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Grants can fund your technology projects

New York Teacher
GrantsAlert.com

Websites such as GrantsAlert.com provide opportunities to fund what you need for your classroom.

The start of a school year is a good time to plan how to integrate technology in your classroom. Many teachers have great ideas but do not have access to the hardware or software they need to run with them. Other than asking your principal to purchase equipment on a tight budget, education grants can provide needed funds for technology projects.

Before you apply for any grant, check the guidelines carefully. Many organizations are specific about what and who they will fund. Be sure to read the mission of the foundation and tailor your application accordingly. Some programs provide funding directly to teachers while others will only award grants to a school. If only a school grant is possible, you can team up with other staff members but will need the cooperation of your administration to apply.

Literally hundreds of organizations offer grants to teachers, so be sure to look for reputable opportunities. You should never have to pay to apply for a grant. Check carefully to see if an organization will provide funding for what you need. If a grant specifically states they won’t fund hardware and you want to purchase laptops, you’ll be out of luck.

Here are just a few of the many opportunities out there:

Many New York City teachers already know about Donors Choose, and I personally know several teachers who have funded technology purchases this way. Check their help pages for advice on how to apply.

Grants.gov is published by the U.S. Health and Human Services Department and is a clearinghouse for thousands of grant opportunities. The list is comprehensive, but also overwhelming. I find the site to be most helpful for their resources, such as advice on grant writing.

GrantsAlert.com is a much more digestible collection. I found many grants, all related to technology, for New York City teachers and schools here. You can search for grants by location, keyword and type of organization.

The Toshiba America Foundation awards grants to teachers for innovative, project-based learning classroom projects to make science and math more engaging for their students. The elementary-level grants are awarded once annually, and the 6–12 grants have staggered deadlines throughout the year.

The ecoTech Grant from the Captain Planet Foundation awards grants to schools for inquiry and STEM-related projects that leverage technology to address environmental problems in local communities and also funds equipment purchases. The grant opens in September with a deadline of January 2020. The Captain Planet Foundation also offers science kits for environmental study that teachers may apply for directly.

Verizon offers $1,000 grants directly to teachers every year through its Beacon Technology Teacher Grant. The grant period has closed for this year, but you can review this year’s materials, and keep an eye out for 2020 deadlines.

Sandy Scragg is an instructional technology specialist with more than 15 years of experience in New York City public schools.