One of the greatest benefits we can bestow on our children is to make sure they receive a well-rounded education. However, many schools, both public and private, are under-funded and need more money than they have to achieve that objective. Schools and teachers need books for their classrooms, school supplies like paper and pencils, or other educational tools like computer programs. Without these things, the students will not have the same educational benefits that other students have had, which puts all of them at a disadvantage. Fortunately, there are grants for teachers and schools that can help provide these necessities when the budget falls short.
Grants for teachers come in many forms. Some are specific to what the money will be used for—for example, some teachers may be looking for technology grants. Some grants may be more focused on literacy and seek to provide books and other tools to help teachers (http://teachers.net/) improve children’s reading skills. These grants (http://www.grants.gov/) may be for research or for classroom equipment or tools, like computer programs that encourage learning. Other grant programs are structured in such a way that they have a broader focus, like math and science education grants. For these programs, teachers and schools will typically have to submit proposals for projects they wish to incorporate into the math and science curriculum at their school in order to improve interest and achievement in those areas. Grant proposals are required for many grant applications so that the organization offering the grant money can have a better understanding of how the money will be used to further education.
There is an increasing demand for technology in the classroom, and grant providers want to make sure that the kind of technology teachers want to use the money for is going to be used in their classroom to benefit their students. One of the requests that grant providers might see is grants for teachers to get iPads. This type of technology is indeed an excellent way to engage students and present the class material in a way that is easy and fun for students to understand. When looking for technology grants or classroom grants to use for something like an iPad, teachers should focus on explaining why an iPad would benefit their classroom and how it will specifically be used in their class.
One of the major concerns for many grant organizations is literacy, so there are opportunities everywhere for teachers to get grants for literacy that will help them foster stronger reading and writing skills in their students. In addition to literacy concerns, there are other departments that need money to continue operating. Due to financial and budgetary constraints in education across the country, many schools have had to reduce, or even eliminate, art and music education. Elementary school teachers and high school teachers can use these grants to stimulate art and music programs. There are plenty of grant programs whose intention is to reinstate these programs in schools because they believe in the value of art and musical education. While it may be more difficult to bring a program back that has been cut, grants for teachers of the arts are available to those who wish to apply for them and give their students an introduction to the arts.
Much has to be done to apply for grants for teachers in some cases, depending on the foundation’s requirements. Each foundation or organization that offers grants will likely have different eligibility requirements, some of which may include whether applicants can be from public schools, private or charter schools, or any of these. Each organization will also have different goals or preferences for what the grant money is devoted to, for example, special education teaching grants, or grants that will be focused on a particular subject, like reading. The application will often involve a proposal, which is sort of like an essay about what the teachers propose to use the grant money for in their school. Researching grant opportunities and understanding what the eligibility requirements are for each program is absolutely vital when applying for grants for teachers. Seeing as proposals take time and research to put together as well, it is all time lost to spend time applying for a grant for which the institution is ineligible.
The government is one place to start when searching for grants for education research or teaching. Although the requirements for the applications for these grants may be stricter than the requirements for other grant programs, and the competition for these grants may be greater due to the number of teachers applying for the grants, the funding provided may also be greater for some grant programs. The government provides grants for teachers for many reasons, one of which is that the grant may help create a better future not only for the students who benefit from the funding, but also for the nation as a whole.
Applying for the grants can be a tedious and exhausting process depending on which grant programs you apply to. Some grants for teachers are offered through grant programs that are extremely competitive, meaning that the teachers who apply will have to be confident that every last detail involved in their application is correct and is tailored to support the grant provider’s interests and goals. Because so many teachers and schools around the country are in need of grant funding to keep their education projects alive, for example, teachers may need field trip grants to help students learn outside the classroom, many grant programs become very competitive due to the large number of applicants for that particular funding. Teachers will need to put their writing skills to work for some of these programs to demonstrate to the grant foundation or organization not only why they need funding, but exactly how the funding will be used and how it will benefit the priorities of the organization providing that funding.
As with grants for things like field trips, funding for teachers is not limited to in-class activities only. There are travel grants for teachers to help them broaden their skills and understanding, and to learn new ways of educating by traveling to new places around the world. While the teachers who travel may not participate in a specific degree or certification program, traveling itself is often a very valuable learning experience for teachers as they try to discover new ways to get their students involved and interested in what they are studying.
Although summer is typically a time when both students and teachers take time off to recharge before another year of learning, there are plenty who have summer classes or seminars to supplement their regular curriculum during the school year. Whether by choice or by necessity, more classes in the summer means more funding for those classes, no matter if they are grade school summer classes, or college level classes. To fund these summer programs, teachers can look to summer grants to help them plan a curriculum that is just as engaging and informative as a class that occurs during the regular school year. Classes that take place at the school and outside of it all require funding that may be additional to the amount that is allocated for the normal school year budget, so these types of grants are a perfect way to keep the learning going during the summer vacation.
While much of the focus for grant funding is on classroom grants for teachers that will further fund their students’ education, there are other types of grants that are focused more on funding the teachers’ education at various stages. Like many students who graduate from college today, those who graduate and go on to become teachers have student loans that they need to repay over the next few years. Because of the need for teachers and the desire for a strong future in education, there are organizations that have set aside funding to help teachers pay off their student loans. Along these same lines, some teachers are finding that they need to have a more advanced degree to teach certain subjects or to teach at certain schools. Teachers who only have bachelor’s degrees and their teaching certification must sometimes return to school to earn their master’s degrees to expand their educative abilities and qualifications. Postgraduate work can be quite expensive, particularly if the educational institution is private or prestigious, so teachers who are unable to pay for their advanced degree can look to grants to get their masters.
Grants for teachers are available for all kinds of educational purposes. If you do your research and write a thorough and well-planned proposal, you can get the grants you need to help your students succeed and get the education they deserve. Alternatively, if you are the one who needs grants for professional development or for an advanced degree program, you can find funding for your specific education needs.