The Big List of Educational Grants and Resources
Get a roundup of educational grants, contests, awards, free toolkits, and classroom guides aimed at helping students, classrooms, schools, and communities. Check this page weekly to get the latest updates!
Does your school need funding to get a healthy eating or exercise program off the ground? Then consider applying for a Champions for Healthy Kids grant. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the General Mills foundations are sponsoring the awards, and they’re asking schools and nonprofits to offer their proposals for science-backed healthy eating, exercise programs for students. There are 50 prizes available, of up to $1 million in funding, and innovative school projects aimed at students 2-18 -- like a student-run cafe, fitness clubs and gardening projects -- consistently receive funding. Schools must partner with a registered dietitian to be eligible.
Prize: There are up to 50 $20,000 prizes available.
For artist Ezra Jack Keats, libraries were the perfect studio for student creative expression. And that's the spirit of this annual program from the Keats Foundation. The foundation is offering mini-grants to public schools and libraries to help them develop and implement projects that encourage students to express their creativity. Historically, grants have gone to many different types of projects, so be creative with your proposals!
Prize: Grants up to $500 are available for public schools and public libraries.
This is the perfect summer project for the student activists in your classroom. Do Something is offering seed grants for community action projects that focus on a variety of issues, from the environment and education to bullying and mental health. The grants can be used to get project ideas off the ground or help expand existing programs.
Prize: One $500 grant is awarded each week.
This foundation funds projects that bring communities together. Awesome ideas "spark an instant of joy and delight and inspire a long-term hope for a more awesome future." Some chapters also routinely contact applicants for interviews before awarding the fellowships. Anyone can apply.
Prize: Grants of $1,000 are distributed monthly.
>> MORE: Get information on how to find grants. And don't miss this 2009 webinar archive, "The Fundamentals of Funding: How to Identify, Write, and Submit Grants for School and Program Initiatives."
Contests and Awards
ePals and the Smithsonian are teaming up to host the Third Annual Global Invent It Challenge! The rules are simple: Students aged 5-18, whether individuals or teams, must identify real-world problems and develop projects that provide solutions. They could issues faced in their neighborhoods, or a challenge all of their friends face. Then, students are asked to use four design-thinking strategies to find a solution: Think It, Explore It, Sketch It, Sell It. Submissions can be made online or via mail, and students are required to submit Power Point presentations, photos, videos or documents to showcase their Invent It proposals. Check out all the great design-thinking resources for teachers.
Calling all student storytellers! PBS stations across the U.S. are collaborating with schools, public libraries and other community-based organizations to present the PBS KIDS Writers Contest. Check the link to see if your local PBS station is participating. Here's how it works: Students in grades K-3 submit stories of between 50-350 words (depending on grade level) along with 5 colorful illustrations. Each station selects winners, and these local winners are then entered into a national contest. PBS LearningMedia has also produced a ton of valuable creative writing teaching resources. Check out the collection here.
Google’s annual Doodle contest is back. And students of all ages are encouraged to use their creativity to draw a doodle for this year’s theme: “If I Could Invent One Thing to Make the World a Better Place…” One winner from every grade level will be named state finalists; then 50 state winners will be selected, and finally there will be 5 national finalists with each grade level represented. Application materials and rules are available online, as well as engaging design-thinking classroom activities for doodling sessions. Prize: One winner will have their work displayed on the Google homepage and receive a $30,000 college scholarship. The winner’s school receives a $50,000 technology grant. National finalists also receive scholarships.
NASA would like your help! K-12 students are asked to research and design ways to protect astronauts from space radiation. NASA and Lockheed Martin are developing the Orion spacecraft that will carry astronauts beyond low Earth orbit and on to an asteroid or Mars. Protecting astronauts from radiation on these distant travels is an important -- and very real -- problem that needs solving.
Prize: All participants in this challenge, which include students from around the world, will have their names flown on board the Orion as honorary crew members.
Digital Learning Day is here -- it’s February 5, 2014 -- and PBS LearningMedia has put together a collection of free resources for teachers to help students think like innovators. The collection includes links to webinars, free lesson plans, how-to guides and other tools to help students collaborate, communicate and get creative. The entire collection is aimed at students in grades 6-12.
Share My Lesson has curated some great Olympics lessons from around the web. Here, you’ll find everything from Russian history lessons -- perfect for a global ed unit -- to science, math and everything in between. There’s a lesson on the page for elementary school, middle school and high school with links to plans and needed materials.
EdSurge has culled a list of articles, resources, and videos to help educators incorporate gaming into the classroom. The guide covers the latest research, as well as strategies and tips from practitioners, and there are plenty of useful reviews of ideal classroom games that support learning. This is a great primer for educators looking to incorporate gaming in the classroom, as well as for teachers who have already embraced the trend.
