Do you have an idea for teaching a subject in a novel, engaging and creative way? Or would you like to participate in a conference or institute that will help you grow as a teacher, professor or education support professional? The NEA Foundation awards Learning & Leadership and Student Achievement grants in the amounts of $2,000 and $5,000 that help NEA members strengthen teaching, learning and student support.
Each year, the Foundation awards approximately 150 grants. Over the past decade, nearly 4,500 educators have received more than $7 million in grants.
Applications are reviewed three times a year. October 15 is the next deadlineand winners will be notified by January 15, 2017. Information is available on the Foundation’s website. The Foundation also maintains a list of competitive grant opportunities sponsored by other organizations.
One NEA Foundation grantee, Joe Pizzo, an English teacher at Black River Middle School in Chester, N.J., used his Learning & Leadership grant to create a digi-poem project for students. Joe’s students learned how to combine poetry they wrote with technological enhancements, such as iMovies, Canva posters, Google Slides and Screencastify, a screen capture program that allows a user to record anything on the screen.
“The digi-poem assignment drives students to hone their 21st century digital literacy skills as they gain a deeper understanding of the composition process,” Joe says. “Through this innovative education program, my students combine fun with fundamentals.”
But a technology focus or component isn’t a requirement. The Foundation is interested in ideas that “engage students in critical thinking and problem solving that deepen their knowledge of standards-based subject matter” and “improve students’ habits of inquiry, self-directed learning and critical reflection.”Projects focusing on school farming, aquaponics and global learning are also of high interest to the Foundation.
The Learning & Leadership grants allow participants to take part in “high-quality professional development experiences,” including summer institutes, conferences or action research. Group Learning & Leadership Grants fund teams of educators looking to participate in shared learning, such as study groups and lesson plan development.
And if you’ve never written a grant proposal, have no fear. The NEA Foundation offers plenty of tips, including a grant writing course and tutorial, and there’s additional information in this article.
Happy grant-writing, and good luck!