Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grants
The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) offers grants to encourage and improve telemedicine and distance learning services in rural areas through the use of telecommunications, computer networks, and related technologies. RUS has made available $12.5 million in grants, plus $150 million in loans for the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program this year. Rural schools may apply for grants to help them invest in the telecommunications facilities and equipment needed for educational resources that might not otherwise be available in rural areas. The program focuses on “structured interactive educational training … over distances.” Community bulletin boards or internet home pages are considered adjuncts to projects, but would not be considered as a primary purpose under the program.
Deadline: July 9
Connections to the Internet
This National Science Foundation (NSF) program helps fund internet connections at K-12 schools, public libraries, and museums. This is a highly competitive, cost-sharing grant that will reward “only highly innovative approaches.” Project costs may include the acquisition and maintenance of hardware and software to establish institutional access to the internet, as well as the installation and recurring charges for a communication channel. Conversely, funds may also be used to acquire internet connections and services from an external service provider. NSF typically awards $15,000 over a two-year period to successful applicants. Consortia may apply for larger awards.
Deadline: July 31
Instructional Materials Development
This NSF program supports the development of instructional materials and assessment tools to improve science, math, and technology education in grades K-12. Projects might range from the substantial revision of existing materials to the creation of entirely new ones, and from addressing a single topic to the integration of several. Projects should “promote the development of model programs that demonstrate the educational effectiveness of technology in urban and rural areas and economically distressed communities.” State and local educational agencies are among those eligible to apply–but you had to have submitted a preliminary proposal by May 1.
Deadline: Aug. 15
Classroom Teaching and Learning Grants
This program of the Coca-Cola Foundation supports innovative K-12 initiatives, teacher development programs, and “smaller” projects that deal with specific activities in the elementary and secondary classroom. While the foundation does not emphasize technology, a review of its latest annual report reveals that grants were indeed made to support technology-related projects in public and private schools. For more details on the Coca-Cola Foundation, see the Grantmaker Profile on page 4.
Deadline: Sept. 1
Dow Chemical K-12 Education Grants
This program supports school districts and school boards in communities in which Dow has a presence (see web site for nationwide locations). The Dow Chemical grant program focuses on three key areas: math and science, teacher training, and parental involvement. The company supports school districts and school boards, not individual schools. The program also gives preference to local, state, and national projects that benefit Dow Communities and those that increase the participation and achievement of minorities and females in math and science education. Applications should be submitted on official stationary and should include complete contact information, a brief description of the program and its purpose, a detailed description of the request and the amount requested, and the number of students expected to benefit. Applications should also include nonprofit federal tax status information.
Deadline: Sept. 30
ICONnect Collaboration through Technology
The American Library Association/American Association of School Librarians (ALA/AASL) is taking applications for its 2000 ICPrize for Collaboration through Technology competition. The program will award five $1,000 ICPrizes to collaborative teams of library media specialists and classroom teachers who have demonstrated a meaningful and effective use of internet resources in a completed curriculum unit. Applications must be submitted by an ALA/AASL member and must successfully demonstrate a collaboration between the library media specialist and classroom teacher(s). Applications and specific evaluation criteria are available online.
Deadline: Nov. 1
Community Development Grants
Concept papers are being accepted for this Sun Microsystems program, which provides grants for projects in the southern San Francisco Bay area, Merrimack Valley in Massachusetts, and Front Range, Colo. The goal of this grant program is to increase education and employment opportunities for people who live and work in or near Sun’s major employment centers. In education, the program supports projects that seek to help reverse unsatisfactory school performance. Proposals should incorporate the target population’s needs and interests, engage students in activities that enable them to make experimental connections between learning and real life, foster motivation and improve academic skills, and improve college readiness. The deadline noted is for concept papers, with invitations for full proposals set for Dec. 15 and full applications due Jan. 15. Concept papers, which should be no more than three pages in length, should include the applicant’s mission or goals, a brief description of the target population and project, an explanation of how the project will be evaluated, the roles and responsibilities of participants, and qualifications of key staff. Proof of non-profit status should also be included.
Deadline: Nov. 15
Education is Crucial
Crucial Technology, a division of Micron, has announced that it will donate up to $100,000 worth of server memory upgrades to Idaho public schools through the Education is Crucial program. The program is intended to help Idaho schools increase the performance level in their existing computer systems. Idaho schools received $87,000 in memory upgrades last year through the Education is Crucial program, now in its second year. Applications are being handled by the Idaho Department of Education. Schools need only complete an online survey to apply, with memory upgrading to be administered on a needs-first basis.
First Energy Grants
First Energy Corp., of Akron, Ohio, will provide grants of up to $300 to successful applicants from Ohio schools served by the company’s electric utility operators, which include Ohio Edison, The Illuminating Co., Toledo Edison, and Penn Power. Grants may be used for math, science, or technology projects, with preference given to projects that deal with electricity or have a focus on teacher training. Teachers, administrators, and youth group leaders are eligible to apply. Applications are available online.
Deadline: Oct. 1
First for Education Grants
Carolina First Corp. has 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, P.O. Box 1029, Greenville, SC 29602.
PREP Teacher Training Grants
This competitive grant program of the SMARTer Kids Foundation will provide an 80 percent price break on Smart products used in technology training centers for teachers. Open to all teacher-preparation facilities–including those run by individual schools, districts, and regional service areas–the grants would provide an 80 percent discount on such products as the SMART Board 560, Smart Board 580, and the Floor Stand 570. In addition, all grant recipients will receive a copy of SynchronEyes, SMART’s new classroom instruction and computer-control software that creates interactive, focused learning environments. Online applications are available at the web site below.
