Jordan Fundamentals

The Jordan Fundamentals grant program is administered by the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education (NFIE) and is supported by retired basketball superstar Michael Jordan. It targets minority and economically disadvantaged children in grades 6-12 by providing grants of up to $2,500 for their teachers to develop innovative, exciting lesson plans with either an academic or vocational purpose. Up to 400 grants are made each year in two rounds of grantmaking. Although technology is not singled out in any one of the ten grant categories, a review of the Spring 2000 grant winners indicates that many projects use the web extensively for project research and publication of results. Also, many science projects are using computers to analyze data gathered by students. The grant application stresses that the projects “should be original and should not be derived from commercial packages.” The use of grant funds is less restricted than in most programs, as money can be used for materials and supplies, field trips, software, training, and even some professional fees—anything the school district itself does not hold direct responsibility for (i.e., salaries).

Deadlines: May 15 and Nov. 1

Contact: (202) 822-7840


3M Salute to Schools

In an effort to help school libraries maintain their valuable resources, 3M will award up to $1 million in 3M security systems to school library media centers. The American Association of School Librarians, a partner in the program, will review the applications and select recipients. The program is open to middle and high schools with more than 500 students and a collection of 5,000 or more items. Schools chosen to receive donations will be awarded a 3M Detection System for the entrance/exit to their media center, a supply of 3M Tattle-Tape Security Strips for marking items in their collections, and any additional accessories necessary to process materials. Up to 100 awards will be made, with a maximum value of $25,000 for a single media center. Awards will be based upon libraries’ specific needs, such as the size of their collection and physical layout.

Deadline: May 31

Contact: (800) 545-2433, ext. 4383

Giant Step Award

The Gale Group and School Library Journal have created a new award program that will make a grant of $10,000 to a school library that has made the most dramatic improvement in service to its students. “We’re looking for libraries that may have been underperformers in the past but [have] recreated themselves,” said Renee Olson, editor of School Library Journal. “We’re looking for libraries that have become vital community assets, distinguished by exemplary services to young people.” Judges are seeking evidence of how students have benefited from the new roles administrators, community members, and teachers play in the library. Additionally, judges will look at objective criteria, such as increases in circulation, uses of computer equipment and software, and support in the community.

Deadline: May 31

Contact: Beth Dempsey, The Gale Group, at or Demetrius Watson, School Library Journal, at (212) 463-6759.


Project GetSMARTer

Sponsored by the SMARTer Kids Foundation, this program provides researchers with innovative technology-based learning materials in return for permission by the researchers to publish their study results on the web. The foundation will loan Roomware products from SMART Technologies Inc. to participants for a period of up to six months. The use of the SMART products must be a component of the project; however, it is up to each participant to define the project’s overall goals and intended outcomes—such as studying how students use the equipment, for example, or perhaps trying to develop software to enhance the learning process. At the end of the research projects, all equipment will be offered to participants at a nominal price. To date, 15 projects have been completed under the program, and 16 are ongoing. The foundation will select approximately 15 more projects at each of its semiannual deadlines.

Deadlines: May 31 and October 31



Compaq Lesson Plan Contest

K-12 educators are eligible to compete for the latest giveaway of a Compaq computer and a library of software titles from Knowledge Adventure by submitting their best lesson plan to Educational or problem solving. One grand-prize winner will receive a new Compaq computer with an approximate retail value of $2,000. Three first-prize winners each will receive a library of five teacher’s-edition software titles selected from Knowledge Adventure’s school catalog (approximate retail value: $300).

Deadline: June 2

Contact: Julie Gates at (800) 545-7677 or


Macromedia eLearning Innovation Awards

Web software publisher Macromedia has created the eLearning Innovation Awards program to honor “outstanding instructional content” developed through the use of Macromedia products such as Authorware, Director, and Flash. Four times per year, Macromedia will announce one winner in the category of “Web-Based Instructional Product” and one winner in the category of “Best Student-Developed Content.” Winners will receive any two Macromedia products, a Palm Pilot, and free registration to the next Macromedia User Conference event.

Deadlines: June 30, Sept. 30, Dec. 30, and March 31

Contact: John Osborne at (650) 622-2945.



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” of connecting to the internet. 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 communications 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, though consortia may apply for larger awards.

