Today’s classrooms have quite a bit of technology, often these tools have been provided by a school or district to ensure that each student has a similar experience. But what happens when a teacher wants to try something new and innovative, make a unique addition to their classroom, or put a special spin on a project? These “special projects” usually are not high on the annual budget and classroom teachers need to seek alternative funding – here is where school and classroom grants make all the difference.
Writing Your Classroom Grants
I have been fortunate enough to have a few medium ($1,500-$3,000) grants under my belt and I have learned so much in the process of completing each grant. I hope these tips can help you become more successful in funding your special projects! Let’s dig in!
- Most school and classroom grants will require current demographic information. This information is readily available in two main places – 1) k12.niche.com – this website is useful to families looking to relocate and anyone looking for the specific demographic information about a specific school – pay close attention to the “Free and Reduced” lunch specs as this percentage is usually important in school/classroom grants; or 2) the Food Service Office in your District Office – make friends with your Food Service admin assistant and you can even ask for these stats to be sent to you on a term basis!
- When writing a grant I generally try to be specific on our outcomes, but a little vague on how exactly we are going to get there. Most of the grants that I have been awarded are community based grants or innovation grants – both of which are looking to make an impact on the K12 sector and acknowledge that your journey may take a few unplanned twists. If you know that you will be using the funds to implement VR in your classroom, you might want to mention your use of Quiver or Google Expeditions to create unique and meaningful virtual field trips. If you are trying to fund more devices in your classroom, you might want to highlight your use of ClassFlow as a tool to differentiate instruction and better engage your students.
- Highlight your students – grants, especially grants funded from retail companies, are looking to make an impact on the lives of your students. Make sure to highlight how important this activity, tool, or experience is in their lives and how it will be applicable in the future. If your grant project will impact future years of students – make sure to mention that too!
- Determine the impact of the grant – how many students will the dollar amount awarded impact, when you factor this out it is surprising how many students the awarded amount might impact. If you are going to share the resource with other classes, after school programs, or through a media center checkout model, make sure to include these students in your cost ratio.
- A $1,000 grant spread out over 30 students (1,000:30) means it will impact each student with about $33, that same project shared with a grade level of 150 students (1,000:150) means the cost per student drops to $6.67. You will most likely share your resources with other teachers, make sure to include their students
- Use meaningful words – please don’t run out and find every edTech buzz word there is – nobody wants to read that, but what words meaningfully describe the resource you are looking to purchase and what words describe how it will impact your students?
- Describe your dream. Make sure to write a grant that shoots for the moon, even if you are awarded less funds, you will still land in the stars. Make sure to push the boundaries of your plans, write about what you would do if you had all of the requested funds and the best support in the world.
So there are a few of my grant writing tips – do you have any to share? Make sure to leave a reply down below or give us a shoutout on twitter @000Dave and @ClassFlow – we will make sure to give you some #ClassFlowLove in return for your suggestions!