Ongoing Grants

** NEW THIS MONTH **

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 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.

http://63.74.120.38/wirelessfoundation/ 03class/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 foundation@tai.toshiba.com

http://www.toshiba.com/about/taf.html

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 four 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 at any time during the year.

Contact: Frank H. Mackaman, Executive Director, at (309) 347-7113 or fmackaman@pekin.net

http://www.pekin.net/dirksen/micheledgrants.html

Regional Grants

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 supported consistently. 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

http://www.bellatlanticfoundation.com

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 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. Applications for all these programs can be found on Intel’s web site.

http://www.intel.com/intel/community/grants.htm

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Grant Awards:

$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 foundation@tai.toshiba.com.

http://www.toshiba.com/about/taf.html

Regional Grants

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 supported consistentl.y. 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, and guidelines are available on its web site.

Contact: (800) 360-7955

http://www.bellatlanticfoundation.com

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, P.O. 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, Arizona; Folsom and Santa Clara, California; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Hillsboro, Oregon; Fort Worth, Texas; and DuPont, Washington. 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 all of these programs can be found on Intel’s web site.

http://www.intel.com/intel/community/grants.ht m

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. 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

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Funding Toolbox

If you’re writing a grant on behalf of a consortium, be prepared to include letters of commitment from consortium partners with your proposal. These letters of commitment, also known as “memorandums of understanding” or collaborative agreements, must come from each one of the partners that is actively participating in your project.

Although there is not an official “letter of commitment” format that must be used, there are some specific types of information that should be included in this letter.

The purpose of a letter of commitment is to document that a particular individual, organization, or entity is participating as a project partner. This document should show the partner’s specific roles and responsibilities in the project—and, if applicable, that the individual or organization is making some type of financial commitment to the partnership, in the form of either cash or in-kind contributions.

If you keep the purpose in mind, it is easy to design a letter of commitment. (However, be sure to check if your school district has a letter of commitment or collaborative agreement template on file that you should use before designing your own!)

When drafting a letter of commitment, be sure to be as specific as possible. List the roles and responsibilities of the partner, including any training that will be provided, materials that will be developed, and staff that will provide technical assistance. Also, if the partner will be contributing any technology or equipment (or the use of either of these), include this information in the letter as well. Document the type of information the partner will be responsible for collecting, and also discuss the partner’s role in the evaluation process if it has one.

Obviously, for cash contributions being made by a partner, the dollar figure should be included in the letter. For in-kind contributions, calculate the dollar value of the contribution and include this in the letter.

For example, if a local university is contributing 100 hours of use of its distance learning lab, you will need to find out how much the university would charge someone from the community to “rent” this lab by the hour, then calculate how much the 100 hours would be worth. Likewise, if a museum is providing complementary admissions for 200 students, calculate the value of this contribution.

The cash and in-kind contributions from all of the project partners (as documented in your letters of commitment) should also appear as matching funds on your budget pages. Also, don’t forget to cite the contributions in the activities/methodology section of your proposal, so that grant readers have a clear picture of who the project partners are and how they “fit” into your project. Readers should not be introduced to your partners on the budget pages!

Letters of commitment should have a signature—preferably that of the highest-level staff member, such as the superintendent, executive director, dean of the college, or university president.

Keep copies of these letters on file so you can refer to them while carrying out the project.

One final word of caution: Do not confuse letters of commitment with letters of support. The latter come from individuals, organizations, or entities that do not have an active role in your project; however, they believe that your project is a good one and will have a positive impact on the intended audience.

In some RFPs (requests for proposals), you will be asked to include both letters of support and commitment; other RFPs may request one or the other type of letters. Be sure you know the difference between the two, and include only the type(s) requested! Making a mistake with these could cost you valuable points and result in a proposal that doesn’t get funded. n

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Grantmaker Profile

Through block grants to states and grants to individual libraries, the federally funded Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) supports a variety of library-based education and conservation projects. Funded at just over $197 million in FY 2000, the agency is perceived as an important component of the effort to eliminate the “digital divide” and has received bipartisan support. President Clinton has proposed an increase in funding to more than $206 million for FY 2001.