Deadline: July 31

Contact: (703) 306-1636



American Honda Foundation Grants

Four times per year, the American Honda Foundation funds youth-oriented programs that provide support for job training and/or education in math, science, and the environment. The program’s stated mission is to encourage “innovative curriculum development for K-12 youth.” Schools, school districts, and other education-related institutions are eligible to apply. For guidelines, send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to the American Honda Foundation, P.O. Box 2205, Torrance, CA 90509. If the foundation receives a preliminary proposal a month before the next deadline, its staff can provide feedback in time for you to make changes to your proposal and still meet that deadline.

Deadlines: Aug. 1, Nov. 1, Feb. 1, and May 1

Contact: Kathy Carey at (310) 781-4090.


NEC Foundation Grants

The NEC Foundation of America makes cash grants to nonprofit organizations for programs with national reach and impact in one or both of the following areas: science and technology education (principally at the secondary level), and/or the application of technology to assist high school students with disabilities. These are not grants for the purchase of specific computer equipment for a specific individual, nor does the foundation broker the donation of NEC equipment. Winning projects typically have focused on disseminating products and information to target groups or expanding the scope of an existing program with national impact. The grants, which range from $1,500 to $70,000 each (with a median of $28,000), are awarded twice per year.

Deadlines: Sept. 1 and March 1

Contact: (516) 753-7021


Distance Learning and Telemedicine Loans

This program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture offers loans or combination loans and grants to rural districts and other nonprofit entities for the implementation of distance learning or telemedicine 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 2000, $130 million for loans and $77 million for combination grants and loans is available.

Deadline: Sept. 30

Dow Chemical Co. Foundation Grants

Dow supports K-12 programs in the areas of math and science, teacher training, and parental involvement. Grants may include cash, products, in-kind services, and volunteered time. Dow will not give a grant to an individual school. Instead, the company targets its giving toward school districts; national, state, or local programs; and programs to encourage women and minorities in math and science.

Deadline: Sept. 30



Leadership Grants

The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education’s Leadership Grants underwrite professional development opportunities for public school teachers and education support personnel to prepare them for collegial leadership. Sponsored by the National Education Association, these grants enable teachers to lead the educational process from the classroom, rather than having school administrators direct curricula. Up to 50 grants of $1,000 each are awarded each year in two rounds of competitions. Grant candidates should demonstrate a specific need for the knowledge or training that will be supported. Eligibility is limited to employees of public school systems. Although technology training is not the focus of the grant program, a list of recent winners’ proposals included online education courses, attendance at SchoolTech 2000, and the creation of an online “teacher community” to address how to meet new state education standards.

Deadlines: Oct. 15 and March 1



Target Teacher Scholarships

This year, Target Stores Inc. will award a total of $1 million to teachers and administrators for continuing education and staff development. Technology training has been the focus of many scholarship winners in recent years. Awards range from $1,000-$5,000. More information will be made available at Target’s web site.

Deadline: Nov. 1

Contact: (800) 316-6142

ongoing grants


ClassLink Grants

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 also 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. s/ index.htm

Toshiba America Foundation Grants

The Toshiba America Foundation awards grants for programs and activities that improve the 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

Robert H.Michel Civic Education Grants

The Dirksen Congressional Center is offering a total of $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 that outlines their project; promising candidates will be asked to submit more detailed information. Proposals may be submitted at any time during the year.

Contact: Frank H. Mackaman, Executive Director, at (309) 347-7113 or tml

$44 million for community technology

centers from the U.S. Department of


As part of a national effort to expand access to new technologies, the U.S. Department of Education has announced $44 million in grants to establish 214 community technology centers. The centers will make computers and internet access available to low-income residents in urban and rural communities who can’t afford a home computer or internet access of their own.

The awards were made to schools, libraries, community centers, community colleges, public housing facilities, and other organizations. In addition, the Clinton administration has asked Congress for $100 million in the next fiscal year—three times the current appropriation of $32.5 million—to support some 280 additional grants, which would result in up to 1,000 new centers.

The grants will help build centers in economically distressed, high-poverty communities. Among the services the community technology centers might provide:

• Workforce development and employment information—basic and advanced computer skills training, resume writing workshops, and online access to job databases.

• Pre-school and family programs—available at times when parents can bring young children to use age-appropriate software and linked to other programs such as Head Start, family literacy, or daycare providers without access to computers.

• After-school activities—structured opportunities for students to use software that offers homework help, academic enrichment, and exploration of the internet.

