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!
Teachers, have you encouraged students to learn about agriculture? If so, consider applying for an Agriculture in the Classroom grant. Each year, the USDA and the National Agriculture in the Classroom Consortium provide awards for teachers who have inspired and engaged students to learn about agriculture topics in the classroom. To get a sense of what they look for in honorees, you can take a look at past winners online. Prize: Five educators will receive a $500 honorarium and up to $1,500 for travel expenses to the annual Agriculture in the Classroom Conference.
Each year, Fund For Teachers provides grants for individuals or teams of educators to pursue self-designed professional learning projects. These grants provide educators the means to develop innovative and engaging curricula for students. For instance, one past grantees used his award to canoe down the Mississippi River and develop a river ecology unit for students. Samples from winning proposals are available online. Prize: Grants up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams of educators.
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
Aspiring documentary filmmakers in middle school and high school can now submit their short films for the chance to win cash prizes in the C-SPAN StudentCam Contest. Individual students or teams of up to three can enter by submitting a short film that answers, “What’s the most important issue Congress should answer in 2014?” Prize: Up to 150 prizes for students and 53 teacher advisors worth more than $100,000 in cash.
Many people can single out one teacher that had a significant impact in their lives, and each year, the The Kennedy Center sponsors the Sondheim Inspiration Award to honor just those teachers. Former students, who are at least 18 years old, can nominate their inspirational teacher, in any grade that teaches any subject, by submitting a written, audio or video story that details a single, specific interaction with that teacher that had a lasting effect. Prize: Nominate an inspiring teacher for one of several $10,000 cash awards.
Teaching lab science can be a challenge without the right resources. Maybe it’s time your science lab gets a makeover. The Shell Science Lab Challenge -- in conjunction with the National Science Teachers Association -- encourages high school and middle school teachers to share their approach to lab teaching on shoestring budgets for a chance to win. The contest is open to teachers in the U.S. and Canada, and prizes will be awarded for complete lab makeovers and science learning tools and resources. Prize: More than $93,000 in prizes to help schools makeover their science labs.
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.
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.
Reddit Gifts for Teachers is an annual program hosted by the social networking site. Teachers from across the country sign up and add a wishlist of all their classroom needs, i.e. supplies and materials. Then, generous people sign up to support a classroom. There is no minimum or suggested value, Reddit notes. Teachers should just sign up for anything that will make a difference.
The National Education Association wants to help schools celebrate American Education Week, which runs Nov. 18-22 this year. To help spark some school spirit, the association has produced an online toolkit that offers ideas for school activities, tips and facts sheets and promotional materials.
November, you might know, has been dubbed NaNoWriMo, and the DIY spirited event is the perfect time to get students excited about creative writing. But where do you get started? These educator resources from the NaNoWriMo’s Young Writers Program are the perfect place to start, with downloadable lesson plans and opportunities to connect with other educators. Also take a look at the resources page from the National Writing Project.
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.
Cable in the Classroom, an online clearinghouse of digital learning resources, produced a resource roundup page for Digital Citizenship Week, which is Oct. 21th through the 25th. Here educators will find plenty of ideas for bringing digital citizenship into the classroom, tips for hosting school-wide or classroom DCW events and a long list of outside links to useful resources.
From an in-depth and insightful Starter Kit to a toolkit for districts, ConnectedEducators has produced a bunch of extremely valuable resources for Connected Educators Month. In addition, there are links to other useful Connected Educator resources -- including a few of our own resources -- as well as contacts to help you get started, useful calendars and other inspiring information.
October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and chances are, your school has plans in the works to talk with students about the subject. But before you get started, there's one place you should look. The PACER National Bullying Prevention Center features a wealth of resources online, including educator toolkits for bully prevention, educational activities and information for parents and teachers.
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, from ones that will cover a wall, to 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!
The beginning of a new school year can be a nervous time for parents of young children. To help ease the transition, the National Association for the Education of Young Children has produced a series of resources for early childhood educators to help welcome families and children and foster relationships.
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.
Earth Day is April 22, and the annual event provides students an opportunity to learn about our planet and the environment. To help bring environmental education into the classroom, the Environmental Protection Agency has produced a valuable stockpile of education resources, including links to environmental lesson plans, guidelines, and other teaching resources.
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).