“As we usher in the 21st century, libraries and museums are responding to dramatic advances in technology, increasing diversity in our populations, and growing demands for learning throughout a lifetime,” said Acting Director Beverly Sheppard. “The needs and expectations of the American public are different than they were even five years ago. This change requires investment.”

Indeed, IMLS is directing that investment toward projects that enable libraries to serve as high-tech educational resources. Clinton’s budget proposal lays this out explicitly by stating as its two priorities for IMLS “increasing technological access to museum and library resources for all Americans” and “building community partnerships to address serious and persistent community needs.”

IMLS was established by Congress in 1996 to coordinate grant-making activities previously performed separately by the Institute of Museum Services and the Department of Education. “It made sense to bring our activities together,” said Eileen Maxwell, IMLS spokesperson. “It’s been hugely successful so far.”

As the agency becomes more comfortable with its role in leading library grant initiatives, IMLS is working to expand its partnerships to broaden the scope of what a successful library can do. IMLS now collaborates with the National Science Foundation, the National Park Service, and the Smithsonian Institution, as well as the private sector, to create a Digital Library of Education. “This effort will bring cultural and educational resources to the public,” said Sheppard.

Getting grants

School librarians, media center specialists, and district administrators have two avenues through which they can seek grants: state programs and IMLS’s National Leadership Awards Program.

State programs: The state programs represent about two-thirds of the grants that IMLS provides, and they are distributed according to a formula based on state population. Use of these grants is left completely in the hands of state library agencies—a resource with which most library professionals already are familiar, Maxwell said. To find out how much money each state has received, go to IMLS’s extensive web site at http://www.imls.gov/grants/library/lib_gsla.asp.

Priorities for the state programs, as outlined in the Library Services and Technology Act that created IMLS, are using technology for information sharing between libraries and between libraries and other community services. Programs that make library resources more accessible to urban, rural, or low-income residents or others who have difficulty using library services also are a priority. After-school programs, including those held in conjunction with schools or community centers, have been funded by several states under this program. Projects that provide lifetime learning opportunities, particularly for parents of Head Start children, also have been supported in the past few years.

Grant writers should familiarize themselves with the priorities of their state before applying for funds. Typically, states have specified their priorities within these broad categories in a five-year plan. A matching of one-thrid of the funds from nongovernmental sources usually is required, too.

National Leadership Awards: These grants are made by IMLS directly to libraries and library systems. The awards range from $15,000 to $500,000 and are for one year or two. The 2000 deadlines were in February and April, and IMLS is now reviewing applications and will announce award winners in various categories beginning in July. (Application information can be found at http://www.imls.gov/grants/library/lib_nlgl.asp.)

National Leadership Awards come in four categories: education and training; research and demonstration; preservation and digitization; and library-museum collaboration. The first two categories “are directly applicable to school libraries,” said Jeanne McConnell, program officer. However, IMLS looks for projects that can be replicated nationally; funds are not intended merely to bolster the technology of a local school district’s media center. “We want projects that will be a model and will have a national impact,” she said, “but we look for a something that hasn’t been tried before.”

The program is designed explicitly to encourage new ways of using libraries as educational and community resources, so it does not cover more mundane library needs such as computer purchases and internet access fees. The organization has just issued is year 2001 guidelines, which McConnell said contain few changes from the 2000 guidelines.

Here are three examples of IMLS grant winners, and several other examples can be found on the organization’s web site:

Urie Elementary School Library (Lyman, Wyo.). The library staff developed the county library’s web page and connected both the county and the school to the internet. The library also hosts book fairs for the community and technology nights for parents. Students at the school are encouraged to use the web to write stories and use both books and computer technology to explore their world.

http://www.uinta6.k12.wy.us/WWW/Urie/Urieho me.html

Simon Wiesenthal Center Library and Archives (Los Angeles). This library, one of the world’s repositories of Holocaust information, supports the public outreach efforts of the Museum of Tolerance. Through a program called Teaching Steps to Tolerance, the library helps train local educators and librarians about cultural diversity and tolerance.

Oregon School Library Information System (OSLIS). OSLIS helps K-12 students achieve Oregon’s state education standards, including information literacy skills, by creating, evaluating, and providing cost-effective, curriculum-based online information resources. Since 1998, OSLIS has helped students access full-text articles from thousands of periodicals, newspapers, and health resources through an online database. By purchasing this database for the state, OSLIS has reduced per-school costs dramatically and, more importantly, brought new resources to the stateís less-funded school systems. Library resource specialists regularly review the database to cull out the best information and have developed curricula designed to teach students how to use these resources.

