Great teachers are always looking for new ways to expand their instruction and engage their students. Innovative teaching is important--but it can be expensive.
Luckily, there are a wide variety of sources available for funding educational initiatives. Grants, fellowships and scholarships are available for teachers who want to help their students.
These funds come from all sorts of sources, from the federal government to private companies and charities, and they focus on a wide range of topics. Teaching grants can fund professional development, classroom enrichment, school supplies, field trips and almost anything else that goes into bettering the quality of education.
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Description: The NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education awards grants that support the professional development of public school teachers and faculty in public institutions of higher education. Grants may fund professional development experiences, such as summer institutes or action research, mentoring experiences or lesson study. Professional development must improve practice, curriculum and student achievement, and recipients must put professional leadership into practice by sharing what they learn with their colleagues. Grants cannot be used to fund a degree. For specific information, visit the NEA Foundation’s application instructions page.
Amount: $6,000 monthly stipend, $1,000 monthly living expenses
Description: This grant is an excellent and unique professional development opportunity for K-12 teachers who have at least five years of experience teaching in STEM subjects. STEM educators participate in 10- or 11-month positions in federal agencies or U.S. congressional offices across the country, during which time they are given the chance to have a direct impact on education programming, policy and reform efforts. After the program, teachers return to the classroom with a deeper understanding of STEM education and experience that will enrich instruction and benefit students. You can learn more about the fellowship application on the Albert Einstein Distinguished Education Fellowship Program website.
Description: Fund for Teachers is unique in that it awards grants for professional development based on the principle that the teacher is the one who knows what they need to grow as an educator. These grants are self designed and allow teachers to create their own professional development opportunity based on what is most beneficial to their teaching in their own opinions. The Fund for Teachers application encourages educators to think about their objectives, motivations and the impact their particular plan of action will have on students.
Description: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation provides Teacher Development Grants for individual teachers or small teams working in K-12 education. To foster insightful and innovative professional training and growth, the grants allow you to implement new teaching methods and strategies in the classroom. Projects can take a variety of forms, but each of them must be geared towards having a significant and lasting impact in the classroom. Winners work closely with the foundation to implement their ideas and are awarded up to $10,000 for the first three years of the project.
Discount: While not a traditional grant, DonorsChoose.org is an excellent way of raising funds for your classroom. Public school teachers essentially propose classroom projects and post their proposals on the website. In these proposals, you will include very specific items that you need, ranging from standard tool supplies to microscopes, laboratory equipment and computer software. Donors browse the site and have the opportunity to donate money to your cause.
Description: The Kids in Need Foundation, a leading organization aiming to provide free school supplies to students in need, has partnered with the educational product company Elmer’s to create grants specifically for classroom supplies. The Teacher’s Tool Kit Grant lets K-12 teachers in high-needs schools fund classroom projects that aim to foster creativity and critical thinking in students. Grants are awarded based on financial need, a description of how the project meets the students’ needs and the number of students who will be involved. The application is available on the Kids in Need Foundation’s website.
Description: Since 2007, the Target Company has donated more than $16 million in grants to the improvement of education. As part of their efforts, Target seeks to expand the parameters of the classroom by providing opportunities for you to fund educational excursions for your classes. Each Target store in the United States will award three Target Field Trip Grants, enabling one in 25 schools throughout the country to send a classroom on a field trip. Funds may be used for transportation, registration for events, admission prices and other field trip expenditures.
Description: The NEA Foundation allows practicing public school teachers to apply for the funding of programs designed to improve the academic achievement of students. You must create a plan that fosters critical thinking and problem solving in students and aims to expand their comprehension of various subjects. The grant will fund your efforts for 12 months, and funding may be used for resource materials, supplies, equipment, transportation and technology — any part of the proposed plan that has a direct impact on the students’ learning. For specific application information, visit the NEA Foundation’s application instructions page.
Description: ING Commercial Banking established the Unsung Heroes in 1995 in an effort to recognize teachers implementing new teaching methods and techniques for improving student learning. The award application is centered on a description of previous projects teachers have worked on or plans they would like to enact in the future to benefit their classroom. Applications are judged on innovation, creativity and the potential to positively influence students. Each year, 100 finalists receive $2,000 grants, with at least one grant awarded in each of the 50 states. Of those 100 finalists, three winners are selected to receive awards of $25,000, $10,000 and $5,000.
Description: The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronauts is dedicated to the importance of STEM education and awards $200 in grants to K-12 teachers who want to incorporate new ways of teaching science, technology, education and mathematics into their classroom. Funds can be used to purchase laboratory equipment, math and science software, robotics supplies, and other items that will add depth and dimension to your lessons.
Description: The National Weather Association aims to support the importance of meteorology in elementary, middle and high school by awarding grants to teachers who demonstrate a commitment to improving the quality of meteorology education, a science subject that is frequently overlooked. Funds may be used for the purchasing of materials or equipment, the establishment of community outreach science programs or professional development. You can apply for the grant by visiting the NWA Sol Hirsch Education Fund Grants website.
Description: The American Chemical Society gives innovative chemistry teachers the opportunity to put their ideas into action. The ACS-Hach High School Chemistry Grant was established to promote dynamic and engaging scientific exploration in students. It is awarded to high school teachers who wish to enhance classroom learning and raise students’ interest in chemistry. Funds can be used to purchase laboratory equipment, supplies and instructional materials, but also the cost of professional development opportunities, field studies and science outreach events.
Description: The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM) offers this grant for math teachers in grades PreK through 5 who have demonstrated a commitment to strengthening their own teaching methods and applying innovative new ides to their classrooms. Applicants must have the support of their principals and be members of NCTM. Funds may be used for professional development, including college coursework, fees associated with attendance at national conferences and material resources. This is one of numerous NTCM grants available to teachers.
Description: The Lemelson-MIT Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology recognizes the important achievements of inventors and has created the InvenTeams initiative, a grant program that focuses exclusively on STEM education. The InvenTeams program encourages hands-on engagement and the application of science, technology, education and mathematics concepts to the solving of real world problems. Teams of students and teachers apply for InvenTeams grant by finding a timely and relevant societal issue, and conceptualizing an technological invention that can help solve that problem. Up to 15 teams are chosen to receive grants that help fund the actual invention of their idea.
Description: In partnership with the National Science Teachers Association, leading car manufacturer Toyota has established a grant that helps K-12 teachers fund innovative, community-based science projects in environmental science, physical science, and integrating literacy and science. The grants aim to help teachers increase the quality of science education and promote interest in students. For information on how to apply, visit the Toyota Tapestry Grant Registration page.
Description: The International Reading Association awards grants to outstanding public school teachers in schools that serve low-income families. You must work with elementary school students in grades K-6, and 60 percent of the school’s students must be eligible for free or reduced-price lunches. Grants are used to support you in improving the quality of reading and writing education through innovative approaches that combine learning and real world contexts. It is one of numerous IRA grants for efforts to improve literacy.
Description: This grant is for teachers who need an extra bit of funding fo classroom supplies, educational subscriptions, apps for students, and more. Beacon offers this grant 1-2 times a year. To be considered, submit a tech-focused lesson plan following their guidelines and instructions. Winners will also have their lesson plans featured on the Beacon blog!