Joanna York is a freelance journalist and writer. In 2019 she was shortlisted for The Guardian’s Hugo Young Award.
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What would you say if someone offered you a chunk of cash to improve your classroom?
Of course, you’d say yes!
Many classrooms across America need a boost. And if resources are not accessible, teaching grants can be the perfect route to making long-term improvements.
There are hundreds of teaching grants, scholarships and fellowships available across the country.
They can fund all kinds of projects from professional development courses and certifications, classroom enrichment, school supplies to field trips and beyond.
So how do you get an education grant as a teacher?
It comes down to research, being clear about what your students need, and writing a winning proposal. More on that later.
First, let’s take a look at the following in more detail:
- Grant ideas for teachers.
- How do you find the right education grant?
- How do I write a proposal for an education grant?
- What are the best education grants for teachers?
Grant ideas for teachers
When it comes to thinking about what you could use a grant for, get creative!
To give you some ideas, you can put the money towards anything from books and school supplies to introducing pets in the classroom. Emotional support puppies anyone?
The only caveat is that the project you choose must benefit your school or your students.
If you’re stuck for ideas, professional development courses are a great way to help your students by improving your skills as a teacher.
Here are a few ideas for training courses you could add to your belt:
- Take a course on safe and healthy school training to strengthen safeguarding practices in your school.
- Learn more about culturally responsive teaching to help ensure that your classroom is a place where students from all backgrounds can thrive.
- Go back to basics with a disciplinary literacy course that will help boost your students’ reading, writing and thinking skills.
How do you find the right education grant as a teacher?
First, be clear about what your goals are.
What is your objective with the grant money you are requesting? How much money do you need? And how will your project directly benefit students?
You might find there are many different ways to approach a problem.
For example, if you want to improve digital literacy in your classroom, do you need the grant to upgrade classroom technology? Or do you need to improve your digital literacy to help your students stay safe online?
Alternatively, perhaps you would like to make sure your school is better prepared to manage an event like the Covid-19 crisis. Would you best achieve this by taking a course in school safety to improve safety practices on school premises? Or would your students benefit more from you, improving your online teaching strategies?
Once you’ve narrowed down what your school and students need and why – it’s time to start researching. Searching for funding might be one of the longer parts of your grant process.
There are a vast number of grants available online, from official government ones to privately funded ones.
The key is finding a grant provider that you think aligns with your project.
Having a clear idea of what your project is while you search for a grant will help you narrow down the grants that are right for you.
How do I write a proposal for an education grant?
Once you’ve found a grant you want, you’ll need to put in a little work to apply for it.
Most education grants for teachers require the applicant to write a proposal highlighting a proposed project, and why it deserves grant money.
Writing the proposal might feel stressful, but remember – grant funds want to give you money!
The best way to write a compelling proposal is to have a clear idea about why you want to complete your project in the first place, and how it will benefit your school community.
While every grant proposal is slightly different, there are a 6 general steps you can follow:
There are hundreds of grant opportunities available, but to get you started, here are a few of our personal favorites.
2020 grants with no deadline
- Fund for Teachers supports professional growth and development for educators to support student success, enrich their practice, and strengthen their schools and communities. Teachers can design their proposals, and suggest development pathways of their choosing.
- Teaching Tolerance Educator Grants are for K–12 educators who embrace and embed anti-bias principles throughout their classrooms, schools and districts. Grants from $500 to $10,000 support projects in founded in these principles in public or private schools, as well as in alternative schools, therapeutic schools and juvenile justice facilities.
- Donors Choose is a website where teachers post classroom project requests, and donors could choose the ones they wanted to support. They are open to every public school in America.
- NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants offers public school teachers a variety of funding programs with the aim of improving students’ academic achievement. The funding period lasts for 12 months. You can use the funding for resources, supplies, equipment, transportation and technology.
August 2020 grants
- From Failure to Promise encourages educators to help their struggling K-12 students reach their full potential. Successful candidates will receive $500 to create new and innovative ways to use the tenets of “From Failure to Promise: 360 Degrees” in the areas of literacy, math, science, or technology.
September 2020 grants
- Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project’s Growing Minds Farm to School Grant is a great open to pre-K grade teachers who want to get their students involved in local agriculture and provide a positive experience for kids
October 2020 grants
- Toshiba America Foundation grant gives elementary school teachers a chance to earn $1000 to help bring innovative ideas for improving STEM learnings in the classroom. If you have a project-based idea, then this grant is perfect to bring your project to life.
Write a stellar proposal, and get your grant!
When applying for an education grant, take the time to do your research and write a strong proposal.
Thinking deeply about what your school community most needs and how your project fits into that are key.
Then, it’s a case of communicating this through your proposal to the right grant provider.
Writing your proposal might take time, but it’s likely to pay off in the end.
There are thousands of grants out there, waiting for teachers to claim them.
With hard work and a little luck, one of them should have your name on it.