For more information on the entire IMLS program, visit the program’s web site. n

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Eight dos and don’ts when writing tech grants

If you’ve never been a grant reader before, I highly recommend that you volunteer for the next available opportunity. No other single experience can better prepare you to become a successful grant writer.

Having been a reader for a national grant program recently, I was surprised by the number of proposals that left me shaking my head. Reading other people’s proposals is a surefire way to learn what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to applying for technology grants.

Here are eight simple dos and don’ts, based on my own experience as a reader:

1. Don’t beg. There are right and wrong ways to ask for money. The right way makes a strong case for need, without making the applicant appear desperate. One applicant wrote, “Please consider our application as one that is sincere when we say, ‘We’re here for the kids.'” Yet, isn’t it safe to say this maxim would apply to any of the other proposals as well?

Funders make decisions with their heads, not with their hearts. Offering your best “sob story” makes you appear unprofessional, which could undermine your credibility in the eyes of the funder.

2. Do describe specific educational goals and objectives. Funders want to support the end result—improved student learning—and not just the means to that end, so make sure you describe the specific learning objectives you hope to accomplish. Correlating these goals and objectives to state or local standards might further bolster your project’s credibility.

3. Don’t recycle an old proposal. Make sure your proposal specifically targets the priorities identified by the grant program you’re applying to.

4. Do describe your project clearly. You’d be surprised at how many proposals don’t even describe their projects in enough detail to give readers a sound basis for judging the projects’ value. What, exactly, will students be doing, and according to what kind of timeline? How will students use technology, how will this use of technology contribute to students’ understanding, and how will the grant money support such a project?

5. Don’t use cliches, big words, or “education speak.” The easier your proposal is to read, the more likely it is to be funded. Don’t assume that all grant readers are educators, or that they will understand what you mean by words like “metacognition.”

6. Do proofread. As amazing as it sounds, I caught many typos and misspelled words among the proposals I was reading. How can you be trusted with the funder’s money, if you can’t be trusted to spell all the words in your proposal correctly?

7. Don’t make technology an add-on to an existing project. Successful proposals describe projects in which technology is an integral component, not just an add-on to jazz up a traditional lesson plan. In other words, is technology necessary to achieve your project’s desired outcomes?

For example, which proposal do you think is more likely to be funded: one in which students use concept mapping software such as Inspiration to visually represent a poem, or one in which students use global information systems software to track and model the migration patterns of local fauna? It could be argued that the poetry project can be accomplished without the use of technology—but technology is an integral part of the science lesson.

8. Do be creative. Generally, funders are looking to fund model programs that haven’t been tried before. What you’re doing in your classrooms might be very good—but is it any different than what other teachers are doing in their own schools today?

Proposing a unique project, in which technology is a necessary means to educationally sound goals, will propel your grant application to the top of the pile. n

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Grants:

June

**NEW THIS MONTH**

Internet Innovator Award

Sponsored by National Semiconductor, these awards go to K-12 educators who “exemplify the highest level of innovation integrating internet technology into their curriculum.” They are intended for schools in the three areas where National Semiconductor has business operations: Santa Clara, San Mateo, and Alameda counties (California); the state of Maine; and Tarrant County, Texas. The awards consist of $10,000 for the educator or group of educators; $20,000 for the educators’ school; and a discount of $3,500 on National Semiconductor’s “Global Connections” course. Last year, awards were given for 11 projects, such as a project in which elementary schools around the country communicate about weather conditions; an online “intergalactic” newspaper written in the year 2299; and an exploration of famous walls, such as the U.S. Vietnam Memorial and Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall.

