Monday, January 17, 2011

A Great Time To Find Grants for Your School

It’s always a good time to seek out and write grants for your school or classroom. The very best time to find grants for your school, however, is right now -- January and early February. This is true for several reasons: 1) More grants are available at the first of the year, 2) Many new grants are available, and 3) You can apply for grants for the spring semester, summer school, or the fall semester.

Generally, more grants are available at the beginning of the year than at any other time during the year. Grants have deadlines throughout the year. Some have several deadlines. But almost all grant programs are announced or renewed at the first of the year. Granting entities like to get the word out about their grant programs, build new links to their programs on their websites, and make changes to streamline their grant programs. The first of the year is the natural time to accomplish all of these tasks. You should take advantage of the increase in the number of opportunities in January to find money for your classroom or school.

January is also a logical time to announce new grants. The federal government, state governments, corporations, and foundations often take advantage of the New Year to announce new programs and new grants for those programs. Take advantage of these new opportunities they announce and make available to help your school.

One of the very best reasons for finding and writing grants in January is that you have great flexibility for finding the money you need for the current semester, summer school, and/or the fall semester.

If you need money for the spring semester, find grants with short deadlines so you can apply and get the money while it can still impact student learning during this school year. If you don’t need money for the spring, it’s certainly not too early to apply for summer school money. June will be here before you know it. And if you’re looking for money for fall programs, you do have a little more time for planning and can look for grants with deadlines further out, but January is still the time to start the process to make sure you have your money in hand when the fall semester does roll around.

January is absolutely the time to be thinking about grants. Use the free grant database that Discount School Supply so generously offers you and find the grants you need for this semester, summer school, or for the fall. Find that grant money that your classroom or school so desperately needs. Every dollar you find will enhance the educational experience of your students.

Check it Out: NEW Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: Welch’s Harvest Grants

Funded by: Welch’s

Description: 100 Schools won a garden last year. Now your school can win too! As a family farmer-owned company that is proud to grow and nurture grapes, Welch's values the importance of healthy eating. Hands-on experiences with planting, tending, and growing gardens provide a dynamic setting for learning and benefit kids of all ages. Now in our second year partnership with Scholastic and the National Gardening Association, Welch's will support school garden programs through Welch's Harvest Grants. We are pleased to invite you to submit an application for your opportunity to win a valuable garden for your school. Entries will be judged by experts at the National Gardening Association and two schools in every state will be selected to receive a Welch's Harvest Grant. Winning schools will receive a customized indoor or outdoor garden package filled with a variety of tools, seeds, educational materials, and more. Five (5) $1,000 gardens and ninety-five (95) $500 gardens will be awarded. Deadline for submission is February 11, 2011, so we encourage you to start working on your grant application today.

Program Areas: Health/PE, Science/Environmental

Recipients: Public School, Private/Charter School

Proposal Deadline: 2/11/11

Average Amount: $500.00 - $1,000.00


Availability: All States

Check it Out: NEW Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: Learning & Leadership Grants

Funded by: The NEA Foundation

Description: These grants support public school teachers, public education support professionals, and/or faculty and staff in public institutions of higher education for one of the following two purposes: 1) Grants to individuals fund participation in high-quality professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research. 2) Grants to groups fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson study, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff new to an assignment. Applicants must be practicing U.S. public school teachers in grades K-12, public school education support professionals, or faculty and staff at public higher education institutions. Preference will be given to members of the National Education Association. The NEA Foundation encourages grant applications from teachers with less than seven years of experience in the profession and education support professionals. Applicants: Mail the original and five (5) copies of your application to the address listed below. Please do not staple or bind your application. Applications that do not comply with the guidelines or that include materials not specifically requested by The NEA Foundation will not be reviewed. Applications sent by e-mail or fax, or incomplete applications, will not be reviewed.

Program Areas: General Education, Professional Development

Recipients: Public Schools, Higher Education

Proposal Deadline: 2/1/11

Average amount: $2,000.00 - $5,000.00

Telephone: 202-822-7840



Availability: All States

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Check it Out: NEW Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: The Big Read

Funded By: National Endowment for the Arts

Description: The Big Read,a program of the National Endowment for the Arts in cooperation with Arts Midwest, is designed to revitalize the role of literature in American culture and to encourage citizens to read for pleasure and enlightenment. The Big Read provides participating U.S. communities with grants and comprehensive resources that support their efforts to read and discuss a single book or the work of a poet. Seventy-five organizations in communities of varying sizes across the United States will be selected to conduct month-long, community-wide reads from September 2011 through June 2012. Organizations may apply for grants ranging from $2,500 to $20,000. Grant size will be determined based on community population, number of activities planned, and overall strength of the application. Grants must be matched at least 1:1 with nonfederal funds. Grant funds may be used for such expenses as book purchases, speaker fees and travel, salaries, advertising, and venue rental. Applicant organizations must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations; a division of state, local, or tribal government; or a tax-exempt public library. Eligible applicants include such organizations as literary centers, libraries, museums, colleges and universities, art centers, historical societies, arts councils, tribal governments, humanities councils, literary festivals, and arts organizations. Applicant organizations that are not libraries must partner with one. K-12 schools and school districts, whether public or private, may not be lead applicants but are strongly encouraged to partner with libraries, literary centers, museums, and other eligible applicants.

