Here’s a common question, "can I get a small grant for my classroom that will pay for a project I want to organize?"
I made the mistake of trying to be too ambitious the first time I wrote a grant application. I predicted I could solve the problems of the universe with $450 and a smile. My ruse was quickly discovered and I received a polite and short rejection letter. It was time to rethink my strategy and try again with goals that were more modest. This blog is my attempt to save you the frustration of receiving that letter.
If planned and used properly, small grants can drastically change a classroom.
I believe in empowering teachers to become grant writers, and one of the best ways is to start small. It is not solely about the money, but more about changes a grant funded project can stimulate.
Grants of up to $2,000 can be surprisingly useful. DonorsChoose.org and other crowd-sourcing sites can often offer impactful classroom grants. Companies like Target and Lowes will supply small grants to change the environment in a creative special education classroom.
Teachers can buy libraries of emotional support books, create a sensory integration corner, purchase unique art therapy supplies, outfit their classrooms with gross motor and active play support, or start other creative projects with grant money.
Many foundations and corporations offer small classroom grants. Many grantors have chosen to support schools to have a direct impact on individual classrooms and students. Small classroom grants can be starter money. People see that a small amount of money can start big things in a single classroom. This can be infectious and addictive, other teachers may follow suit quickly. Perhaps a district can then see its way to supporting other similar projects and maintain them with their city budget. Your chances of getting a grant are improved if you can show that the school will support the project when the grant is gone.
New application methods mean you’ll benefit from a short application form that can be finished online. Since most classroom teachers spend $500 of their own money on materials and supplies each year, it would be worth it to complete two or three simple applications to yield at least that much grant money for your classroom each year.
So, make a big difference in your school with just a little effort. The excitement and good will a small grant can generate is worth a fortune in creative classrooms. Nothing like a little free money to get the juices flowing.
Some tips for finding success with a small grant project include:
· Keep your project and objectives simple, and standards based.
· Be sure you can do what you say you’ll do with a small grant.
· Make your project a finite solution to a solvable problem with a doable timeline.
· While not predicting miracles, tell grantors how your curriculum focus will solve student achievement problems.
· Use data to support your application.
Resources for grant project development:
· The NEA has a nice list of grant opportunities for teachers, including the Captain Planet Foundation Grant for the environment.
· Advice on filling out online grant applications
· Grant Writing Tutorial (free)
As always, you can count on me to answer any questions you might have.
Conscious Kids awards grants to organizations to provide scholarships and cultural exposure for at-risk children and young adults (up to age 29), including, but not limited to, orphans, children in foster care, inner city children, and low income, homeless and LGBT youth. Their goal is that the individuals who benefit from these grants will recognize their value and be inspired to serve the community or society. Preference will be given to requests for summer camps, cultural organizations, and schools that provide cultural education (dance, voice, and arts of all kinds) with outreach to at-risk populations.
After-School, Arts, At-Risk/Character, General Education, Math, Reading, Science/Environmental, Social Studies.
Public School, Private School, Higher Education, Other.
$10,000.00 - $20,000.00
1 W 4th St., 4th Floor, Winston-Salem, NC 27101