Deadline: June 2

Contact: nsawards@pccinc.org

http://www.nsawards.com/innovator/ index.html

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 Resources ‘ Educast . Judges are seeking creativity and or iginality in the presentation of content, according to a description of the contest. Lesson plans can pertain to the following subject areas: mathematics, language arts, social studies, science, 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 julie.gates@education.com.

http://www.educast.com

**NEW THIS MONTH**

Comprehensive School Reform Research Grants

This U.S. Department of Education (ED) program, funded at $5 million, was announced in late April. It supports “large-scale” study of school reform models that are being implemented today. School reform that uses technology in innovative ways or in ways to serve disadvantaged student populations can be studied. ED expects winning proposals to outline specifically how a particular reform model is supporting student achievement and how those successes can be replicated in other settings across the country. Research grants are for one year only, but the research proposed can be for as many as three years, as needed, to assess student achievement gains. State and local education agencies, public and private organizations, and individuals can apply for the awards. Applicants are encouraged to collaborate—i.e., teams that include model developers, researchers, and practitioners are preferred.

Deadline: June 22

Contact: Cheryl Kane, (202) 208-2991

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OERI/csrrdp.html

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.

http://www.macromedia.com/learning/innovati on

July

**NEW THIS MONTH**

America Online Rural Telecommunications Grants

America Online (AOL) funds these awards that “recognize and reward outstanding achievement in rural community development through telecommunications.” In partnership with the National Center for Small Communities (NCSC), the AOL Foundation makes awards in five categories: Infrastructure Technology; Public Access, Skills, and Training; Community/Economic Development, Job Creation; Health Information and Services; Enhanced Disability Access; and Youth Development/Leadership. The foundation provides $10,000 to winners in each of the five categories and $2,000 to two semifinalists in each category. Applicants must demonstrate how they have used telecommunications to invigorate rural communities—not just show a plan that might work in the future. Rural communities are defined as those with a population less than 10,000. Although the foundation states explicitly that an academic-only orientation is not likely to win an award, its 1999 awards indicate that projects that link students in rural areas with their peers are very strong candidates. For example, the Edcouch-Elsa High School in south Texas created the Llano Grande Center, which enables former outstanding high school students who have gone to Ivy League colleges to stay in touch by eMail and a web site with current high school students and inspire them to similar achievements.

Deadline: July 14

Contact: Jennifer Balsam at (202) 624-3550 or jbalsam@sso.org

http://ruraltelecon.org/aolawards/aol00/ aolawards.asp#youth

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

http://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub/nsf98102

August

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.

http://www.americanhonda.com

September

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

http://www.nec.com/company/foundation

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

http://www.usda.gov/rus/dlt/dltregs.htm

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

http://www.dow.com/about/corp/social/social.h tm

October

Leadership Grants

The National Foundation for the Improvement of Education’s Leadership Grants underwrites 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

http://www.nfie.org/ldrshp.htm

November

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

http://target.com/schools/scholarships.asp

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.

http://63.74.120.38/wirelessfoundation/03clas s/ index.htm

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 fmackaman@pekin.net.

http://www.pekin.net/dirksen/micheledgrants.h tml

Teach America!

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.

Contact: gateway.foundation@gateway.com

http://www.gateway.com/teachamerica

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 foundation@tai.toshiba.com.

http://www.toshiba.com/about/taf.html

Regional Grants

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 supported consistentl.y. 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, and guidelines are available on its web site.

Contact: (800) 360-7955

http://www.bellatlanticfoundation.com

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, P.O. 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, Arizona; Folsom and Santa Clara, California; Rio Rancho, New Mexico; Hillsboro, Oregon; Fort Worth, Texas; and DuPont, Washington. 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 all of these programs can be found on Intel’s web site.

http://www.intel.com/intel/community/grants.ht m

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. 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, Atlanta, Dallas, and Sacramento. 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

http://www.sprint.com/sprint/overview/ commun.html

$7.4 million to 67 Idaho districts from the Idaho Department of Education

Idaho school districts will use more than $7.4 million in federal grants to train teachers and pay for projects that will improve the use of technology in classrooms. The grants are funded through the Goals 2000: Educate America Act and the Technology Literacy Challenge Fund and administered through the state Department of Education.

“We funded many exciting, innovative approaches to using technology to assist student learning, and to help teachers better understand how to use technology in the classroom,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Marilyn Howard said.

Members of the Idaho Council for Technology in Learning reviewed the applications and decided to fund 93 projects for 67 school districts during the 2000-2001 school year.

“This year, we received more applications than ever before and were able to fund more projects,” said David Breithaupt of the state Department of Education. “Unfortunately, there were quality proposals that were not funded simply because we ran out of money.”

