ESPs find funding for seminars, yoga training, book clubs, and more

Did you know that education support professionals, or ESPs, make up 40% of all public school employees? In other words, they play a key role in students’ success. That’s why, in the coming days, we’ll be featuring blogs related to all things ESPs. Whether they prepare school meals, handle office tasks, provide students with transportation to school, or ensure their safety once on school grounds, one thing is certain. A public school without ESPs is like a ship without a sail.

That’s why the NEA Foundation offers $2000 and $5000 study grants: to support these important professionals who support our students, providing them with much needed grant funding for their ideas and making them even better at their work.

What kind of school projects or professional development opportunities can be funded through these special grants? That’s up to you! Check out these recently-funded ESP grants to get ideas.

School projects

Book club for students and staff

  • $2,000 Student Achievement Grant
  • Students and staff will read a book together, while encouraging the community to join them, and discuss the book throughout the course of the project. Students will also blog about the title as and organize weekly group discussions.

Elementary school students-turned playwrights

  • $5,000 Student Achievement
  • During a two-month performing arts program, students will create their own play with the help of Stepping Stone Theatre, in order to develop cultural competence and a deep understanding of narrative structure. The project will allow staff to examine student data and ways in which culture impacts both teaching and learning.

Professional development

Yoga training

  • $2,000 Learning & Leadership Grant
  • A school nurse will attend a professional yoga training program to build mindfulness and behavioral control practices into the school’s health services. The practice of yoga will help students to lower their stress and anxiety levels to improve performance through concentration techniques.

“Character Counts!” seminar

  • $2,000 Learning & Leadership
  • A para-educator will participate in a character development seminar to improve her knowledge of behavior management, classroom management, bullying, and economic and social factors. That new-found knowledge will be incorporated into the curriculum and shared among colleagues at the school.

Want more grant ideas? Browse our Grantee Archive by grade level, subject, state, or keyword to see what others have funded. You won’t want to miss the June 1 deadline to apply.



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