Bridging the Digital Divide
This AOL Foundation program seeks to invest in nonprofit organizations, social entrepreneurs, and collaboratives working to empower disadvantaged communities and populations through technology. Through this initiative, the foundation will support 5-10 ventures to foster innovative and effective approaches to bridging the “digital divide” between the technology haves and have-nots, with most grants ranging from $25,000 to $100,000. The AOL Foundation is particularly interested in ventures involving innovative uses of interactive technology designed to promote one or more of the following among disadvantaged populations: economic and/or skills development; youth development; civic engagement; civil rights, including efforts to promote racial harmony and understanding; and health and well-being. School districts interested in applying for a grant through this initiative are invited to submit a “concept” letter no more than three pages in length to: Digital Divide Initiative, AOL Foundation, 22000 AOL Way, Dulles, VA 20166.
Deadline: Oct. 15
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. 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
Toshiba America Foundation Grants
The Toshiba America Foundation encourages projects and activities that have the potential to improve the classroom teaching and learning of science and mathematics. Fifty grants of $1,000 each for projects serving students in grades K-6 will be awarded Nov. 1, 1999, and projects must be completed by May 15, 2000. The foundation is most interested in funding teacher-planned and -led projects that take place in the classroom. More detailed information about proposal format and restrictions are available on the foundation’s web site.
Deadline: Oct. 15
Black Family Technology Awareness Week Grants
As part of the second annual Black Family Technology Awareness Week initiative (Feb. 13-19, 2000), sponsored by IBM Corp., USBE and Information Technology Magazine, and The Black World Today, The Black Family Network will fund 20 outreach activities around the country in the amounts of $500 to $2000. Projects should create awareness of the benefits of technology among African-American families, and schools can use the grants to help create support for local technology programs to help bridge the digital and racial divide. Proposals should describe the project, its budget, its audience and reach, what you believe the impact on the community will be, how you plan to promote the activity, the people and organization behind the activity, and a list of recommendations. Send proposals to: Black Family Technology Awareness Week, c/o USBE and Information Technology Magazine, 729 East Pratt Street, Suite 504, Baltimore, MD 21202. For more information, contact Tyrone D. Taborn at email@example.com or the number listed below.
Deadline: Oct. 31
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
Growth Initiatives for Teachers (GIFT)
This year, another 120 public and private school math and science teachers, grades 7 to 12, in 35 eligible states and the District of Columbia will receive grants through this program from the GTE Foundation. GIFT was established to promote the integration of math and science in the classroom, encourage innovative uses of technology in education, and provide recognition and new opportunities for outstanding teachers. Each year, GTE awards GIFT grants to 60 teams consisting of one math and one science teacher from the same secondary school who have developed school enrichment projects that integrate math and science and use technology in a creative way. Each winning team shares a $12,000 grant–$7,000 to implement the project and $5,000 ($2,500 each) for the participating teachers to pursue professional development activities.
Deadline: Jan. 14
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. For more information, see the Grantmaker Profile section on page 4.
Deadline: Jan. 20
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,” such as microwave or wireless laser technologies. 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: Jan. 31 (for preliminary applications)
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
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.
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.
Intel Foundation Grants
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 apply to nationwide projects or pilots for national programs. Community grants apply to projects located in communities where Intel has a major facility: Arizona, California, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, and Washington. An application is available at the web site.
Sprint Foundation Grants
The Sprint Foundation supports educational projects that foster school reform through the use of new technologies and communications media and through fresh approaches to the enhancement of teachers’ skills. A limited number of grants are available for projects in areas with a significant employee presence, primarily Kansas City, Atlanta, Dallas, and Sacramento. 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.
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
Building Effective Roadmaps for the Information Superhighway
To promote effective internet research skills and media literacy in K-12 education, N2H2 Inc. has introduced two contests in conjunction with the nonprofit Computer Learning Foundation. The Lesson Plan Contest (deadline Nov. 30) requires participants to submit a lesson plan that teaches children an aspect of internet research or helps them develop information literacy skills. The Curriculum Contest (deadline April 1) requires entrants to submit an original curriculum for teaching students internet research skills, which should include lesson plans, handouts for students, worksheets, and other information that would enable teachers to implement the curriculum in their classrooms. Both entries will be judged on originality, quality of the pedagogy and written communication, and potential effectiveness. N2H2 will award 12 grand prizes of Windows-compatible computers, 12 second prizes of CD-ROM recorders, and 12 third prizes of $100 software gift certificates to winners.
Deadlines: Nov. 30, 1999 and April 1, 2000
Microsoft Curriculum Grant Program
Microsoft Corp. sponsors the Curriculum Grant Program for middle schools, high schools, and secondary level vocational and technical schools to encourage the development of computer science, programming, web development, and information systems curricula. Schools can receive free software licenses for Microsoft Visual Development Tools and operating systems–such as Visual Basic, Visual C++, Office 2000 Developer Edition, Windows 98 and NT Workstation–in exchange for posting and sharing current curricula on Microsoft’s Academic Cooperative web site. Each department within a school is eligible to apply for a grant. Applications will be accepted online only, beginning Nov. 1.
Deadline: Dec. 31
Computers for Learning
Computers for Learning is an equipment grant program that allows schools and educational nonprofits to request surplus federal computer equipment. The computers available through this program are primarily IBM-compatible PCs, the majority of which are 386s and 286s. The program also donates peripheral equipment such as printers, modems, routers, servers, telecommunications equipment, and research equipment. Applicants must submit information about their organization and its needs, as well as the name and eMail address of a point of contact. Donations are all given based on need, including whether a school is within an empowerment zone or enterprise community.
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.
With its acquisition of Star Division Corp., Sun Microsystems has announced that it will make available StarOffice productivity software to schools free of charge. StarOffice supports most commonly used operating systems, including the Solaris Operating Environment, Linux, and Windows, is interoperable with Microsoft Office file formats, and utilizes a single familiar interface to office productivity tools such as word processing, spreadsheet, graphic design, presentations, HTML editor, mail/news reader, event planner, and formula editor functions.