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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

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!
By Edutopia Staff

Grants

NEW! Dance Education Grants for Disadvantaged Students

Deadline: Sept. 4, 2014

Dizzy Feet Foundation provides grants to community groups and non-profits that provide dance learning programs for students in disadvantaged areas. The foundation's grant program is designed to broaden access to dance education, increase the appreciation students have for the art form, and support high-quality dance education programs. Schools and other non-profits in all 50 states, particularly rural and other under-served areas, are encouraged to apply..
Prize: Several grants are available; amounts depend on a variety of factors.

Environmental Learning Grants for Field Studies

Deadline: Sept. 14, 2014

If you're looking for funding for an innovative environmental learning project, the Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation is your source for funding. The foundation's environmental grant program focuses on helping educators and non-profit organizations provide holistic field activities for students. In the past, funded projects have included a beach monitoring program in Washington state and a stream stabilization project in Minnesota, among others. Winning projects engage students and encourage analysis and understanding of the natural world. Apply online today, and be sure to check out the foundation's grant writing tips.
Prize: Grants for organizations are available up to $1,500.

Music Learning Grants from Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

Deadline: August 1, 2014

The Foundation provides grants for music programs at underserved schools, and the grants support instrument repair and acquisition. Grants are available for public, private and charter schools with at least 65 percent of students on free or reduced lunch. Additionally, schools must have an established instrumental program. Grants are available through the Michael Kamen Grant program.
Prize: Grants cover instrument repair and instrument acquisition.

Music Education Grants from the D’Addario Foundation

Deadline: July 31, 2014

Music programs that reach under-served students are the focus of this program from the D'Addario Foundation. The Foundation provides product donations of instruments and other musical supplies, as well as grant funding to help sustain music learning programs. Letters of Inquiry are due on July 31.
Prize: Funding and D'Addario product donations are available.

Summer of Service Service-Learning Grants from YSA

Deadline: July 31, 2014

YSA and Disney ABC Television Group have teamed up to sponsor the Summer of Service awards. The awards provide project grants for youth-led, ongoing service projects that are being conducted through a school or community organization. Student leaders should be between 5-18, and projects must have already been established to be considered.
Prize: Grants are available up to $1,000.

Thank A Million Teachers: School Supplies and PD Grants

Deadline: October 30, 2014

State Farm is offering a huge pool of grants to thank teachers. Through the website ThankAMillionTeachers.com, thousands of students and parents have logged on to show their support for an inspiring educator. In turn, these educators become eligible to apply for a grant through the program. Teachers can elect to receive funding to purchase supplies through AdoptAClassroom.org or they can persue a teaching certification offered by the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.
Prize: Grants are available up to $2,500.

Math and Science Grants from Toshiba America Foundation

Deadline: Rolling

Toshiba says, “Science and math teachers in public or private (non-profit) schools may apply for grants to support classroom science and math education." Projects that are led by individuals or teams of teachers and that support engage students creatively are preferred. Additionally, the Foundation prefers projects that enable students to answer and ask their own scientific questions and that incorporate community partners.
Prize: Grants of $5,000 or less are reviewed on a rolling basis; grants for more than $5,000 are reviewed twice per year (Aug. 1 and Feb. 1).

Grants to Increase Access to Healthy Foods from the No Kid Hungry Foundation

Deadline: Rolling

Providing students access to healthy and nutritious meals is the focus of No Kid Hungry Foundation grants. Currently, the foundation supports projects that increase access to summer meal programs, school breakfast and after-school snacks and meals. Plus, advocacy efforts, including anti-hunger issues and needs and educating families about SNAP and the Women, Infants, and Children programs. Interested schools can submit letters of inquiry year-round.
Prize: Average grants range from $5,000 to $10,000.

Grants for STEM Programs from American Honda Foundation

Deadline: Rolling

Throughout the year, the American Honda Foundation accepts grant proposals for K-12 education. Recently, the foundation has focused their efforts on STEM projects and environmental education. A variety of projects are eligible, as long as they can be characterized as “imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative.”
Prize: Grants range from $20,000 to $75,000.

Do Something Seed Grants

Deadline: Rolling

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.

The Awesome Foundation Grant

Deadline: Submissions are reviewed monthly

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."

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Contests and Awards

'Map Your World' Technology Grants

Deadline: July 31, 2014

Map Your World, a project inspired by the documentary "The Revolutionary Optimists," is providing technology grants to high school and middle school teachers across the country. Winning teachers receive five Nexus 7 tablets to help implement the Map Your World curriculum. Map Your World projects encourage students to use technology for data collection projects, and then, ultimately, students use that  data to create an interactive multimedia map. To apply, visit the Map Your World online application.
Prize: Winners receive five Nexus 7 tablets.

Summer Reading Program from Barnes & Noble

Are you looking for a summer activity for your kids? Well, you might consider Barnes & Noble’s summer reading program. To participate, kids can download a free PDF Reading Journal online. Then, throughout they must read at least eight books and record them in their logs. After reading eight books, students can them return completed logs to a local B&N store and receive a free book.

