A5 Grants & Special Projects News
September 2023 #grants4U&U&U!
Welcome Back to a New School Year!
👧🏽Here's hoping the opening of school was smooth, and you're all settling into a new year with another great bunch of students who are excited to be in YOUR classroom!🧑🏻
This bi-monthly newsletter will keep you up to date on available grant money, grant deadlines, and when in-person writing sessions will be held through the year. There are lots of very generous individuals, foundations and corporations looking to fund your classroom projects rather than have you pull 💵💵💵 out of your pockets! Whether STEM, Arts, Sports, Writing, or Literacy, there are grants out there to make your classroom ideas come to life.
Read on for information on grants available NOW plus a video of tips and tricks from a district DonorsChoose Ambassador on how she consistently gets classroom projects funded.
Happy Fall and have a Great Year!
Some FAQs on Grants
- Who can apply? - This is determined by the board making the grant. It's important to carefully read the request for proposals found on the corporate/foundation website to determine eligibility. Typically, a grant is only available to a nonprofit (which the school district qualifies) but some require a 501(c)(3) which is also available in our district. Contact the grant office at 📞ext. 20125 for more info.
- How do I apply? - First, notify principals and the grant office. All grant makers provide specific instructions and some have webinars to walk you through the process. Often they are recorded for viewing after school hours. If neither works out, call the grant office and make it known you would like to apply but can't attend the info session.
- Why do I have to always need to inform the grant office if I'm confident I can do it myself? - Sometimes, there are allocated funds that still need to be spent which might fit your project. For instance, one school did not get a grant it applied for, but was still able to receive funds through state money that fit the project. Win-win! Also, there is always paperwork that must be kept for auditors when it comes to money. It proves Anderson Five people spent the money where it was promised.
- What is required to apply? - It will definitely take some planning and writing, but help is available to walk you through the thinking and writing process. In general, know the project you would like to do, the method to accomplish it, the budget 💲💲 you need, and the standards it will satisfy. All the rest, including demographics and other data, can be researched for you to finish the application. Just call and ask for data you will need.
- When can I get the money? - The bottom line is it usually takes months. Very few grants are made quickly, with the exceptions of the South Carolina Arts Commission grants (monthly), Walmart Community Giving Grants (quarterly), and Bosch Eco-STEM Teacher grants (open now and funding in December). Carefully read the request for proposals to find out when the decision will be made and plan 📅 accordingly. NOW is a good time to apply for Spring projects. If funding is needed urgently, call the grant office for some other options.
- Where do I start? - If you have an idea you'd like to implement, first talk to your principal and get the okay ✔️🏁 . Then call ext. 20125 to find out if any grants are open that will fit the project. Always read these newsletters as open grants will be announced, however, sometimes you will be on topic-specific email lists and hear about them first. Either way, just jump right in by hitting the APPLY button to find out what the application looks like.
- Why should I apply for a grant? - School budgets are set months ahead of the school year but great ideas that need funds occur all the time. To get unbudgeted funds, grants are definitely a great way to go!
Quick Funding through Donors Choose Campaigns
In just a few weeks of school, 8 campaigns have already been funded -- some for more than $500. Don't miss the many matching opportunities available by getting your campaign ideas approved ahead of time. In general, the most successful DC Campaigns are under $1000.
If you have never tried a DonorsChoose campaign, here are the steps to get one started:
- First download the Online Fundraising Form found here and get building level signatures.
- Scan or interoffice mail to our Assistant Superintendent of Finance Amy Heard, at the Administrative Office. AmyHeard@Anderson5.net
- Remember we cannot do gift cards or Teachers Pay Teachers as part of your campaigns.
- Once you get an email back from Mrs. Heard, you can make your DC Campaign live.
To learn tips and tricks for getting your campaign funded via Facebook groups, watch this video by one of our district's DonorsChoose superstars, Michelle Traynum.
Congratulations to Media Specialist Elaine Park!📚
We could only hint about it in the final newsletter of 22-23, but congratulations to Elaine Park, Media Specialist at Homeland Park Primary, who was one of 300 recipients from 36 states across the country to receive a $5,000 grant through the Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries. This year, the Laura Bush Foundation awarded $1.5 million in library grants and Mrs. Park used hers to purchase 377 new books, including:
- 45 board books for K4 and K5 students
- 116 nonfiction books
- 29 biographies to represent strong females and multicultural individuals
- 81 multicultural books
- 106 early chapter books and graphic novels
Laura Bush Foundation for America's Libraries Grant applications for the 2023-2024 school year will open in late 2023.
Shout Out to Calhoun and Southwood Academy's Outstanding Grant Writers!
Homeland Park Students Pledge to "Read to Siblings"
Through a generous grant from Dollar General Literacy Foundation, students at Homeland Park are taking a pledge to not only work hard to learn to read, but to teach their younger siblings how to read also! With these funds, preschool siblings will be signed up for free books mailed every month through the Dolly Parton Imagination Library and HPPS students will get incentives for sharing their literacy learning skills at home -- like tokens to the school's new Book Vending Machine. Everyone is excited about reading at Homeland Park!