Sponsored by cell phone manufacturer Nokia and a consortium of cell phone service providers (organized by the Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association), this program gives cell phones and free calling time to classroom instructors. The program is designed to create additional in-class learning opportunities by enabling students to call subject matter experts during school time and to provide instructors with emergency access to telephones to ensure their safety and the safety of their students. To date, more than 28,000 cell phones and 12 million hours of free phone time have been donated. Among the innovative uses of the system has been a project in a private school in Florida that allows each teacher to place his or her homework assignment on wireless voice mail daily, so that parents can call in and confirm their children’s homework assignments. Grants are made by individual local wireless providers; to find out if your provider is participating in the program, go to the ClassLink web site.
Robert H. Michel Civic Education Grants
The Dirksen Congressional Center is offering $40,000 for projects that create lesson plans and/or student activities on Congress, government, and civics. Projects that use multimedia applications are preferred, especially as they facilitate identification of additional resources for teaching the historical basis for legislative and regulatory rules. Teachers of students in grades 4 through 12 can apply for the grants; institutions cannot. The grant administrators emphasize that they are seeking “practical classroom applications” in the lesson plans and use of technology. Applicants should begin by sending a short letter or eMail message that outlines their project; promising candidates will be asked to submit more-detailed information. Proposals may be submitted any time during the year.
Contact: Frank H. Mackaman, executive director, (309) 347-7113 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Launching its new Teach America! program with a major media splash through President Clinton’s “New Markets for the Digital Economy” tour, the Gateway Foundation has promised to provide free technology training to 75,000 educators in public and private schools. Successful applicants will receive one year of free access to an online database containing more than 400 technology training courses, which run the gamut from word processing to web site design to spreadsheets to computer-aided drafting. Applicants can be individual teachers or school district media representatives. Applicants must file a short note indicating their reasons for wanting access to the online training program and their plans for using their knowledge in the classroom.
Toshiba America Foundation Grants
The Toshiba America Foundation awards grants for programs and activities that improve classroom teaching and learning of science, mathematics, and technology for middle and high school students. Public and private schools, local educational agencies, and youth organizations across the United States may apply. Projects should provide direct benefits to students and should include teacher-led classroom-based experiences. The Small Grants Program awards grants of up to $5,000 monthly throughout the year. The Large Grants Program awards grants of more than $5,000 in March and September (with deadlines of Feb. 1 and Aug. 1, respectively). The total annual grants budget is approximately $550,000.
Contact: (212) 588-0820 or email@example.com
Bell Atlantic Foundation Grants
The Bell Atlantic Foundation reviews unsolicited proposals from the 13 Northeastern states served by Bell Atlantic on a continuous calendar-year basis, from January through November. Last year, the organization received about 28,000 requests. Technology integration is the foundation’s priority and integration with education has been one of the areas it has consistently supported. Examples of previously funded technology projects, which can be found on its web site, include supporting a maritime library’s creation of online courses for middle school students and a program to provide rehabilitated computers to disadvantaged children. The foundation recommends that you apply for its grants online; guidelines are available on its web site.
Contact: (800) 360-7955
First for Education Grants
Last year, Carolina First Corp. established the Carolina First for Education Foundation with a $12.6 million endowment. The foundation will provide education and community-based grants to teachers and public schools in South Carolina for projects that will help bring the state to the educational forefront, including grants for technology initiatives such as purchasing computers. All grants will be awarded based on evaluation of a written application. For an application form, write to the Carolina First For Education Foundation, PO Box 1029, Greenville, SC 29602.
Contact: Bruce Thomas, (803) 750-2706
Intel Foundation Grants
Intel offers a wide range of support for many technology- and science-related initiatives. On a national level, Intel funds programs that advance math, science, or technology education, promote science careers among women and underrepresented minorities, or increase public understanding of technology and its impact. National grants are made either to national projects or local projects that serve as pilots for national programs. They are cash-only grants (no equipment or volunteer support). Community grants are viewed with the same priorities and subject to the same rules as national grants, but they are limited to communities where Intel has a major facility: Chandler, Ariz.; Folsom and Santa Clara, Calif.; Rio Rancho, N.M.; Hillsboro, Ore.; Fort Worth, Texas; and DuPont, Wash. Intel’s Public Affairs Department also considers requests for equipment and support of Intel volunteers in the communities where the company has operations. An example of this type of activity is the Management Review Committee staffed by Intel managers and administrators in the Chandler Unified, Tempe Union, and Kyrene School Districts in Arizona, which meets monthly to maximize the value of all Intel-supported programs in the area. Applications for these programs can be found on Intel’s web site.
Sprint Foundation Grants
The Sprint Foundation supports educational projects that foster school reform with new technologies and communications media and through fresh approaches to the enhancement of teachers’ skills. Although Sprint does not have an application form, the foundation recommends that applicants identify how their projects support Sprint’s objectives: innovation and the use of technology in the classroom; enhanced education for minorities and/or the disadvantaged; and increased employee and public support of education. Because these grants are supported by employee contributions matched by foundation funds, grants are available for projects in areas with a significant employee presence, primarily Kansas City, Mo.; Atlanta; Dallas; and Sacramento, Calif. Two examples of grant recipients for 1998 are the National Technical Institute for the Deaf to implement videoconferencing in a variety of educational applications, and the Kansas City Art Institute to begin creation of a forward-looking, campus-wide technology initiative. Schools and other education-related nonprofit agencies can apply for grants totaling about $500,000 per year. Call to talk to a program officer first or check out Sprint’s web site for application guidelines.
Contact: (913) 624-3343