Stories from the Field

The NEA Foundation Has a Grant Application for You!

The NEA Foundation Has a Grant Application for You!

Photo: Educator Katrina Macht video chats with her students while in Panama

Educators are full of innovative ideas to improve their own teaching and their students’ learning. But in many cases, their schools and districts simply don’t have the funds to implement these projects. What’s a creative educator to do?

Apply for an NEA Foundation grant! The next deadline is June 1, which gives you plenty of time to figure out the details of how to put your ideas into practice. To help, we’re highlighting a few recent grants that received funding from the NEA Foundation.

1. “Classrooms Without Walls”

Student Achievement Grant
Katrina Macht, 6-8 grade STEM educator
Hillside Intermediate School
Bridgewater, NJ

Katrina Macht’s 6th graders know what it’s really like to be a scientist, because they’ve talked to plenty of them.

Katrina’s grant links classroom learning with real-world scientific research. To learn about field research herself, Katrina traveled to a research station in Panama to talk to ecologists about their research projects.

While in Panama, Katrina chatted with her students about what she learned from the researchers. In the photo, she’s showing her students a crocodile skull! They’re learning about predator-prey relationships from one very successful predator.

Katrina’s middle school students in Bridgewater, NJ continue to communicate with scientists around the world about their work.

2. Learning Spanish to Connect with Community

Learning & Leadership Grant
Jessica Knight, Counselor
Bridgeman Elementary School
Bridgeman, MI

Like many educators, Jessica Knight has seen a growing number of Hispanic students and families in her district. To bridge the language gap, Jessica received a grant to travel to Costa Rica, where she’ll attend Centro Panamericano Idioms language school.

When she returns to her school in Michigan, she’ll be better able to communicate with all her district’s students and families. She’ll have a deeper understanding of where the people at her school come from and a clearer idea of how to meet their needs.

3. “Gathering STEAM”

Student Achievement Grant
Cathy Bryant, RTI Interventionist
Avoca Elementary School
Bristol, TN

Cathy Bryant wants to make sure the students in her intervention classes are active participants in their own learning experience. More than knowing how to fill in a bubble on an answer sheet, they need hands-on ways to build their skills.

At the new STEAM lab at Avoca Elementary School, students have those opportunities. In the lab, created with an NEA Foundation grant, educators help students choose projects they can learn from and enjoy, from video-making to engineering to creating their own musical instruments. They’re not just memorizing facts – they’re building skills that will stay with them forever.

4. Networking at SXSWedu

Learning & Leadership Grant
Samantha McMillan, 5th-8th grade social studies teacher
Leonard Herman Intermediate School
San Jose, CA

Samantha McMillan knows that building a positive classroom environment and engaging students in learning takes hard work. That’s why she recently attended SXSWedu to connect with other educators and learn from their ideas.

Now that the conference is over, she’s bringing these ideas back to benefit her community. She’s working on improving her district’s interdisciplinary STEM curriculum and making classrooms more inclusive to reach all students.

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Ready to apply for a Student Achievement or Learning and Leadership grant? Take a look at our FAQ page to learn more about the application process.

Our grants are very competitive, so we encourage you to look for other funding sources as well. We recently posted a blog on upcoming grant and professional development opportunities that gives you a great place to start.

And wherever you apply, our Grant Writing Tutorial has key tips on how to put together a successful proposal.