August 7, 2016

How to get FREE $$$ for your Classroom

I have had many teachers tell me how much their students LOVE using my Fluency & Fitness activities in the classroom. Teachers love that they don't miss any instructional time, yet their students get a chance to get the wiggles out. For teachers that want the Fluency & Fitness MEGA bundle, it is a big purchase. What if I told you that you could get it for FREE? One teacher told me that she applied for a grant to get the MEGA bundle for her classroom. I thought that was a FANTASTIC idea, so I wanted to share with your all the different ways that you can get FREE $$$ for your classroom! 

 If you don't know what Fluency & Fitness is, here's a little sneak peek. 
There are MANY companies out there that provide grants for classrooms and many companies are looking to provide grants that incorporate movement and a healthy lifestyle into the classroom. Many of these grants below are technology related, but some of them provide grants for anything and everything. There are also ways to post the projects/supplies you need for your classroom and the public can donate to help your classroom.

Get Donations for your Classroom
Donor's Choose & Target
If you haven't heard of Donor's Choose, it's a great way to get some money for your classroom! You simply fill out a form explaining what materials you need for your classroom and how it will be used. The public can then donate a little or a lot to help fund your project. Many businesses also use this site to match donations so your project can get funded quicker. Sharing your project on social media is an easy way to show your friends and family how they can help support your classroom. 
Even better yet, Target has partnered up with Donor's Choose and they are giving away $5 MILLION toward teacher's projects and classroom requests.  They are funding Health & Sports projects that will help students live a healthier and more active lifestyle. Some of the teachers that have already been funded requested items such as sports balls, balance balls, bouncy bands, pedometers, yoga mats, etc. You can set up your own Donor's Choose page here and find out the details of what types of things Target is looking to fund. The deadline is October 1, 2016.   
If you like Donor's Choose, you'll LOVE PledgeCents! It's very similar, in the fact that you will list what supplies/projects you need for your classroom and then then public can donate money. You can even ask for annual subscriptions to your favorite websites to be funded. However, the part I love about this company, is that you get to keep ALL of the money raised, even if your project doesn't get fully funded! Check out their website here

Apply for Grants (state/local)
State grants
If you can't find any national grants or your project wasn't chosen to be funded, try searching for grants offered by your state or companies in your state. I just googled "Indiana grants for teachers" and right way this grant program from he Lily Endowment company popped up. They are accepting applications until September 1, 2016. Indiana residents can apply here
Visit your state education website to look for grants. The Indiana Dept. of Education has a few grants listed here

Local Grants
Many school corporations have education foundations that also provide grants. I have received a few $500 from our local education foundation and the form to fill out was one of the easiest! Ask your principal or other teachers if they know of any local grants offered by your school or community. 
                Apply for Grants (corporations)
Corning Incorporated Foundation
The Corning Incorporated Foundations provides a variety of grants for classrooms every year. They give back over $5 million annually to communities. "The Corning Incorporated Foundation grants for local education programs reflect a strong commitment to ensuring an informed citizenry and a skilled workforce. To that end, Foundation funding tends to target innovative and collaborative projects that enhance the teaching and learning of science and math curricula with the goal of improving student outcomes". (Corning Incorporated Foundation website) You can apply for one of their grants here.
NEA Foundation 
If you are a NEA member than you can apply for grants from he NEA Foundation. They have given schools over $7 million in 10 years! Their grants are also open-ended, but you do have to be a NEA member. Visit the NEA Foundation grant website here.
Forum Credit Union
Look for larger companies such as banks, grocery stores, big box stores, etc. that offers grants. I came across this grant offered by the Forum Credit Union for any of their FCU members in good standing. Applications are accepted until September 1, 2016. If you are a FCU member you can apply here.

Teachers Count
Instead of being 1 specific grant, Teachers Count gives you a big list of websites and companies that provide grants. This website is nice because it will break the grants down into categories which may give your grant request a higher chance of getting funded. You can visit their site here

Grant Wrangler 
Grant Wrangler also lets you search many grants at one time. You can search by categories, keywords, deadlines, etc.  You can visit their site here
As you can see their are SO MANY WAYS to get funds for your classroom. The money is out there to support your students and your projects, sometimes you just have to do a little digging! 

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