Grants to Help Educators to Weather the COVID-19 Health Crisis

As the summer winds down, families everywhere are preparing for the busy back to school season. This year's start of the academic year has been made even more anxious as the COVID-19 global pandemic continues to be a widespread problem. As Congress continues to hash out the details of the new economic recovery package, school districts are needing to make their funding decisions as they look to the upcoming year.

One of the ways that educators can sustain a high level of learning throughout this health crisis is through the use of financial grants. Securing additional funding through the use of grants is particularly important if the school district plans on using an online learning model. Here are five ways that educators can use grants for a variety of purposes designed to enhance the learning experience.

General Classroom Enrichment

The cornerstone of all educational grant funding is for general classroom enrichment purposes. Here are a few of the organizations to look into if you are needing funding to help to provide a better experience for your students.

  • NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants - The National Education Association (NEA) offers grants to public school teachers looking to boost the academic performance of their students. The money from this program is good for an entire year and can be used for various supplies, equipment, and technology purposes.

  • - This flexible grant funding option is designed to help teachers customize their own proposals to raise funds for their specific classroom. Public school teachers can draft their personal proposals to generate money for classroom projects and post these requests online to solicit grant donors.

  • Elmer's Teacher Tool Kit Grant - This grant program is a partnership between Elmer's and The Kids in Need Foundation. The program creates grants for classroom supplies for high-needs schools. The money is awarded largely on financial need and is designed to provide the supplies needed to foster a creative learning enviornment.

Specific STEM Funding

Anyone involved in the educational system understands that there has been a definitive push toward STEM learning. Encompassing all fields of science, technology, engineering, and math, STEM grant funding is one of the most common requests of educators from all over the world. Here are a few leading grant options to consider.

  • Emerging Teacher-Leaders in Elementary School Mathematics Grants - Offered by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NTCM), these grants are designated for educators in grades PreK through 5th who want to apply innovative teaching techniques for math in their classrooms.

  • Toyota Tapestry Grants for Science Teachers - Toyota has teamed up with the National Science Teachers Association to establish grants that provide assistance for teachers in grades kindergarten through 12th to fund community-based science initiatives and projects. The grants are engineered to promote the integration of literacy with scientific principles.

Teacher Professional Development and Training

In order for the educational system to continue to flourish, teachers need to be diligent about staying to date on the latest professional development and training. Here are few grants to help with that initiative.

  • NEA Foundation Learning and Leadership Grants - Supported by the NEA Foundation for the Improvement of Education, these learning and leadership grants are an invaluable resource for the professional development for teachers in primary, secondary, and higher learning institutions. While they cannot be used to fund an actual degree, the money can be applied toward a variety of mentoring and development experiences such as summer programs.

  • Fund for Teachers - This grant program gives the educator control over their professional development experience, providing money to teachers who want to enhance their education so that they can further impact the youth that they serve in tangible ways. This versatile funding encourages teachers to plan their own path in professional development to meet their specific continuing education needs.

These grants come from a wide array of sources, including federal funding, private corporations, and charities. As educational administrators are forced to think outside of the box to respond to the pandemic and its learning constraints, it is clear that the use of grants will play a crucial role in ensuring that all children receive the education that they need to be successful.

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