Half Price Books’ Summer Reading Program

Deadline: Ongoing; Monthly Through August

Half Price Books is asking kids 14 and under to “feed their brains,” and participate in the HPB free summer reading program. Here’s the task: Kids 14 and under are encouraged to read 15 minutes per day for a month. Once a student has reached 300 minutes, they can turn in their downloadable reading log to receive a $5 Bookworms Buck HPB gift certificate. The top reader in each age group each month will also receive a $20 Top Reader Prize to use at any HPB location. The program is free to join.

Compete for a Green Thumb Challenge Grant

Deadline: Sept. 30, 2014

The Green Education Foundation and Gardener’s Supply Company are sponsoring this challenge for K-12 schools across the country. The challenge is calling for K-12 schools, classrooms and groups to document their existing student-run garden, through video, photos and/or artwork. The most inspiring gardens then receive funding for continued sustainability.

Prize: Several $500 grants are available to benefit the country’s most inspiring K-12 gardens.

First-Ever $1 Million Global Teacher Prize

Deadline: October 5, 2014

This year, educators the world over can vie for the recently established Global Teacher Prize, or the Nobel Prize of teaching. Educators in any country can nominate themselves. Students and parents can nominate inspiring educators as well. Nominees will be judged by a panel of global education experts based on a variety of criteria, including dedication to the professional, achievements and recognitions and ability to positively influence students. One teacher will be honored next spring with a $1 million cash prize.

2015 YoungArts Awards and Scholarships

Deadline: Oct. 17, 2014

Each year, the YoungArts Foundation offers financial support to foster the next generation of leaders in the arts. The awards honor top high school artists in the visual, performing and literary arts, who are in grades 10-12 or are 15-18 years old. To apply, a high school student must submit an application, as well as a portfolio or audition. Honorees are considered for U.S. Presidential Scholars status, have access to master classes, and are eligible to apply for scholarships and other financial awards. Top prize is $10,000.

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Classroom Resources

NEW! Possible Worlds Free Science Learning Games

Developed by the Center for Children and Technology, Possible Worlds is a suite of free games designed to help students learn about science. Currently there are four games available that focus on scientific misconceptions, covering photosynthesis, electricity, heredity, and heat transfer. Each game includes classroom activities for teachers that have been developed to “leverage students’ experiences within the games.”

Camp PBS Parents -- Summer Learning Resources

Looking for some fun summer learning activities to do with your kids? Well, there's a treasure trove of ideas available via Camp PBS Parents. Start with the Summer Bucket List, which includes fun, engaging projects. Plus, you'll find craft ideas, recipes for summer snacks (that include quick lessons), reading activities, "learning adventures," and much more.

Summer Learning Resources from The New York Times Learning Network

This summer, The Learning Network is featuring a steady stream of student learning resources. Encourage your kids to check out daily features like the "Word of the Day" or "6 Q's About the News," or stop in for regularly updated resources like "The News Quiz" and "Teenagers in The Times." Other features include a student-centric daily crossword puzzle and an "On This Day in History" feature. All of these summer learning resources incorporate Times content to engage students in learning about current events.

Summer Learning Resources from Let's Move!

Looking for ideas to keep your kids active this summer? Then check out Let's Move Outside. This new resource from Let's Move features an highly useful list of places where kids can play outside, including a run-down of biking trails, national parks and forests, and local playgrounds. You just type in your location and Let's Move offers up a list of great places for kids to play. Also included are ideas for how to maximize the fun outdoors and stay safe this summer.

PBLU 2.0 from the Buck Institute

Looking for to incorporate PBL in your classroom? Well, you might start at PBLU. Here, there are a variety of projects for every grade that are waiting for teachers to implement them in their classrooms. Currently, projects focus on math, ELA and social studies. Plus, PBLU offers a portal for PD classes that explore the design, management and assessment of PBL in classroom practice. Teachers can enroll in a course, but there is a limited number of spots available in each.

The Ultimate Guide to Games in School

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.

Classroom Resources from the National Parks

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.

CELA Common Core Sample Tasks from PARCC

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.

Common Core Math Tools for High School Educators

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.

Smithsonian Online Education Conference Series

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.

MapMaker Kits from National Geographic

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.

STEM-Works

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.

Rating System for Digital Learning Tools

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.

How Youth Learn

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. Also, check out the organization's recent article, "Learning by Heart: The Power of Social-Emotion Learning in Secondary Schools (PDF)," which highlights elements of successful social-learning programs.

Blendspace

Blendspace, formally Edcanvas, enables teachers to create lessons that incorporate online educational resources in one place. The lessons can then be shared quickly with students, and they can be accessed via any digital device. Additionally, teachers can use the platform's built-in quizzes and monitoring features to measure student progress.

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.

PBS LearningMedia

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

EarthCam has compiled live webcam footage from around the world, giving students the opportunity to travel the globe from their desks. The live streams include Times Square in New York City and San Juan, Puerto Rico, and they offer 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!

The More You Know

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.

CommonSense Media’s Essential Books for Kids and Teens

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.

SciStarter

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.

Better Money Habits

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.

MindShift: Teachers' Guide to Videos

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.

SOLE: How to Bring Self-Organized Learning Environments to Your Community

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).

Originally Published April 13, 2014

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