It’s a tough time for teachers right now. Between Thanksgiving and the December break, it’s hard to keep students focused on anything for very long. While you may not focus all that well during this time of year either, it is an excellent time for you to concentrate on getting at least one grant application written before the first of January. This is a great time to apply for a grant, and it may be your very best chance of being awarded grant money. I’ll give you three reasons.
First, quite a few national and regional grants have a deadline between now and the end of December. You should check them out on the Discount School Supply free grant database. If you can’t find one there, you should look on The School Funding Center site. Also, several grants will be listed at the end of this blog and the one coming out in mid-December. You will surely qualify for at least one of the dozens of grants that will be listed in one of these locations.
Second, while I recommend that you apply for grants right now, few educators will do so. That means you have less competition than at other times of the year. It’s the old ant and the grasshopper story. While others are playing and making merry, you will be getting ready for your future needs. They will complain about not having resources later, but it will be you that put the work in and you that will reap the benefits from the grant you receive.
Third, you can request grant money right now that can be used in the spring, during summer school, or even next fall. My recommendation is that you apply for money that can be used in the spring semester. It’s a shame when we see that something can be done in a better way to help students more, but we don’t have the money to put our ideas in place. By applying for grants now, you should be able to put your ideas in place in the spring semester instead of having to wait for summer school or the fall semester to help your students. The sooner, the better. By fall, you won’t even have the same students.
Grant writing is never easy, but if you already know a problem you’re having, and you have a solution in mind, December is a great time to apply for a grant or two to alleviate your problem. We talked about semester assessments in the last blog. Right now is a great time to use the information you gathered to prepare your grant application. The information is fresh. The need it documented. You just to use your feedback in a high quality grant application.
I know your excuse. I don’t have any more time than anyone else. I’m tired. I’ve never written a grant before. You’re right about one thing --- they are all excuses. It will be your ability to overcome these obstacles that will get you the grant in the first place. Remember, you’re applying in December because you will have less competition.
Take advantage of the season to give your students and your school an excellent holiday gift---grant money that you never pay back and that may change the lives of your students forever.