$50K for youth engagement grants

The Sodexo School Engagement Grant is designed to ensure that every child in the United States grows up with access to enough nutritious food. The programs funded through this grant will engage teachers and students in learning about the incidence of childhood hunger in their community, and in leading meaningful activities that facilitate access to nutritious food for all children, especially those most at risk. The program will be implemented through a service-learning “Semester of Service” focused on childhood hunger. Ten grants of $5,000 will be awarded to qualified programs that engage a minimum of 20 students.

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$2M for history education

The Teaching American History (TAH) grant program supports projects that aim to raise student achievement by improving teachers’ knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of traditional American history as a separate subject within the core elementary and secondary school curriculum.  Grant awards assist local educational agencies (LEAs), in partnership with entities that have extensive content expertise, in developing, implementing, documenting, evaluating, and disseminating innovative, cohesive models of professional development.

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Up to $700,000 for Alaska Native education

The purpose of the Alaska Native Education program is to support innovative projects that enhance the educational services provided to Alaska Native children and adults.

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Funding for school libraries and literacy

The purpose of this program is to improve student reading skills and academic achievement by providing students with increased access to up-to-date school library materials; well-equipped, technologically advanced school library media centers; and well-trained, professionally certified school library media specialists.

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AUPs shape Web 2.0 use, guidelines

CoSN's guidelines are a resource for district leaders rewriting Web 2.0 policies.

As educational technology transforms teaching and learning, many districts are finding that once-solid acceptable use policies (AUPs) must be updated to reflect students’ and teachers’ increasing use of Web 2.0 technologies and other digital media tools.

To that end, the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) has released an AUP guide to help school district leaders rethink their internet use policies and how educational technology can best be used to help students get the most out of their time in school.

The new guide addresses the following questions:

  1. How does policy differ from procedure, and does the difference matter?
  2. What are the two major approaches used to develop a district’s AUP?
  3. Is the district’s AUP a part of or the totality of the district’s technology policy?
  4. What are the key federal laws affecting internet access, safety, and social networking in schools?
  5. How do state laws or district policies affect school districts’ internet policies pertaining to filtering, AUPs, cyber bullying, and cell phone use?
  6. Does the increasing prevalence of Web 2.0 and student-owned mobile devices necessitate updating a district’s educational technology policies?
  7. Where can I find samples of various exemplary AUPs?
  8. What are some timely, relevant, and useful resources pertaining to the use of Web 2.0 technologies in schools?

James Bosco, principal investigator for CoSN’s Participatory Learning in Schools: Leadership and Policy Initiative, warned that administrators must acknowledge the growing role technology is taking in schools.

“I think we’re fighting a losing battle if the effort is to control it by limiting access and attempting to more or less close the door,” said Bosco. “We have to think about this more in terms of how we work with our students, so it’s not just a matter of forbidding them, but [that] they understand how to use it both for good learning purposes and in an ethical manner.”

The policy questions address the prevalence of Web 2.0 applications and mobile internet devices in schools, and how they affect schools’ safety and access. The guide’s purpose is to help districts in “developing, rethinking, or revising internet policies.”

“I think the new guide that we put out on acceptable use policies, or, as we’re informally calling it, ‘Moving from Acceptable Use Policies to Responsible Use Policies,’ … the point of the conversation today is that school leaders need to start rethinking their basic assumptions,” said CoSN CEO Keith Krueger.

Bosco said that schools have a responsibility to teach their students responsible Web 2.0 tool use.

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Funding for overseas research centers

The American Overseas Research Centers Program makes awards to any American overseas research center that is a consortium of institutions of higher education to enable the center to promote postgraduate research, exchanges, and area studies.

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Awards for charter school programs

The purpose of the CSP is to increase national understanding of the charter school model (1) by expanding the number of high-quality charter schools available to students across the Nation by providing financial assistance for the planning, program design, and initial implementation of charter schools, and (2) by evaluating the effects of charter schools, including their effects on students, student academic achievement, staff, and parents.  The Secretary awards grants to state educational agencies (SEAs) on a competitive basis to enable them to conduct charter school programs in their States.  SEAs in turn use their CSP funds to make subgrants to eligible applicants in their State.  These subgrants are used for planning, program design, and initial implementation of a charter school, and to support the dissemination of information about charter schools, including successful practices demonstrated by charter schools.

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Funds for Native American and Alaska Native students

The purpose of this program is to provide grants for eligible entities to develop high levels of academic attainment in English among English learners, and to promote parental and community participation in language instruction educational programs.  Projects funded under the Native American and Alaska Native Children in School Program may support the teaching and studying of Native American languages, but must have, as a project objective, an increase in English language proficiency for participating students.

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