The applications are evaluated on several factors, including the quality of the project, the project’s connection to district technology goals, and how the applicant plans to evaluate the project’s effectiveness.

Contact: (208) 332-6800

http://www.sde.state.id.us/Dept

$5 million to 20 nationwide consortia from WorldCom and Brown University

WorldCom and Brown University have announced grants to 20 programs nationwide that link public schools or community organizations with local colleges or universities to develop educational technology projects for youth in underserved areas.

The $5 million Making a Civic Investment program, funded by WorldCom and administered by Campus Compact at Brown, goes beyond funding for computer hardware and software, officials said.

“This effort brings together community groups, the private sector, higher education, and schools to help build stronger, more vibrant communities,” said Jonathan B. Sallet, WorldCom chief policy counsel. “Our purpose is to improve learning through technology, not just through the provision of hardware and software, but by teaching students to use technology to learn and thrive in today’s technology-rich environment.”

The programs range widely from urban schools to Native American tribal communities; from online community newspapers, to urban gardens, to web sites that gather neighborhood history. They vary geographically from Spokane, Wash., to Lorman, Miss., to Miami.

Each program will receive annual funding for two years and will be eligible for continued funding for a total of five years. Leaders of the 20 programs qualify for annual professional development programs at Brown. WorldCom and its UUNET subsidiary will ensure that each project has high-speed internet access for the term of the grant. Although the size of individual projects varies, most grants will total more than $200,000 over five years. More than 160 community-based programs applied for grants.

Making a Civic Investment expands on WorldCom’s commitment to support education using cutting-edge technology. The WorldCom Foundation’s Marco Polo program features a comprehensive teacher training kit and is available online at no cost through the program’s web site (www.wcom.com/marcopolo). In December, WorldCom announced an initiative to provide specialized internet training for all teachers in seven Mississippi Delta states. In April, WorldCom committed to provide high-speed wireless internet service to schools and libraries in four rural communities: Hattiesburg, Miss., Douma, La., Dothan, Ala., and Raleigh, N.C.

Contact: Julie Moore of WorldCom, (202) 887-2373 or julie.moore@wcom.com; or Mark Nickel or Kristin Cole, (401) 863-2467 or news-servicel@brown.edu, both of Brown University.

http://www.compact.org/worldcom

$1 million to 25 state programs from the Colorado Institute of Technology

Colorado Gov. Bill Owens has announced $1 million in grants for 25 innovative high school summer study programs to enhance technology skills for the state’s students and teachers.

Owens hopes the camps will pay off with a computer-literate workforce to fill tens of thousands of jobs expected to open up in the technology sector in the next decade.

“The Colorado Institute of Technology-funded programs are far from calculator-punching alternatives to summer play,” said Owens, accompanied by four students who plan to attend.

The 25 programs include classes for teachers and students, and range from a Colorado Community College program to help educators teach math and technology to a middle school science camp at Fort Lewis College in Durango.

The initiative also funds a Little Shop of Physics course at Colorado State University and YouthTech, a youth-run information training laboratory in Denver.

Grants for the classes ranged from $10,000 to more than $200,000, and they were awarded after individual schools applied and outlined their plans along with the number of people attending.

The Colorado Institute of Technology was formed in March to help Colorado become an industry leader, and to help fill tens of thousands of jobs that high tech industries are having a hard time filling.

“We’re going to the heart of the problem to bridge the digital divide,” said Marc Holtzman, Owens’ technology secretary. “These programs will help Colorado develop the human capital necessary to meet technology’s challenges with a prepared and committed workforce. They will give kids an early appreciation for technology’s capabilities and fascinations.”

Contact: Barbara Bauer, Colorado Institute of Technology, at (720) 331-1444 or coloradoit@uswest.net.

http://www.coloradoit.org

$800,000 to the Minnesota Computers

for Schools program from the

Blandin Foundation

Minnesota Computers for Schools, a public-private partnership that provides technology tools to Minnesota schools, received an $800,000 grant from the Blandin Foundation to keep the program afloat.

Because of a lapse in state funding, the program was within hours of cutting its operations when the donation was announced.

David Jennings, president of the Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce, said the Blandin Foundation grant and a $200,000 grant from the Star Tribune Foundation will ensure the program continues into 2001 without interruption.