• Adult education—individually, or in collaboration with existing programs, GED training, English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction,

adult basic education, or post-secondary education classes using the latest learning technologies.

Contact: Melinda Ulloa, (202) 205-8811

$5.2 million in IT workforce grants from the Pennsylvania Department of Education

Pennsylvania legislators and Gov. Tom Ridge have directed $5.2 million in grants to more than 130 secondary and post-secondary schools in the state to support programs aimed at developing information technology (IT) and internet education. Known as Information Technology Workforce Development Grants, some of these programs will support curricula that will directly affect an estimated 2,600 K-12 students in Pennsylvania this year.

Innovative programs, such as web-programming summer camps for high schoolers, are intended to draw more students into IT fields. Other projects, such as internships with the Federal Communications Commission, will expose students to the wide variety of IT- and web-related careers that abound in the state.

The project is part of Pennsylvania’s multi-year Link to Learn program, which aims to expand the use of technology in the classroom.

(717) 705-4486

$140,000 plus computers and equipment from MediaOne

MediaOne, an Englewood, Colo.-based broadband services provider, has named 14 teams of teachers and school administrators as this year’s winners of its COOL Awards for Outstanding Educators. The 14 winning teams, each composed of three educators and one administrator, will receive cash grants of $10,000, plus a computer, printer, and scanner. Winning team members also will receive internet training and an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C.

The competition, part of MediaOne’s Community Outreach and Online Learning (COOL) program, encourages educators to work as teams to develop innovative classroom applications for video and internet technologies. Judges were looking for projects that demonstrated creativity, leadership, participation, and overall impact on technology-based learning.

At least one team was selected from each state that MediaOne serves (California, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, and Virginia).

“Teachers today need the latest communication tools to help students make the most of their future,” said Blair Johnson, director of MediaOne community outreach. “For instance, the winning team from Jacksonville, Fla., will create an interactive internet web site to help elementary school students build math skills for the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test using real-life business examples.”

Another winning proposal will enable Massachusetts high school students to get a bird’s-eye view of immigration and emigration through an oral history project that includes local community members, students in other states, and historical knowledge gleaned from television networks such as A&E, the History Channel, PBS, and CNN.

For information about next year’s contest, visit the company’s web site.

$58,000 in network hardware from

Premio Computer

Thanks to a donation of network hardware worth an estimated $58,000 from Premio Computer Inc., Whitney High School, located in Cerritos, Calif., recently became the hub for its district’s computer network. Premio donated three servers, 10 computer systems, and six videoconferencing units, and the company allowed several Whitney students to help install and test the network.

“We chose to support Whitney High School’s program in recognition of the campus’s excellent academic performance and reputation,” said Angelin Tan, a marketing communications specialist at Premio. “Though the school is home to top-performing students, the campus lacks necessary technology equipment, compared to schools in more affluent areas.”

The students’ participation is the first step in Whitney’s plans to build a computer internship program and a web business design curriculum—programs that will prepare students for high-tech jobs by “learning through doing,” said school administrators.

Premio is not helping with the T1 installation, but its internship program already has brought several Whitney students to Premio headquarters (roughly a 30-minute drive from the school) to learn directly from professionals in the company’s networking department. That hands-on training will be applied to the school’s network after the T1 line is installed.

Depending on the program’s success, Premio may open internships to students at other schools in the district, said Tan. The company already supports Whitney’s mentor program with students at Hawaiian Gardens Elementary School by donating computer equipment.

(626) 839-3137

$5,000 in training grants from Inspiration Software

Inspiration Software Inc. of Portland, Ore., has awarded ten scholarships to teachers “who champion visual learning and the integration of technology into the classroom,” according to Mona Westhaver, company president. The $500 awards support attendance at conferences or workshops that provide professional development in visual learning and educational technology.

Inspiration Software is a privately held corporation that develops, publishes, and distributes visual thinking and learning tools for the K-12 community. Inspiration, the company’s award-winning flagship product, is used for visual learning activities, including concept mapping, webbing, and the use of graphical organizers; planning and organizing multimedia projects and administrative tasks; brainstorming; and pre-writing.

Several winners of the awards are instructional technology specialists, and many have said they will use their increased knowledge to enhance professional development in their districts. One winner, high school English teacher Andrew HaLevi, has developed a model vocabulary program in which semantic mapping and other visual learning techniques are used to help students understand the concepts underlying complicated SAT vocabulary words.

(800) 877-4292 n