- Budget restrictions are one of the main reasons many schools don’t implement new programs or expand student access to new tools and technology. New grant opportunities, however, such as the Steelcase Active Learning Center Grant can provide schools with ways to create a new learning environment, and two new literacy grants can expand access to reading programs and resources, eSchoolNews reports.
- Two other grants address issues currently affecting schools. For example, the third annual Operation Prevention Video Challenge helps address the dangers of opioid misuse while the WISE Awards recognize innovative and impactful initiatives that address education challenges such as access and inclusion, design and ecosystems, digital and multimedia, society and workforce and youth employment.
- NPR is also launching its first Student Podcast Challenge, aimed at students in grades 5-12. Students, with the help of teachers, compete for a grand prize and an opportunity to have their work appear on NPR. Deadlines for these grants end soon.
In a tight budget environment, school leaders and teachers find themselves turning to outside sources to fund innovative projects or learning opportunities that fall outside budget lines. Though school leaders are wise to delegate the exploration of viable grant opportunities to someone on their staff, exceptional teachers are often the first to spot and apply for grants or donations that support classroom projects.
Grant opportunities abound, but are often competitive. Some grants give priority to schools with certain demographics, such as rural schools, or have certain themes, such as heathy students, so exploring grant opportunities may take time. School and district leaders may want to offer resources to teachers about how to find grant opportunities and then connect them with a staff member who understands the grant-writing process and can help them make their application as attractive as possible.
Educators are also increasingly turning to crowdfunding sites, which allows teachers and school leaders to harness the power of social media in directing people toward certain projects. There are a host of other more traditional methods of fundraising that can also tap into the desire of people and businesses in the community to help schools. These more traditional approaches can often be paired with a crowdsourcing method to increase donations. By exploring these opportunities, schools may be able to offer students more resources and learning experiences than they might otherwise have.