The chamber has helped the Minnesota Department of Children, Families, and Learning coordinate the program since 1998. Additional state funding is expected to be approved in 2001, Jennings said.

Over the past three years, the program has collected more than 19,000 computers, had them refurbished by prisoners who are being taught new job skills, and donated them to more than 200 Minnesota school districts.

The Blandin Foundation, based in Grand Rapids, targets its grants to strengthen rural communities.

Contact: (877) 882-2257

http://www.blandinfoundation.org

$100,000 to School Administrative District 42 from Guilford of Maine

Inspired by Maine Gov. Angus King’s proposal to give laptop computers to the state’s seventh-graders, a Guilford-based textile manufacturer is offering to help the local school district provide laptops for its middle school pupils.

Guilford of Maine has agreed to put up $100,000 in the next two years if the donation can be matched by School Administrative District 42.

King’s $50 million proposal would supply all seventh-graders in Maine with their own laptop computers that they would keep until they finished high school. Lawmakers were lukewarm to King’s proposal and have voted to study they issue further. The school district’s plan is not quite as ambitious, but is seen as a first in Maine.

The laptops in SAD 42 would not become students’ property and would be kept at school for future pupils. Students would not take them home or keep them through high school.

The plan would provide Apple iBooks, with a retail cost of about $1,600 each, for the district’s 150 seventh- and eighth-graders, said Superintendent Norman Higgins. Piscataquis Community Middle School already has 17 laptops bought with a federal technology literacy grant awarded last fall, and the district expects to be able to afford at least 75 iBooks, he sai

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Year three of eRate will fall well short of demand

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set funding for year three of the eRate at $2.25 billion, the maximum allowed under the program’s rules. But with demand for discounts at an all-time high, most schools are likely to receive only a fraction of the total funding they’ve requested.

The Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) of the Universal Service Administrative Co. (USAC)—the federal agency that administers the eRate—estimates that only schools qualifying for discounts of 81 percent or higher will receive help with their internal connections this year—the wiring, routers, switches, and servers needed to deliver internet access to classrooms.

More than 36,000 schools and libraries applied for year-three eRate funding, which gives discounts of up to 90 percent on telecommunication services. SLD estimates the total requested by these applicants is $4.72 billion, an amount greater than the program’s first two years combined.

“More schools than ever are connecting to the internet, and increasingly the [telecommunications] services have upped the cost of connectivity. That’s one reason why requests are so high,” said Linda Roberts, White House advisor on education technology.

“I think people have found that their districts and towns have applied and met success, so now they know that this program can work for them,” said Mel Blackwell, SLD spokesman. “It’s such a good program for schools. And the eRate, unlike other programs, is ubiquitous and in every state.”

But not everyone sees the greater demand for eRate dollars as an indication of the program’s success.

“Schools will continue to have an ongoing need for funding to maintain these broadband connections year after year,” said Greg Weisiger, associate director of teleproduction services for the Virginia Department of Education. In other words, Weisiger said, the more schools receive funding, the more they come to rely on the eRate every year.

Weisiger also questioned how money left over from the program’s first year has been used. “The collections [from telecommunications companies, which fund the eRate] for year one were $1.9 billion, and schools and libraries received $1.6 billion,” he said.

About $448 million has been earmarked to reduce contributions from telecommunications carriers this year, Weisiger said. Much of this money is leftover funding and should not go back to the companies that donated it in the first place, he said, given that demand for the eRate exceeds the available funding this year.

“There is a conflict in FCC regulations that allows this type of thing to happen,” Weisiger said. “First, they say no more than $2.25 billion may be committed in any given year. But then they say that any extra will carry over. It’s contradictory.”

According to SLD, all eligible schools that successfully filed applications before the year three filing window closed on Jan. 19 will get discounts on so-called “Priority One” services, namely telecommunications services and internet access.

But the agency estimates that only applicants qualifying for discounts of 81 percent or higher will get funding for “Priority Two” services, which are internal connections. Schools qualify for discounts on a sliding scale based on the percentage of their students who qualify for the federal lunch program. To qualify for this year’s 81 percent cut-off, applicants must have at least half of their students eligible for free or reduced-price lunches.

In the program’s first year, funding for internal connections stretched to the 70-percent discount level. Last year, the agency was able to fund all applicants’ requests.

