5 teaching and learning grants you don’t want to miss

School grants offer much-needed financial help for schools

funding-grantSchool funding is a challenge even in the post prosperous of times, especially when it comes to ed tech–technology is always changing, and maintaining or upgrading initiatives, tools, or resources is not always free. Many educators and administrators rely on school grants to fund important projects and opportunities for students.

Each month, eSchool News compiles a list of new education grant opportunities. This month’s grants address early learning, student documentaries, literacy research, and more.

Check out these funding opportunities for teachers, students, parents, and administrators–there’s likely to be a grant that’s relevant to your needs.

(Next page: December’s funding opportunities)


Game-based math program expands to Denver students

Gift brings MIND Research Institute’s ST Math program to more than 900 Students


DIRECTV/MIND Research Institute

Denver Public Schools, DIRECTV, and the nonprofit MIND Research Institute are partnering to deliver a computer-based math program to three local Denver schools.

The grant from DIRECTV provides the ST Math game-based instructional software to more than 900 students at Carson Elementary, University Preparatory School, and Smith Renaissance School.

DIRECTV and MIND Research’s partnership in Denver builds on the DIRECTV Math Challenge, which was launched in Los Angeles in 2014 to drive student achievement and inspire K-12 students to love science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

(Next page: Educators at the school offer insight on how the math program will impact student learning)


IRA Teacher as Researcher Grant

This grant supports classroom teachers who undertake action research inquiries about literacy and instruction. Grants will be awarded up to $4,000, although priority will be given to smaller grants (e.g., $1,000 to $2,000) in order to provide support for as many teacher researchers as possible. 


C-SPAN’s StudentCam Competition

StudentCam is C-SPAN’s annual national video documentary competition that encourages students to think critically about issues that affect our communities and our nation. Students in grades 6-12 are asked to create a short (5-7 minute) video documentary on a topic related to the competition theme listed below. With cash prizes totaling $100,000, C-SPAN awards prizes to 150 student documentaries, and 53 teacher advisors. All eligible documentaries must adhere to the Competition Rules, and be submitted to C-SPAN by Tuesday, January 20, 2015. Winners will be announced in March 2015. 


Smart from the Start Awards

The Smart from the Start Awards are designed to encourage preschool teachers to create practical, long-term improvements in nutrition and physical activity at their preschool. By the end of this school year, Smart from the Start will have awarded almost 50 grants helping families, community members, students, and faculty make life-changing decisions for a healthier lifestyle. 


National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards

The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is pleased to present the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards to outstanding after-school and out-of-school programs that are transforming the lives of young people. Programs that receive the award exemplify how arts and humanities programs outside of the regular school day enrich the lives of young people throughout the country by teaching new skills, nurturing creativity, and building self-confidence. These programs offer high-quality and intensive instruction on weekends, afternoons, and summer vacations, providing a safe and productive space for young people in the hours when they are often the most vulnerable. Their carefully focused projects supplement in-school curricula with exposure to a wide variety of artistic and scholastic pursuits. Arts and humanities education has always been a priority for the President’s Committee and is a major focus of the Committee’s ongoing efforts. We are proud of the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award’s long record of success in acknowledging and supporting these inspiring programs. 


2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program

The 2015 PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators Program recognizes the top 100 applicants nationwide who are using digital media in classrooms and serving as leaders in ed tech. Through Feb. 11, 2015, educators can apply to the PBS LearningMedia Digital Innovators program by submitting a 60-120 second video showcasing how they are creatively using digital technology and tools in the classroom to drive student achievement and completing a profile and two essay questions. 



When worlds collide in blended learning

Idaho districts try a blended learning model and discover surprising benefits

blended-learningThe internet is doing a lot of things for her classroom, but Idaho teacher Kelsy Colwell said one thing it’s not doing is replacing her.

The Kamiah High School math teacher spent her summer building a curriculum that uses tablet computers instead of textbooks and has students watching lessons and submitting assignments online. Colwell is one of several teachers in the district and throughout the region using a blended learning approach.

When the school year began, both students and parents were skeptical about what the change would mean.

“I wanted a regular textbook,” said Kamiah senior Logan Six.

But Six said he’s found the flexibility and instant feedback the online component of the class affords him has been worth the transition from paper to iPad.

(Next page: How Idaho districts are implementing blended learning)