Grants, Opportunities & Free Resources

Communicator April 2013, Volume 36, Issue 8 Grants | Classroom Resources | Curricula & Teaching Tools Professional Development & Learning

April 2013, Volume 36, Issue 8

Grants | Classroom Resources | Curricula & Teaching Tools
Professional Development & Learning


Investing in Innovation (i3) Grant Competition
The U.S. Department of Education has announced the start of its $150 million 2013 Investing in Innovation (i3) grant competition, designed to support innovative practices that can improve student learning.

The program includes three categories: Development, Validation, and Scale-up. Development grants have proven popular and successful in recent years, with more than 650 applications submitted last year. The Department of Education is currently accepting pre-applications for their Development grants, which fund promising yet relatively untested ideas. Investing in Innovation grants asks that applicants address one of the following priorities:

  1. Improving the Effectiveness of Teachers or Principals
  2. Improving Low-Performing Schools
  3. Improving Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education
  4. Improving Academic Outcomes for Students with Disabilities
  5. Improving Academic Outcomes for English Learners (ELs)
  6. Improving Parent and Family Engagement
  7. Effective Use of Technology
  8. Serving Rural Communities
    *Note that this year’s applicants applying under this priority must address one of the other seven absolute priorities for the FY 2013 i3 Development competition listed above, while serving students enrolled in rural LEAs.

Information on the Development grant and the application process are provided through a Pre-Application Package, and webinars and tools to assist potential applicants. Along with these resources, the full details of the i3 grant program can be found on the DoED website, at
Pre-Application Deadline: April 26th, 2013 (4:30 p.m. EDT)

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USDA Farm to School Grant

Every year, the United States Department of Agriculture awards up to $5 million in competitive grants for training, supporting operations, planning, purchasing equipment, developing school gardens, developing partnerships, and implementing farm to school programs. USDA is soliciting applications for three types of grants:

  • Planning grants are intended for school districts or schools just starting to incorporate farm to school program elements into their operations.
  • Implementation grants are intended for school districts or schools to help scale or further develop existing farm to school initiatives.
  • Support Service grants are intended for state and local agencies, Indian tribal organizations, agricultural producers or groups of agricultural producers, and non-profit entities working with school districts or schools to further develop existing farm to school initiatives and to provide broad reaching support services to farm to school initiatives.

Deadline: April 24

I Am a Leader Foundation Grants
I Am a Leader is a private grantmaking foundation dedicated to providing programs and services that build students’ character and leadership in elementary schools around the world. The foundation is accepting their second round of applications for the 2013-2014 school year until 12 noon MST on April 30, 2013.
Deadline: April 30, 12 noon MST

Teacher Tool Kit Grants
The Kids in Need Foundation, in partnership with Elmer’s, will be sponsoring approximately 300 grants for teachers who wish to conduct classroom projects selected from a catalog of more than 500 projects. The grants range from $100 to $500, and are meant to provide teachers with the tools to strengthen critical thinking skills, creativity, and core knowledge among students. The grants are awarded based on financial need, how the project meets the educational needs of the students and satisfies the state standards or curriculum requirements of the school, and the number of students who will benefit from the project.
Deadline: April 30

Win a Wireless Lab Sweepstakes
Are you ready to win a wireless lab for your school? With your support and enthusiastic participation, your school could be awarded one of two grand prizes, each worth $40,000. Each grand prize Wireless Lab includes A classroom technology bundle from CDW-G: 20 notebooks or tablets; three wireless access points; notebook cart; projector and stand; document camera; student response system and a printer—and a $5,000 digital media grant from Discovery Education.
Deadline: May 3

Champion Creatively Alive Children
NAESP and Crayola have teamed up to support arts-infused education. Each year we award 20 schools with grants valued at $3,500 to implement arts programming. Free training modules are also available online that include videos, handouts, and worksheets geared for your school’s art programs. Early bird applicants will receive a Crayola product Classpack®.
Early Bird Deadline: June 10
Final Deadline: June 21

Literacy Empowerment Foundation – Common Core Book Grants
Schools can apply to receive a free set of Common Core books for each set ordered at normal price. There is no special application or screening process. Simply choose from over a hundred different titles. There is a limit of $40,000 worth of books per school.
Final Deadline: June 30

Run For Something Better School Awards Program
ING Run For Something Better (ING RFSB), in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), has developed a school-based running program. The awards program will provide a minimum of 50 grants up to $2,500 for each school that desire to establish a school based running program or expand an existing one.
Deadline: May 15

