Thursday, February 17, 2011

The NEA Foundation Partners with Nickelodeon’s The Big Help to Award $238K in Grants to Educators

WASHINGTON, DC  (February 17, 2011) - The NEA Foundation announced today that it is partnering with Nickelodeon’s The Big Help to award 56 grants totaling $238,000 to support public school educators’ efforts to increase academic achievement and strengthen their own practice. The grants of $2,000 or $5,000 will be awarded to educators in 32 states.

For the second consecutive year, Nickelodeon is helping fund the NEA Foundation grants program through the network’s The Big Help, a long-term effort to connect kids to issues and information important in their lives. The grants support the development and implementation of educators’ ideas, techniques, and approaches for addressing the following areas: environmental awareness, health and wellness, students’ right to a quality public education, and active community involvement.

“With these grants we are helping educators to improve their practice so students can increase their academic achievement and develop 21st century skills,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation.  “With the additional funding from Nickelodeon, students and educators will engage in a wide variety of innovative work.  For example, in Alabama, high school chemistry students will become the teachers as they perform experiments for elementary special education students with a ‘magic show’ that makes learning science entertaining.” 

“Through our ongoing partnership with the NEA Foundation, we’re encouraging educators to continue to develop new teaching approaches that engage kids in the classroom,” said Marva Smalls, Executive Vice President, Nickelodeon Public Affairs.  “We’re thrilled that these grants are supporting innovation in education, helping students learn and excel to new academic heights.”

The NEA Foundation awards two primary categories of grants to public education professionals: Student Achievement Grants for initiatives to improve academic achievement and Learning & Leadership Grants for high-quality professional development activities.

The NEA Foundation has awarded more than $7 million in grants over the past decade to educators in every state in the country. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately 150 Student Achievement and Learning & Leadership grants.  The Foundation awards its grants to educators three times a year.  The deadline for the next review period is June 1, 2011.  Descriptions of current and past recipients, online application forms, and an instructional video can be found at

In 2010, Nickelodeon launched The Big Help campaign, which aims to inspire a kid-led movement for positive change, focusing on four key issues: the environment; education; health and wellness, and community service.  Over the past year, Nickelodeon has distributed $1 million through The Big Help campaign to schools and community organizations across America to help fund projects that align with our mission to empower kids to be agents of change in their own communities.

About The NEA Foundation
The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others who support public education initiatives.We partner with education unions, districts, and communities to create powerful, sustainable improvements in teaching and learning. Visit for more information. Find us on Facebook and Twitter, and visit our blog.

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