The National Park Service recently released new Back-to-School resources for educators across the U.S. There are curriculum resources, which allow students to explore parks from the comfort of the classroom, information about in-person field trips and online professional development resources for teachers. Currently, there are 53 free curriculum packets for almost every grade, and they explore topics like immigration at Ellis Island and the Civil War at Fort Scott.
The 19-state Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, one of two groups developing Common Core-aligned assessments, recently released sample tasks that will give educators a snapshot of how the ELA assessment will look in 2014-15. In addition, PARCC has also released math sample items to provide insights into next-generation math exams and assessments. Both provide great insights for educators transitioning to the Common Core.
The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics produced “Core Math Tools,” a customizable suite of software tools and apps for high school educators aligned with the Common Core. The suite is available for free download, and the apps and tools can be used to engage students in a variety of areas, from general algebra resources to interactive graphing tools. There are also specialized how-tos to help educators use the tools in the classroom.
Students and teachers: Interact with experts from the Smithsonian once a month during their hour-long online conferences, held on topics ranging from civil rights to astrophotography. The conference series includes special “virtual teachers’ lounge” sessions for teachers to engage with each other and discuss other Smithsonian learning resources.
Here's one for the visual learners in your classroom! National Geographic has produced a variety of free, hands-on mapping activities that allow students to download, print and put together large-scale world, country and continent maps. Maps are available in a variety of sizes too; you can choose between giant ones that will cover a wall or easier-to-manage tabletop sizes. In addition, there are plenty of engaging geography lessons for your classroom cartographers.
The National PTA's free toolkit for 2013-14 features information on best practices and strategies, including new guides on advocacy, communications, and fundraising, as well as strategies for the Common Core.
STEM–Works is a resource for teachers, parents, mentors, and anyone else wanting to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering, and math. The site offers links to virtual field trips, interactive lesson plans, and fun activities for all grade levels.
With so many apps, websites, and digital tools available, how do you know which ones to use? Graphite, a free service from Common Sense Media, provides reviews and ratings to help teachers find the best digital learning products.
What Kids Can Do, a nonprofit that focuses on marginalized youth ages 12 to 22, has built this portfolio of research, exemplary practices, student voices, and educator resources to illustrate effective student learning and motivation.
Edcanvas, a new online presentation platform, has been a hit this summer, and the open source program will likely work its way into more and more classrooms this school year. The site lets teachers curate digital "canvases" of online educational resources that can be quickly shared with students. Check out the beta version today and get started!
Educating English Language Learners: Grantmaking Strategies for Closing America's Other Achievement Gap
Read this report from Grantmakers for Education and learn more about the needs of English learners in the US today and current ELL grant making, discover lessons for philanthropy, and examine four case studies that unpack strategic ELL investments.
Find thousands of digital resources including videos, games, audio clips, photos lesson plans, and more. All of these free resources are great for classrooms or summer learning, and they provide colorful multimedia packages to help students learn, including the award-winning Shakespeare Uncovered and Constitution USA.
EarthCam has compiled live webcam footage from around the world, giving students the opportunity to travel the globe from their desk. The live streams range from Times Square in New York City to San Juan, Puerto Rico, offering instant video from hundreds of interesting locations. Also, peer into the lives of exotic animals with live video feeds from zoos all over the world!
NBCUniversal’s public service campaign, The More You Know, gives celebrities the opportunity to inspire change and voice their opinions on social issues such as education, diversity and internet safety. The site features videos with important NBC personalities as well as links to additional resources, such as free ebooks, to educate students and teachers.
In an effort to encourage a lifelong love for reading, CommonSense consulted teachers, librarians, and book critics to pull together +150 books -- from the classics, to fantasy, to funny must-reads -- for students ages 2 to 17.
This website is a place for scientists, teachers, parents, and kids of all ages to contribute to science through recreational activities and research projects. The site helps scientists share their research projects, and citizens to tinker, build, and explore science.
Bank of America has partnered with Sal Khan and the Khan Academy to provide a free online financial learning experience that's self-paced, fact-based, and conversational. Resources include videos and customizable features.
For educators who want to know how to use videos to enhance student learning, MindShift has created a resource with valuable tips, including video links for all kinds of subjects -- history, math, science, language arts, and more -- and ideas on how to inspire students to use videos as a conduit to ask questions and learn.
The 2013 TED Prize winner, educational researcher Sugata Mitra, set up "Hole in the Wall" self-learning experiments around the world. His research is proving that children are naturally self-motivated to learn and have an ability to problem-solve in peer groups. He has created a toolkit for educators, parents, and communities who want to try out a Self-Organized Learning Environment (SOLE).