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!
The idea behind this grant program from the ASM Materials Education Foundation is simple: Awards are designed “to help K-12 teachers bring the real world of materials science into their classrooms." Projects should be creative, hands-on activities that require students to observe, communicate their ideas, and use their math and science skills. Plus, projects should also grow students' awareness of materials science and leading materials scientists. Teachers can submit two-page proposals outlining their project ideas online.
Prize: Twenty grants of $500 are available.
Do you have an idea for a service-learning project to be completed with K-12 students? Well, State Farm and the Youth Advisory Board have teamed up to offer a wealth of grants designed to help schools and non-profits do just that. Grants are available for service-learning projects that focus on closing the achievement gap, arts and culture and improving financial literacy, among others -- and all projects must include K-12 students at public schools. Eligible groups include public schools and districts, non-profits, colleges and universities, and governmental organizations.
Prize: Grants range from $25,000 to $100,000.
The Target Foundation’s annual arts education program is now accepting applications. And there are a bunch of grants available for the entire spectrum of arts education. Here’s what the foundation says, “Target funds in-school arts programs that enhance students' classroom curricula by bringing the arts and cultural experiences to schools, such as in-school performances, artist-in-residency programs and workshops in schools.” The grant period is Sept. 2014 through August 2015.
Prize: There are many $2,000 grants available for arts, culture and design projects.
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.
There is a giant pool of awards available for K-12 educators at public or private schools to advance and further develop “innovative classroom projects.” There will be at least one winner from each of the 50 states, and just about every type of project is eligible -- from STEM learning to arts integration and everything in between. The key is on innovation. Educators can start an electronic application online.
Prize: Grants of $25,000, $10,000, and $5,000 for first, second, and third place, plus $2,000 for up to 100 finalists.
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
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.
The New York Times Learning Network is sponsoring their annual found poetry contest in honor of National Poetry Month. Here's how it works: Students, aged 13-19, are encouraged to use up to two Times articles to create a poem of any style. Students use words and phrases from the article to create an original work. Poems should be 14 lines or fewer, and only one poem can be submitted per student. Online, teachers will find related teaching resources, links to past winners, as well as an FAQ about the contest. Students' found poems are submitted in the comments section.
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).