Most observers seem to agree that telecommunications services and internet access should take precedence over internal connections. “The good thing is that once the internal wiring is installed, it’s done,” Roberts said. “It’s not a continuing cost.”

But some observers privately wonder whether another year of failed expectations on the part of applicants might be damaging to the program’s credibility. Schools and districts must invest several hours in the arduous process of applying, only to find out after the fact whether there will be enough money to fund their requests.

Frustrated when their year one efforts proved fruitless, many districts chose not to apply again last year. One such district was the Rochester, N.H., school system. Rochester Superintendent Raymond Yeagley said his district spent about 100 staff hours applying to the program two years ago and got nothing.

eRate officials don’t believe the program’s structure will prove a deterrent to applicants, and Blackwell argued that the potential for schools not to receive the discounts they apply for is a facet of the program that cannot be helped.

“We have a public trust here and deal with a lot of money, and we have a responsibility to make sure that everyone who applies is eligible for what they apply for,” he said. “But almost 30,000 applicants received funding in year two, so something must be working.” n

Links:

Federal Communications Commission

http://www.fcc.gov

Schools and Libraries Division of USAC

http://www.sl.universalservice.org

Virginia Department of Education

http://www.pen.k12.va.us

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FYI: New resources for school health and safety professionals

“Safeguarding Our Children: An Action Guide”

This 62-page booklet, a joint effort of the U.S. Departments of Education and Justice, was released April 28. The guide recommends that communities develop a comprehensive team approach to violence prevention in their schools. This team approach should involve educators, mental health professionals, law enforcement officials, parents, and students, the guide says.

An underlying theme of the publication is the importance of every child being known well by at least one adult. The guide also notes that an important balance must be found between responding to a child’s early warning signs and being harmful by labeling or overreacting.

“We cannot rely on mechanical profiling of students,” Riley told a school counselors meeting in Chicago. “We simply cannot put student behaviors into a formula to come up with the appropriate response. We need human involvement—your professional judgment—in every step of the process.”

The guide offers a blueprint for the creation of a schoolwide foundation that fosters discipline, academic success, and emotional wellness in students; early intervention with the 10 to 15 percent of students at risk for severe academic or behavioral problems; and immediate intervention for students who continue to have problems.

The guide was developed with help from the National Association of School Psychologists. Some 26 professional organizations, including the American Psycho-logical Association, have endorsed it.

(877) 4ED-PUBS

http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/ OSEP/ActionGuide

School safety seminar

This summer, Michigan’s Oakland University will host a two-week school safety seminar called Crisis Intervention and School Safety. The seminar, scheduled for July 10-13 and July 17-20, will offer a two-pronged approach, with the first week to be spent on prevention and the second week to focus on what to do if an incident occurs.

“The one common element that helps alleviate the entire situation is communication between parents, students, and the school,” said Stephanie Daly, who will teach the course with Barbara Patrick. “Once you have opened up that avenue, you can defuse a lot of potentially dangerous situations.”

The seminar will teach the importance of identifying students who have the potential for violence. Once identified, schools work with the parents to find appropriate help for the child. Counseling usually is recommended, but Daly said it’s up to the parents to make sure the child gets that help.

In the second week, the focus will change to dealing with an incident after it has occurred. Participants will design safety plans for their individual buildings.

Though Daly and Patrick are the instructors for the seminar, they’ll rely on the experience of local and national experts in crisis intervention and school safety. The registration deadline is June 22 and the cost is $395.

(248) 370-3033

http://www.oakland.edu

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Father wants defibrillators in Michigan schools following daughter’s death

The father of a suburban Detroit teen who died of cardiac arrest during a water polo match has begun a mission to donate a portable defibrillator to every public school in Michigan.

Kimberly Gillary, 15, died during a water polo match at Groves High School in Beverly Hills in April.

“Kimberly’s death happened to our family for a reason,” said Randy Gillary, a Troy attorney. “We want to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else’s family if we can.”

Defibrillation once was viewed as a sophisticated emergency room procedure used to shock stopped hearts back into their normal rhythms. Now, it increasingly is seen as a front-line defense outside the hospital against sudden heart stoppages.

The American Heart Association reports that survival rates increased from 9 percent to 30 percent in cities when the portable shock units were available, the Detroit News said May 2.

