Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loans

This program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers loans or combination loans and grants to rural school districts and other non-profit entities for the implementation of distance learning projects in rural areas. Applications may be submitted any time up to Sept. 30 and will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. For FY 1999, $100 million in loans and $55 million in combination grants and loans is available.

Deadline: Sept. 30


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 stationery and should include complete contact information, a brief description of the program and its purpose, a detailed description of the request and its amount, and the number of students expected to benefit. Applications should also include nonprofit federal tax status information.

Deadline: Sept. 30 Grants/grants.html


Schools for a New Millennium

This program of the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) awards grants of up to $200,000 for up to three years to schools or districts to help teachers explore and master innovative uses of technology to enrich their own and students’ understanding of humanities topics. Grant monies cover stipends for project participants and consultants and the expenses associated with meetings, equipment rentals, teaching materials, and mentoring activities. While it is not intended to support the acquisition of computer equipment by schools, modest purchases of equipment for use in the project is allowed.

Deadline: Oct. 1

(202) 606-8380

Leadership Grants

This National Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE) program awards 50 grants of $1,000 per year to underwrite professional development opportunities for public school teachers. The grants can be used to fund training in the use of technology in the classroom, for example. Applications may be submitted any time but are reviewed twice per year, and the deadline indicated below is for the next review cycle. An application form can be downloaded from the NFIE’s web site.

Deadline: Oct. 15

(202) 606-8380


ICONnect Collaboration through


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

(800) 545-2433


Toyota TAPESTRY Grants

Fifty of the nation’s best and brightest K-12 teachers will be awarded up to $10,000 each to implement innovative science projects through this program sponsored by Toyota Motor Sales and administered by the National Science Teachers Association. Successful grant-winning projects, such as a mobile observatory to study light pollution and an interactive paleontology laboratory, often include the use of technology. Individual science teachers or a team of up to five teachers can submit proposals in two categories: environmental education and physical science applications (applied physics, chemistry, and technology). A judging panel of distinguished science educators will evaluate and select the award-winning projects based on their innovative approach in teaching science, ability to create a stimulating and hands-on learning environment, interdisciplinary approach, and ability to increase student participation and interest in science. In addition to the grants, the 50 awardees will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to the Awards Banquet at the NSTA National Convention, to be held in Orlando, Fla., April 6-9. To obtain Toyota TAPESTRY guidelines and entry forms, write to Toyota TAPESTRY Grants for Teachers, 1840 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22201-3000, call the number listed below, or eMail

Deadline: Jan. 20

(800) 807-9852

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. See this month’s Grantmaker Profile on page 4 for more information.

Deadline: Jan. 31 (for preliminary applications)

(703) 306-1636 nsf98102.htm


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

(800) 633-4766

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

(650) 336-0487 corpaffairs/grants.html

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. Education is one of the foundation’s top priorities for giving, and examples of technology projects that have been funded in the past can be found on its web site. The foundation recommends that you apply for grants online, and guidelines are available on its web site as well.

(800) 360-7955

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.

(864) 255-4780


ESRI Livable Communities Grant Series

The goal of this 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

(909) 307-3110 k12_grant.html

Pierian Spring Software Grants

Pierian Spring Software is inviting applications for projects to enhance classroom education through the introduction and implementation of the company’s software products. Projects should promote collaborative group learning. One winner will receive a 30-CD User Pack/

Site License of any one of the company’s software titles.

Deadline: Nov. 1

(800) 691-2986 grants.htm

Edmark eCarton Program

Educational software developer Edmark will donate up to $2 million in software to schools through a new program called eCarton. Under the program, schools that use special milk cartons distributed by Tetra Pak will receive credits toward the purchase of Edmark software titles. For every one thousand milk cartons purchased, schools will earn $1 in credit. Edmark is a subsidiary of IBM. The special milk cartons are themselves educational and will carry puzzles and different themes.

(800) 691-2986

Global Schoolhouse CD-ROMs

Global Schoolhouse members can receive eight new CD-ROMs free through the Global Schoolhouse web site. The CD-ROMs available include titles from Knowledge Adventure, Kaplan, and Hoyle Board Games. Schools pay only the $4.95 cost of shipping and handling, and there are no limits on quantities. Becoming a member of the Global Schoolhouse is free.

Microsoft Teaching and Learning CD-ROM

Microsoft is offering copies of its new Teaching and Learning with Microsoft CD-ROM set and internet resources free to schools. The cross-platform CD-ROM and Microsoft web resources contain templates, clip art, wizards, classroom activities, and ideas for using Microsoft Office 97, Office 2000, and Office 98 Macintosh Edition applications in the classroom. Schools pay only the $4.95 cost of shipping and handling. To get your copy, visit the CD offer web site. There are no limits on quantities. cdoffer.htm

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. The program is supported by corporate, educational, and individual partners.

(408) 501-0770

Websense Filtering Software

Websense (formerly NetPartners Internet Solutions) will donate its internet filtering software to schools willing to participate in a two-year nationwide study of student use of the internet. The offer, announced at the National Educational Computing Conference in June, has been extended to all schools in the United States. The study will investigate, among other things, how students use the internet at school and at home and how parents perceive their children’s use of the web. Applications are available online. Selected schools can use the software free for two years.

(800) 723-1166

$120 million from the U.S. Department of Education

For its Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (GEAR UP) initiative, $42 million in state grants to 21 states and $75 million in partnership grants to 164 partnerships between colleges and low-income middle and junior high schools. The grants fund programs that will prepare economically disadvantaged students, usually beginning in the seventh grade, for applying to and succeeding in college. Partnerships work with entire grades of students to transform their schools and feeder systems by providing comprehensive services that can include mentoring, tutoring, counseling, strengthening the school curriculum, professional development for teachers and staff, and supporting other activities such as after-school programs, summer academic and enrichment programs, and college visits. Applications for the program’s first year were extraordinary in number: 678 partnership and state grant applications covering all 50 states, more than 4,500 organizations, and one out of five colleges in the nation. If President Clinton’s fiscal year 2000 budget request to double GEAR UP funding from $120 million today to $240 million in FY2000 is approved, a new competition would be held next year as well.

$1.2 million from Microsoft Corp.

To support software and technology training resources for teachers throughout 12 Navajo school districts in Arizona, New Mexico, and southern Utah. This grant helps match a five-year, $7.6 million national Technology Innovation Challenge Grant awarded earlier this year to the Navajo Education Technology Consortium by the Department of Education. Using these funds, teams of staff members and teachers will receive technology training at four training centers and return to their respective schools to train other teachers at the nation’s Indian reservations.

$243,000 from the Northern Virginia Regional Partnership

To fund nine Northern Virginia “Cisco Local Training Academies,” one of which will open in Manassas Park this fall. Two other training centers will open in Prince William County in fall 2000. Other training centers will be based in Arlington, Alexandria, Fairfax, and Loudoun County schools. About $25,000 will go toward buying computer equipment at each location. The Cisco Local Training Academies are a two-year program, incorporated into regular high schools, that allows students to begin working toward a Cisco Certified Network Associate certificate. Students follow a web-based curriculum to earn Cisco certification.

$35,000 from the Rhode Island Department of Education

For the Rhode Island state grant program “Rworking WonderS,” $35,000 to purchase 18 computers at Smithfield High School. The program is intended to promote technology in mathematics, science, and social studies, and the computers purchased will go to each of those three school departments. All of the new computers have internet service and will be networked.