicants. Students are encouraged to "think outside the box" and look for academic and technical programs they think would be interesting and challenging to them.

Current 6th through 11th grade students are invited to view the program criteria and application online.

Completed applications must be returned to the Central Administrative Office by Tuesday, April 30, and awards will be announced by the end of the week.

Questions may be directed to Peggy Beatty at 382-2574 or pjhbeatty@gmail.com.

Anyone interested in making a donation to the ExCel fund also may contact Beatty.