Saturday, January 1, 2011

Grant Writing and YOU, a Winning Combination

As we enter the new calendar year, teachers at the midpoint of the school year are dreaming up ways to improve their teaching to make their classrooms even better during the second semester. By January, we have gotten to know our students and their learning habits really well, and we are learning what works best with each group. With this knowledge, we can come up with some great ideas to bring in the classroom, but many of these ideas will never be able to come to fruition without funding. Our posts this week are focusing on an important issue for teachers during tough economic times: how to get more money for your classroom.

Many of our posts here on The Gateway focus on doing more with less. We want to help you bring new tools and ideas into your teaching without spending any extra money. Most of the resources catalogued on site and the recommendations in our columns and on our Facebook and Twitter sites can be used free of charge. As you try these resources in your class and begin to collaborate with other educators, you might start thinking of even bigger ideas to implement. Some of these ideas will require money, which can be hard to come by sometimes.

If your plans require new classroom supplies, fancy new tech gadgets, or even professional development training, you may want to consider applying for a grant to cover the costs. This process can seem very intimidating, so be sure to read Joann’s post this week: “A Modest Proposal: Education Grants,” a kind of grant-writing 101 to guide educators through the process. The links she shares include samples of how to write grants, lists of places you might be able to find grants, and testimonials from teachers who have been successful at obtaining grant money for their classrooms. There is also a nice overview and discussion of writing grants on Teacher Tap. Another teacher wrote a blog entry for the NEA Foundation about the grant-writing experience.
Reading these articles might give you a better idea of how grants can help in your classroom.

Searching The Gateway and the internet can help you find even more helpful resources. If you don’t find what you are looking for in Joann’s post or the links above, try one of these three links from The Gateway. The first two are collections of grant resources from The Educator’s Reference Desk. One has links to general grants and the other has links for technology grants. The third link is an example of a professional development grant from EDSitement.

As educators, we need to be proactive in securing funds from our communities to ensure that our students are receiving the best education they can get. We would love to continue this conversation on our Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the year. If you have ideas or success stories to share with others or questions to ask teachers who are more experienced with grant-writing, please let us know.

~Peggy's Corner - 12/30/2010~

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