School funding issues have been both brought to light and exacerbated due to the COVID-19 crisis. As schools adapt to teaching in these new circumstances, many educators are in need of resources to make their lessons accessible online. And existing issues, such as a lack of educational technology in schools with low budgets, have only become more limiting during this time.
In this article you’ll find a brief primer on what educational grants, along with a list of a few of the best school grants to apply to.
For more in-depth information, check out our full Waterford.org Foundations and Grants Guide 2020. There you’ll find a deeper dive, including information on types of funding available, how to find grants, and tips on preparing your applications. You can download our guide here. And you can always contact us with questions about RFPs for Waterford products.
Why Grants Are a Useful Way to Secure School Funding
School and classroom grants can fill in the gaps in school budgets, allowing educators to purchase resources they may otherwise be unable to access. And because many grants are available on rolling deadlines, teachers and administrators can apply as the need arises.
What is a grant and what makes it different from a loan? Grants are typically awarded to schools to help them fulfill a certain goal, like improving their school library or implementing new curriculum. There are many types of grants, such as educational technology or summer learning grants, each with different requirements. Some, for example, only require an application, while others need a grant proposal or proof of financial need.
The best part about grants is that, unlike loans, you don’t have to pay them off. For districts who need more financial support than their current budget provides, an education grant can be a much more helpful form of school funding over the long term than a loan.
Below, we’ve created a guide on notable K–12 grants for teachers and school administrators—including grants created in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Scroll through the application requirements and deadlines to find the right fit for your school’s needs.
12 of the Best School Grants in 2020 and How to Apply
American Association of Educators Classroom Grant: This educational grant provides up to $500 for teachers to purchase classroom resources such as books, curriculum, or audio-visual equipment.
Who’s Eligible: Full-time educators who have not received an AAE grant in the past two years
How to Apply: Send in an informational form and grant proposal by the Autumn (October 1) or Spring (March 1) deadline.
American Association of School Librarians Innovative Reading Grant: This curriculum grant assists school librarians in planning and implementing a program that motivates students to read, with an emphasis on struggling learners.
Who’s Eligible: Members of the American Association of School Librarians
How to Apply: Fill in and submit the online application, which is due February 1 of each year.
Dollar General Summer Literacy Grant: Through this grant, schools can set up and implement a summer reading program for students.
Who’s Eligible: School administrators, librarians, and local nonprofits that serve K–12 students
How to Apply: Submit an application during the open solicitation period, which is usually held early in the year.
DonorsChoose Grants: Teachers can create a fundraiser that allows others to donate toward goals like new school resources or classroom projects.
Who’s Eligible: Any teacher or school administrator with financial need
How to Apply: Create an account and set up a fundraiser, then share for others to donate.
Honda Community Grant: This grant provides public school districts with the funding they need to secure classroom technology or STEM curriculum.
Who’s Eligible: School or district administrators
How to Apply: Submit an online application and proposal along with two years of audited statements by the rolling deadlines. In response to the COVID-19 crisis, the next deadline has been moved up to June 1.
ILA Regie Routman Teacher Recognition Grant: This grant provides elementary or middle school teachers who are actively working to enrich or improve their classroom with $2,500.
Who’s Eligible: Teachers who work for a school in which at least 60% of the students qualify for free or reduced lunch
How to Apply: Fill out and send an application by June 1 of each year.
NCTM Enhancing Student Mathematics Learning through the Use of Tools and Technology Grants: This technology grant from the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics provides PreK–12 teachers with funding to purchase digital math curriculum or resources for their classroom.
Who’s Eligible: Teachers who are members of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics
How to Apply: Submit a proposal and application by the November 15 deadline.
NEA Foundation Rapid Response Grant: In response to COVID-19, the NEA is providing grants for educators who require funding to support their students through summer 2020.
Who’s Eligible: Teachers and school administrators who are current NEA members
How to Apply: Fill out the online application and submit a grant proposal. This grant has rolling deadlines.
NSF Discovery Research Grant: This edtech grant from the National Science Foundation provides funding for STEM programs in PreK–12 classrooms.
Who’s Eligible: PreK–12 educators with financial need
How to Apply: Send a full grant proposal by the second Wednesday in November each year.
Snapdragon Book Foundation: For school libraries in need, the Snapdragon Book Foundation provides annual grants for books and literary resources to enrich school reading programs.
Who’s Eligible: School librarians who serve disadvantaged communities
How to Apply: Fill out the online application and send by the annual February deadline.
U.S. General Services Administration Computers for Learning Program: Through this computer grant, educators who serve disadvantaged communities can request computers for their school.
Who’s Eligible: K–12 educators
How to Apply: Register online and complete the eligibility process to request computers.
Walmart Local Community Grants: This grant provides schools in need with the funding to complete educational projects or purchase classroom resources.
Who’s Eligible: K–12 public, private, or charter schools who exhibit financial need
How to Apply: Submit an online grant application, which has an annual deadline of December 31.
Applying for a Grant to Fund Waterford Literacy Programs? We Can Help!
Interested in choosing Waterford Reading Academy for your school? And searching for ways to fund it outside your formal budget? Our Grant and Funding department can support you. Start by downloading our Grant and Funding Guide, full of good advice and helpful information. Also, we’re happy to review any Waterford-specific grant application and provide data, statistics, and other Waterford information you’ll need.
Waterford Reading Academy is a PreK–6 reading program that uses the latest research in technology and education to guide students from emergent literacy to independent reading and writing. Through adaptive and age-appropriate curriculum, parent involvement resources, and user-friendly teacher reports, educators using Waterford Reading Academy can partner with families to help students not only grasp the fundamentals of reading but think and respond critically to what they read.
Get in touch to discuss how Waterford Reading Academy meet the needs of your students as they learn to read and then read to learn!