President’s Environmental Youth Awards
The President’s Environmental Youth Award program promotes awareness of our nation’s natural resources and encourages positive community involvement. Since 1971, the President of the United States has joined with EPA to recognize young people across the U.S. for protecting our nation’s air, water, land, and ecology.
Deadline: December 31

Tennis, Anyone?
United States Tennis Association Southern offers matching equipment grants to elementary schools that organize a kids’ tennis club. No tennis courts are required. Kids’ tennis clubs can be located in schools, parks, youth centers, or tennis facilities. This grant is available for schools in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Deadline: Ongoing

Grant for Salad Bars in Schools
Seeking to increase children’s consumption of fruits and vegetables, the Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools program plans to fund and grant 6,000 salad bars to schools across the nation by 2013. Any K-12 school or district participating in the National School Lunch Program is eligible to apply.
Deadline: Rolling

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Books for Children in Need

First Book donates 35,000 books per day to programs and schools serving children from low-income families throughout the United States and Canada. Educators or program administrators at schools where at least 70 percent of the children come from low-income families are eligible to apply for the nonprofit’s book distribution programs.

Free Classroom Supplies
Teachers can use a helping hand when it comes to stocking up on school supplies. That is why The Clorox Company is launching the Canisters for Classrooms program to help teachers get Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes for their classrooms and get parents involved in donating, too! When teachers put Clorox Disinfecting Wipes on their back-to-school list, Clorox will automatically donate two canisters to their classroom (while supplies last)! Visit Clorox Classrooms to upload your back-to-school supply list or create your back-to-school supply list online.

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Financial Literacy Resources

Money as You Grow—20 Things Kids Need to Know to Live Financially Smart Lives, an online tool to help improve the financial capability of America’s youth, offers 20 essential, age-appropriate lessons kids need to learn about money. The President’s Council on Financial Capability developed the website.

Free Fitness Curriculum
The ACE Operation FitKids curriculum from the American Council on Exercise is designed for educators looking to integrate health and fitness into classroom learning. The 7-lesson curricula for grades 3 to 8 and teach students the dangers of being overweight and the importance of a healthy and active lifestyle.

Free Pen Pal Club Subscription
Pen Pal Kids Club, a global social network for kids, is offering free classroom subscriptions to K-8 teachers across the United States. The website promotes cross-curricular collaboration by integrating nonfiction writing, geography, social studies, and technology while offering students a chance to discover different cultures and meet new friends from across the globe.

Powerful Free Tool for Data, Tutoring
School leaders know that every minute spent testing is a minute taken away from teaching. ASSISTments, a new, free web-based platform developed by Worcester Polytechnic Institute, aims to change that, offering teachers the ability to blend assessment questions and tutoring. Students receive real-time guidance, while teachers see instant reports on student progress. Plus schools and districts can build benchmarks right into the system. Contact for training and more information.

Symbaloo Personal Learning Environment
Symbaloo is a free cloud-based, student centered educational solution that allows easy bookmarking of important websites along with the ability to share these resources. Teachers and students have instant access to their important resources, regardless of their device or where they are. To learn more, visit

Grades of Green
Grades of Green is an environmental education non-profit with the mission to empower and inspire students and the broader school community to protect the environment. Their website offers free tools, lesson plans and activities for teachers and principals to use to green their schools.

We Do Listen Foundation
The We Do Listen Foundation is home to a host of free educational resources for children. The award-winning Howard B. Wigglebottom animated books are available online, along with songs, games, activities, and more, including guidelines and resources for dealing with issues like bullying.

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Green Strides – Webinar Series

This webinar series, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools initiative, features experts from the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and other federal programs. Topics include fitness, solar energy, life in space, and more.

Implementing Common Core Standards in Math – Webinar Series
This free webinar series and online professional learning community, sponsored by ETA/Cuisenaire, provides advice and support regarding the national math curriculum. The program provides free webinars, live chats, lesson plans and online discussions to assist teachers in connecting and collaborating with others in the same grade level.

Global Learning for Educators – Webinar Series
The Asia Society is providing a free, year-long webinar series, Global Learning for Educators, designed to help educators prepare students for college and the interconnected world beyond. Topics include project-based global learning, preparing your school for global learning initiatives, and more.

RTI in Early Childhood Settings – Webcast
“Implementing Response to Intervention in Early Childhood Settings: National, State, and Program Perspectives,” an 80-minute webcast from the RTI Action Network, features a panel of nationally recognized researchers and dynamic RTI implementers on RTI’s role RTI in early childhood. This unique blend of multiple perspectives targets matching high-quality instruction and interventions to meet learning needs during the early childhood years.

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