Are you looking for additional resources to bring your lessons to life and engage your students? Writing a grant might be the answer.

With the tight budgets school districts face today, many teachers are turning to grants to supplement the resources in their classrooms and enhance their students’ learning opportunities. Grants can enable teachers to invest in special projects, purchase equipment, and engage students in motivation-based activities.

Remember that the secret to student motivation is resources. With grants, teachers have access to more resources, especially in less affluent school districts. The more engaged students are, the more likely they are to enjoy learning, demonstrate an interest in classroom activities, and have better academic achievement. For example, if students have math anxiety, a grant targeted toward reducing this problem can help them. One solution might be to write a grant that will enable students to engage in problem-based math activities using manipulatives.

There are many grants available, especially for K-12 teachers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). STEM grants are especially important in fostering greater participation in the classroom among low-income and minority students. Companies are struggling to employ a diverse population in STEM fields. One of the main reasons students of color and girls don’t pursue careers in STEM fields is because they don’t do well in math and don’t take rigorous math courses in high school. Yet, if students are engaged in math in the early elementary years, then they are more likely to enroll in higher math course offerings as high school students and pursue STEM careers. Using grants to fund special projects can make math more interesting for students and increase their math skills, which is why many STEM companies award grants for this purpose. These special projects might include after-school tutoring, Saturday math literacy camps, and science academies.

Do’s and don’ts of the application process

To learn more about the grant-funding process and what reviewers look for, you may want to apply to serve as a volunteer reviewer on community-based initiatives. Many community organizations look for volunteers to review grants. This is one of the best techniques to help a novice grant writer learn about the process. As a grant reviewer, you will know exactly what grant panelists are looking for, and you will be able to use that knowledge to your advantage when you craft your own proposal.

The next step is finding grants to apply for. Research available grants in your content area and compile a list. Create your own grant calendar, marking submission deadlines for grants that interest you. Many grants are available for teachers to choose from; however, you must decide which grants best fit the needs of your classroom. It’s best to apply for multiple grants, because it can increase your funding opportunities and enable you to serve more students. When you’ve decided what to apply for, follow these tips to improve your chances of success:

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