As you prepare to go back into your school and your classroom this month, keep your eyes open for grant opportunities. What problems can you find that will need grant money to help you solve them. Remember, a good grant-writing campaign always begins with problems that you are trying to solve at the district, school, or classroom level. By keeping your eyes open for these problems in August, you may find an opportunity to apply for a number of grants.
What kinds of problems might you see? You might have more children who are obese in your classroom this year. You might have more special education students who are mainstreamed into your class. You might find that more of your students can’t buy the school supplies they need. You may have fewer students who speak English. You may find that your budget has been cut so severely that you don’t even have the supplies you need for the year.
These are the kinds of problems you may be able to see quickly and find grant money to help you alleviate or solve. You have a choice. You can face these problems and try to find grant money to help you, or you can wake up in a few weeks, admit you have these problems, and face the reality that you will have to deal with them for the entire year without adequate funds.
You are fortunate in that Discount School Supply provides you with a free school grant database to find grant money. If you happen not to find a suitable grant there, you might want to check out School Grants for Teachers. This website concentrates on providing grant information strictly to classroom teachers.
Regardless of which grant database you end up using, your first step is to identify the problems you are likely to face this year, then to use a good database to find grant money to help you. A number of sites have evolved during the last few years such as DonorsChoose.org and KidsandClassrooms.com which allow teachers to place wish lists online so donors can find school projects that they want to support.
It’s not going to be many weeks before you are so busy that you will have little time to think about grants. As you get your list of students, your assignments, and your supplies, this is an excellent time to take an inventory to see if you will need help in the form of grant money this year and just how much help you might need.
The start of each school year is always a time of new hopes and bright beginnings. As we draw closer to this exciting time, just make sure you have an eye out for possible problems and always remember that grant money may help you find the solution to those problems.