5 Reasons to Apply for Grants

1) You need the money.  Let's get the obvious one out of the way first.  Education funding seems to be dwindling just when the technology opportunities and cost of print materials are skyrocketing.  If you find yourself in a school system with limited local or state support, your students need you more than ever.  By all means, continue to make the case to restore public funding for your schools, but don't wait for that to come through. The resources your students need run from low cost to only for the wealthy. Pick one thing you can do to improve your students' learning, identify the cost, and don't let the price stand in your way of delivering.  

2) Clarify your goals. The grant application process will force you to take your idea from a dream to a goal with plans to accomplish it. You cannot overestimate the value in that.  Having actionable steps to make your dream come to life is empowering in itself.  You may even discover there are ways to break it down into small enough projects to get it funded with existing resources.  

3) Success is Contagious. Once you receive your first grant and start showing the positive impact, others will want to support you. It's easier to promote your students' success through the grant's public relations. Even if it doesn't lead to direct increased funding of your program, it could help you make connections to other teachers and/or community members that will help you move forward with your learning goals.  That's the most important thing anyway.

4) Researching grants leads to inspiring ideas.  Teachers would apply for more grants, if they could just find the time.  After all there are only 24 hours in a day and only so many hours that you can devote to the work.  Every hour you spend working on a grant is one less hour that you have with your family or friends, or one less hour working on your classroom.  But, it's really not that simple.  As you research grants, you will learn about other teacher's inspired ideas to improve learning.  In many cases, this will lead to improvements in your practice even if you don't get a grant to support your implementation in the same way. That is definitely time well spent.

5) It's not as hard as you think. You've written -not to mention taught and read - countless persuasive papers in your career as a student and teacher.  That's a good place to start.  There are people at your school and district that are ready to help you gather the demographic, financial, and assessment data you need. (Bonus: another connection for you if you haven't already met these people). There are communities online that serve as portals to grants and grantwriting to make the search and the process less cumbersome.  My favorite : getedfunding.com and the EdWeb.net community groups.

Grant Opprtunities that are available to every K-12 teacher


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