Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Do You Know Your Grant Categories?

One major way to categorize grants is by the type of problem the grant addresses. If a grant is designated as a reading grant, obviously you aren’t going to be able to get money to fix a problem you are having in math, unless, of course, the math problem you have is directly related to your students’ inability to read well enough to work any type of stated problem in math.

Obviously, there is great overlap in these categories. An after-school program funded by grant money may involve extra instruction in science and social studies. That is why you need to fully understand the types of problems you have. The overlap in categories can often lead you to additional grant money.

Basically, the main categories of grants for schools include the following:

adult literacy library
after-school math
arts professional development
at-risk/character reading
community involvement/volunteerism
safe/drug-free schools
disabilities science/environment
early childhood
social studies
ESL/bilingual/foreign language
special education
facilities/maintenance
technology
family services transportation
health/PE vocational

Of course, there are other grant topics, but generally these will fit under one of those listed above. Also, it is possible to have quite a bit of overlap. You may have a reading problem that is strongly impacting student performance in social studies and science, and you need considerable professional development in reading in the content areas to correct the problem. You might find grant money under any one of those categories or all of them.

Always try to approach the problems you are experiencing from as many angles as possible. When you do, your solution is likely to be more complete, and it consistently opens up more funding sources.

Grants can be categorized in many different ways. Once you have determined the problem that you have at your school, develop a plan for fixing that problem, and determine the cost of the program, you are ready to start looking in the different grant categories to find grants that match your needs.