Funding & Awards

Learning & Leadership Grants Emphasize PD for STEM Ed

The NEA Foundation, a nonprofit that provides funding and resources for public schools, districts and educators to solve complex teaching and learning challenges and improve public education, is offering grants of $2,000 and $5,000 to support professional development projects. The Learning & Leadership Grants are geared toward individuals (to "participate in high-quality professional development like summer institutes, conferences, seminars, travel abroad programs, or action research") or groups (to "fund collegial study, including study groups, action research, lesson plan development, or mentoring experiences for faculty or staff"), according to the organization's website.

Applicants must be current members of the National Education Association who are educators or education support professionals in public schools or public higher education institutions. Preference will be given to projects that incorporate STEM and/or global learning, and education support professionals (such as para-educators, school bus drivers, maintenance and custodial staff, food services staff, school nurses and student services workers, clerical and office assistants, school security officers and technicians) are strongly encouraged to apply.

For individual grants, the funds can be used for professional development travel, accomodations, meals, registration fees, materials, etc. For group grants, the funds can be used for educator PD stipends, subtitute fees, materials, travel, meals, etc.

There are three deadlines for submissions throughout the year. The next deadline is June 1; applicants will be notified of their status by Sept. 15. The foundation awards about 120 grants total each year.

According to the foundation, selection criteria include:

  • Proposed goals for student achievement are challenging and rigorous;
  • Proposed work engages students in critical thinking and problem solving;
  • There is alignment between goals, assessment, activities and budget; and
  • The project is collaborative and can be sustained in future years and/or adopted by other educators.

For additional information, including detailed application instructions, visit the NEA Foundation site.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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