Over the years, I have been fortunate to find many great deals for my classroom and earn grants to increase teaching and learning for me and my students. Here are a few things that I check out….
Donors Choose: Donors Choose is an amazing website that was set up to enable the public to make donations directly to classrooms across the United States. I’ve been blessed with many funded opportunities from Donors Choose and community partners. I’ve gotten items like digital cameras, playground equipment, board games, a flatbed scanner, books and novels, math manipulatives, and more. I even recently received a MakerBot 3D printer for my classroom. With Donors Choose, I like to keep my projects between $100 and $300. In fact, every project that I’ve ever shared in that range has been funded! Start small, consider breaking larger projects into smaller components, and fill out that form!
Bright Ideas: Our local energy coop funds education grants for teachers. I’ve recently received word that I received an $1800 grant for an outdoor classroom space, including a weather station. Bright Ideas is a North Carolina “thing” but other agencies around the US surely have similar programs. For Bright Ideas, I’ve found that a thorough idea that ties curriculum and community, and provides resources that can be used year after year, are a great way to start!
Thrift Stores: I’ve found amazing things for my classroom at local thrift stores, including books for my classroom library. When you tell proprietors that you are a teacher, suddenly new “deals” sometimes come to be. One of my favorite local shops in Wilmington used to give teachers BOGO on books that were already in the $1-$2 range. It was wonderful as I was starting my teaching career.
I also follow Grant Wrangler for ideas and updates on grants for teachers.
Check out my friend Dacia Jones, who is a DEN Star, Educator, and grant writer extraordinaire!