Program Areas: Library, Reading

Recipients: Public Schools, Private/Charter Schools, Higher Education, Other

Proposal Deadline: 2/1/11

Average Amount: $2,500.00 - $20,000.00

Telephone: 612-238-8010



Availability: All States

Check it Out: NEW Grant Opportunity!

Grant Name: Special Olympics Get Into It® Grants

Funded by: Youth Service America

Description: Special Olympics is partnering with Youth Service America to offer Get Into It® grants that bring together students of all abilities to fight childhood obesity in their schools and communities. The Get Into It® curriculum helps to develop a service-learning program that gives youth the opportunity to make a change. The program awards grants of $500 and $1000 to help youth create and implement local, hands-on programs to fight childhood obesity. Each grant also engages participating youth in service-learning, an effective teaching and learning strategy that supports student learning, academic achievement, and workplace readiness. Get Into It® grant projects launch on Spread the Word to End the Word Day (March 2, 2011) and culminate on Global Youth Service Day (April 15-17, 2011). All 50 states and the District of Columbia are eligible to apply. The application must be completed by a teacher and a unified pair of students (one with and one without an intellectual disability).

Program Areas: Disabilities, Health/PE, Special Education

Recipients: Public Schools, Private/Charter Schools, Higher Education

Proposal Deadline: 1/19/11

Average amount: $500.00 - $1,000.00

Telephone: 202-296-2992



Availability: All States

New Year’s Resolutions: It’s Grant Time

I like New Year’s resolutions. Though most people don’t have a great track record for keeping these yearly commitments, I believe in them for two reasons. First, I am an optimist and think that people should always strive to do more and be better each day, each month, each year. Second, New Year’s resolutions are the beginning of a plan. If we make a plan, there is a chance that something wonderful may happen. It might not, but it could. Without a plan, nothing will happen. I can guarantee that.

I encourage you again this year to make New Year’s resolutions as they relate to your school’s grant program. I am going to suggest three such resolutions, and I hope you will decide to adopt one or more of them as you attempt to help your school gain grant money during 2011.

My first suggestion for a New Year’s grant resolution is to write your first grant if you’ve never written one. It doesn’t matter what the purpose of the grant is or how much money you receive. The first grant you ever write is the most difficult, and you have to get it written before you can write your second, third, and fourth grants. Make a resolution to find a grant and apply for it in January. Once you get that first one out of the way, you can then decide on other grants to write later in the year.

If you are a more experienced grant writer, I suggest your New Year’s grant resolution be a little more specific. I suggest you determine the greatest problem your school, campus, or classroom is having and determine how you can remedy or at least alleviate that problem by winning grant money for your school. You might be able to overcome the problem by writing just one grant during 2011, or you may have to write several to have the impact you desire. Make a commitment to seek out that main problem and begin writing grants by the end of January or the beginning of February to solve that problem.

My third suggestion for a New Year’s resolution is also for more experienced grant writers. I recommend that you make a resolution to develop an overall plan for writing grants for your school. You might not end up writing all of the grants that this plan entails, but every school should have a plan that coordinates the manner in which a school determines its largest problems, develops plans to correct those problems, and then goes after grant money to fund those programs. If you don’t have a plan in place, most grant efforts become a scattered affair that have little impact on the problems a school faces.

These are my main three recommendations for 2011 New Year’s resolutions. You may adopt them. You may not. Please at least consider them as you head into this promising New Year. And if those above do not suit you, you might want to consider some of the following resolutions:

To develop a grant committee at your district or campus.

To set a dollar amount that you want to receive in grants.

To set the number of grants you want your school to receive.

To hire a part-time or full-time grant writer for your school.

To find a granting entity in your community for a multi-year relationship.

To attend grant-writing training.

To find a grant-writing partner.

Yes, each of these ideas is the beginning of a plan. Each of them will eventually help you bring in more grant money to your school. Each of them is forward-looking and optimistic. But that’s okay, because we are all educators in one way or another, and I don’t see how you can be an educator and not be forward-looking and optimistic.