Gillary and other supporters of defibrillators want to make them as familiar to the public as fire extinguishers, seat belts, and other lifesaving devices.

Beginning this fall, the National Institutes of Health will spend $8 million on a 15-month national experiment in Detroit and 24 other cities in an effort to conclusively prove the case for portable defibrillators, called Automated External Defibrillators.

“We’re hoping to show that by putting AEDs in malls and stores and high-rise residences, we will save more lives than if they were absent,” said Dr. Robert Zalenski, the Detroit coordinator for the study.

About 100 defibrillators will be used at 40 sites in Detroit, said Marcel Salive of the health institute. “The defibrillator device is FDA-approved and good when used by doctors and paramedics,” Salive said. “But can it be put out by a lay person and used as a strategy to save lives? That hasn’t really been tested up until this study.”

More than 250,000 people die each year of sudden cardiac arrest, which is usually caused by a quivering, chaotic disturbance in the heart called ventricular fibrillation. Defibrillation is the best known treatment for this condition.

The portable defibrillator recognizes an abnormal heart rhythm and delivers an electric current to a patient’s chest wall that passes through the heart. Before improved technology, the user had to have enough medical background to be able to interpret whether a person needed a shock to the heart.

Now AEDs have an internal computer chip that will not allow the device to shock unless it detects an abnormal heart rhythm requiring defibrillation. An AED costs an average of $3,000 and weighs just 10 pounds.

Meanwhile, lawmakers are moving to increase public access to AEDs.

Michigan and 45 other states have expanded Good Samaritan laws to allow the use of defibrillators by the public, freeing most users, physicians prescribing AEDs, and manufacturers from liability.

But there is some concern. The notion of sending a jolt of energy to a person’s heart may still frighten people. A physician’s authorization is required to purchase a defibrillator.

And even the most sophisticated AEDs are not without hazards. The victim must be away from water and any kind of metal—including grates and metal jewelry—or the rescuer risks getting shocked.

Links:

American Heart Association, National Center, 7272 Greenville Avenue, Dallas, TX 75231; phone (800) 242-8721, web http://www.americanheart.org

National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892; phone (301) 496-4000, web http://www.nih.gov

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Idaho’s 10 recommendations for school safety

More counselors, better prevention training for teachers, and more parent involvement in schools were also among the recommendations made by an Idaho safe schools task force chaired by Boise State University Professor Bob Barr. The Idaho task force released its own report on school safety April 26, in which it also endorsed smaller schools and character education.

Here are the 10 recommendations of the Idaho task force:

• Increase parent education and information. Referring to highly publicized school shooting cases across the country in recent years, Gov. Dirk Kempthorne said, “I don’t think any of us believe that those students one day had a bad day and said, ‘Let’s go do something.’ It goes back into the early years.” Parenting classes in Coeur d’Alene were listed as an exemplary program that other districts could copy.

• Develop a plan for parent involvement in every school district. Research shows that children whose parents are involved in their education are more successful in school, regardless of the parents’ income, education level, or other factors, the task force said.

• Provide districts with trained professionals and technical assistance for early indentification of children prone to violence and bullying and intervene to help change the children’s behavior.

• Add more school counselors and programs that bring secondary school students into positive relationships with caring adults. Counselors in Idaho each are responsible for 400 or more students now, the task force said.

• Require teachers, as part of certification, to demonstrate knowledge of early warning signs, classroom management techniques, and other factors related to violence-prone youths.

• Increase emphasis on character education in schools, including development of a “community developmental assets” survey in each district.

• Provide continuing supervised education for expelled students.

• Promote smaller schools or efforts to create programs within larger schools to ensure that students don’t feel overlooked or alienated. Schools with more than 1,000 students are more prone to cliques, alienation, and violence, according to the report, which recommends that Idaho move toward smaller schools or creating school-within-a-school communities. State funding would be sought to help.

• Promote all these efforts statewide, including the Governor’s Safe School Help Line (1-800-4-1-VOICE, extension 359), which allows students to report potential school safety problems anonymously. Fund the safe schools technical support center for three years, the task force recommended.

• Review state laws on threats of violence and toughen them if necessary. Make students across the state aware that schools will take such threats seriously and will prosecute them.

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