Deadline: July 9
ESRI Livable Communities Grant Series
The goal of this grant program is to foster and support the integration of geographic information system (GIS) software in public and private school districts. Grant recipients will receive one copy of ESRI’s ArcView Suite for School Districts bundle and license, five building site license copies of the ArcView StreetMap extension and the ArcAtlas global database, one copy of ESRI’s U.S. Streets Database, one single-seat copy of the SchoolSite school mapping/redistricting extension, links to ArcData Online Program, and several related print resources. ESRI will give priority to grant applications demonstrating curriculum and administrative GIS implementation plans, cross-curricular implementation plans, or collaborative efforts with other community organizations or government agencies. Priority also will be given to projects that promote public access to GIS databases. To receive the equipment grant, districts must agree to establish two administrative GIS workstations for boundary planning and facility sitting. Districts must also have five school building sites at which curricular implementation is being fostered in social studies and the sciences. ESRI will award 25 software and materials packages to school districts, valued at $15,000 each.
Deadline: Oct. 1
EchoStar Satellite Systems
In partnership with the National Education Association (NEA), Future View, and the Learning First Alliance, EchoStar will donate 1,000 satellite TV systems and free air time to schools. The high-tech school safety program comes in response to the Littleton, Colo., school shooting and aims to provide schools with pertinent school safety programming. NEA and the Learning First Alliance will develop the programming, with Future View providing production facilities and staff assistance. The competitive donation program will favor schools that have the most need and that demonstrate a commitment to using the satellite systems to the fullest extent. Application procedures and a deadline were to be announced at NEA’s annual conference July 2. Contact the NEA for more information following the announcement and check for further details in next month’s School Technology Funding Bulletin.
Learning to Win
Cloudscape, a leader in database management solutions, is offering its Cloudscape 100% Pure Java database to schools at no charge through the new Learning to Win program. Learning to Win is designed to encourage students to learn the Java programming language and experiment with building applications in Java. Cloudscape says it is the first company to offer free Java SQL databases for schools to use as educational resources.
Schools Online Internet Access
Schools without classroom internet access are eligible to apply for Schools Online equipment grants. The Schools Online grant program offers schools simple, cost-effective internet access, together with local support and training in its use. Participating schools are asked to designate a committed person to manage the equipment and participate in training. Schools are also asked to provide either a telephone line along with an Internet Service Provider (ISP) account for dial-up access, or a network connection to the world wide web. Schools Online has helped more than 5,000 classrooms get internet access in just over two years. Schools Online is supported by corporate, educational, and individual partners.
$3.1 million from the Gates Learning Foundation
To advance the use of technology in the classroom, $3.1 million worth of equipment and training to 214 Washington state teachers through the Teacher Leadership Project. Grant recipients will use their awards to purchase laptops for themselves as well as computers for student use. Recipients will also get 11 days of training on how to use technology to assist students in reaching the Washington Essential Academic Learning Requirements. Separately, Microsoft will donate $500,000 worth of software to recipients to use in their classrooms.
$1.8 million from the J.A. & Kathryn Albertson Foundation
To fund technical network training for school district technology personnel, $1.8 million to the Idaho Division of Vocational Education. School districts will be able to enroll at least one employee in week-long training for Microsoft NT or Novell NetWare Network Operating Systems. The goal of the program is to ensure that each district has an individual qualified to install, troubleshoot, and maintain their information technology networks. The training initiative is the first of four phases under the grant to meet the goals established by the Idaho Council for Technology in Learning.
$1.25 million through Safeway’s Register Tapes for Education Program
To fund computer equipment and other purchases, $1.25 million to schools in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Donations are earned when students, parents, relatives, and friends collect Safeway register tapes and give them to participating schools, which then receive credit towards computers, audio-visual equipment, and other materials. In the seven years that Safeway has offered the program, area schools have earned $9.7 million in educational equipment.
$535,000 from the Bell Atlantic Foundation
To fund school-to-career initiatives that creatively use technology, $535,000 to various schools and organizations in Massachusetts through the EdLink program. Bell Atlantic established the EdLink program two years ago to support emerging technology needs in education. This year, the program specifically supported school-to-career initiatives that use innovative technology. The grants targeted grades 7-12 in both public and private school districts, which will collaborate on projects with higher educational institutions, community organizations, or partnerships.
$34,000 from the Peter J. Stulgis Memorial Fund
To honor innovative programs using technology in the classroom, $34,000 to seven schools and districts in Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Grant recipients demonstrated unique and creative ways to integrate technology into secondary education classroom or teaching environments. In its second year of grant-giving, the Stulgis Memorial Fund, part of the Unitil Charitable Foundation, was established to provide charitable contributions and awards promoting the development and implementation of advanced electronic and computer technology applications in secondary schools. The fund honors the late Peter J. Stulgis, the former chairman and CEO of Unitil Corporation.
$25,000 from Coopers Industries
To encourage vocational-technical education, $25,000 to Union County Public Schools in North Carolina through the ProjectPACE program. Cooper Industries created ProjectPACE 10 years ago to promote vocational and technical education and to stimulate partnerships between schools and local Cooper facilities. Union County Public Schools was selected for placing high achieving Tech Prep students in paid internships during their spring break and for their production of a video highlighting local manufacturing careers. Other grant recipients were Waukesha County Technical College in Wisconsin, $15,000, and the Arnold R. Burton Technology Center in Salem, Va., $10,000.