Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Educational Grants That Are Easy to Apply for

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Sep 20, 2017 @ 11:09 AM

9607386125_200d5cd45a_q.jpgWe often highlight education grants because of the need. According to a story by ABCNews, teachers pay for 77% of the school supplies needed in their own classroom. Even though school is well underway, we’re aware that teachers may still be looking for grants to help provide the supplies students need to learn. The grants below can help provide extra dollars for supplies without requiring intensive time and effort.  

Clif Bar Family Foundation

The Clif Bar Family Foundation awards small grants three times a year. These grants can be for organizational support as well as for funding for specific projects. This funding averages $7,000 per grant. Applications are reviewed three times a year with deadlines of the Feb. 1, Jun. 1, and Oct. 1 (coming right up!). Grants awarded during a particular cycle will be announced at the beginning of the following cycle. Teachers and school administrators looking to apply will focus on the foundation’s community category. In this funding area a California school received funding for its afterschool program and another school has been awarded funding for outdoor education needs.

Technology Teacher Grant

Verizon wants to make sure students know why technology is important and how to use this technology in the classroom as well as in the real world. K-8 teachers are eligible to apply. Teachers hoping to apply must submit a tech-focused lesson plan to teach students about applications for technology in the teacher's specific subject area. The grant comes in the form of a Visa gift card. 1st and 2nd place winners receive $1,000 each, while 3rd-6th place grantees receive $500 each. Applications are due Saturday, Dec. 9.

Lily Sarah Grace

K-5 Title 1 School teachers have until Nov. 30 to apply for a grant from the Lily Sarah Grace Foundation. Projects funded by this program must use arts-infused inquiry-based learning to teach. The project must also focus on the foundation’s five C’s: creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication, and community. The maximum grant is $450. The story behind this foundation is worth mentioning. Lily, Sarah, and Grace were sisters who lost their lives in a fire. To honor their memory their father started this foundation to support what his daughters loved to do best: art.

Dollar General

This retailer runs the Family Literacy Grants program. Family literacy service providers are eligible to apply. Eligible programs must provide adult education instruction, children’s education, and parent child together time. Colleges, universities, and school districts have been awardees in the past. The 2017 grant program is closed now. The 2018 Family Literacy grant application will be available in Jan. 2018.


You might not need Grant Helper support to apply for these grants, but we are prepared to help with these or others where you want to increase your funding. We are a full-service grant company that aims to find funding for schools, municipalities, and non-profit organizations. In addition to locating grants we can also provide a wide range of services including editing, managing, and applying for grants. Contact us today for a free consultation.

 

Photo Credit: US Department of Education

Topics: education, education resources, education funds, literacy grants, literacy, educational opportunities, grants for educational technology, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, grants for education, education grant, art education grant, art education, educational technology grants, school technology grants, grant for school technology

Grant Ideas for Educators - Part 2: Finding Support for Your Project

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Wed, Jun 21, 2017 @ 09:06 AM

In our blog article from two weeks ago, we discussed strategies for making your educational grant more fundable. This week’s blog discusses finding a variety of funding avenues to help successfully support your educational project.

Funding Avenues for Schools

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Since we’re a grant helping company, grant funding is an obvious source of financial support. We’re aware that depending on the project, proposal development can present challenges and take a chunk of resources to prepare a competitive proposal. Many funding agencies are experiencing the same cuts schools are, and finding specific grants that are well-suited to specific projects (and in specific geographical areas, etc.) can be difficult. The application process itself can be extensive, particular, and time consuming. We can help with all of steps of this process.  Even with our help, though, our interactive approach still requires an investment of time to plan and present a strong project for funding.

Websites for School Funding

Websites such as DonorsChooseGoFundMe, and others are very popular for educational projects. A simple visit to their websites will show many of the projects they assist in funding. Be sure to read the fine print. For some of these websites, you must give a percentage of the cost of the project back to the site for successful funding of your project. Additionally, most of the time, your project is only funded if it raises the full level of support needed. (You do not keep the portion you raised if you did not meet 100% of your goal.)

Horace Mann Educators Corporation

Horace Mann is a corporation started originally by teachers and for teachers. It focuses on providing teachers with affordable insurance, among other services. One of those services includes helping teachers find funding for the projects they want to execute in their classrooms. Consider contacting your local Horace Mann agent for information on how he or she can assist you in setting up a funding plan for your next project.

Community Support

Community support gets called upon frequently, but if you live in a generous and supportive community, or even if you don’t, consider reaching out to community businesses and services that pair well with your project. For example, maybe a local business would be willing to partially fund a new business development program at your school. You might even offer naming the program or project after the business(es) that support your project and installing a plaque or banner on something more concrete in their honor.


Despite our “Grant Helpers” name, we have helped many clients with multiple types of fundraising.  Contact us to brainstorm ideas at no charge.

Photo credit: Tracy Lawson

Topics: education, education resources, education funds, art grant art education grant, STEM Education, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, corporate grant for education, education grant, art education grant, early childhood education, art education, Education grants for Native Americans

Grant Ideas for Educators - Part I: Planning for Fundability

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Wed, Jun 7, 2017 @ 10:06 AM

Finding Grants and Other Funds for Education

Summer is upon us, and for many educators school is out for the summer. While summer provides a nice break from the classroom and the routine of plan, teach, and grade, it can also serve as a fantastic opportunity for educators to put their energy into planning for projects or future needs and wants of their schools.2447140827_d0a7e12413_z.jpg

Planning for projects, wants, and needs is one thing. Finding funding in today’s world of budget cuts is a different story. Educators need to keep some core principals in mind and consider multiple methods and avenues of funding. Below are some approaches that we encourage you to keep in mind. Please feel free to contact us if you need additional assistance in developing funding strategies, finding sources, applying for funding, or executing awards.

Strategies for Grant Programs to Propose

1. Consider reach. Most funders want their money to reach as many students as possible, so think of ways your idea could help large numbers of students. For example, a technology cart for a specific classroom teacher will reach only that teacher’s students, whereas one that is utilized by an entire department will likely impact a greater number of students.

2. Consider sustainability. As with “reach,” greater sustainability usually means higher odds of funding. How long will your project sustain itself once funded? For example, that same technology cart might be used across several departments and might include technology that will be available for at least five years into the future. That’s a lot of student reach over time! As a counter-example, funding for a field trip is more short-lived, and while it has an impact on those involved, it is not a sustainable project and has less reach.

3. Consider educational “hot topics.” Movements like STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics) get a lot of attention in the educational world right now. How might your project incorporate these areas? For example, if an English teacher wants funding for a writing lab, he or she might be more fundable by considering a writing across the curriculum initiative that invites the mathematics and science departments in writing assignments, research, etc.

4. Consider matching grants. Many funders feel more confident in awarding funding if they know that their efforts are being matched. Perhaps you are looking for $5,000 for a project, but you're aware the funding agency usually awards a maximum of $2,500. Finding additional funding, either through local donors, the school’s budget, or another grant, that will match that amount might give you the edge over someone who does not have matching support. Many funders allow for in-kind matches such as parent volunteer time, use of facilities, and transportation—resources already in use that can be assigned a dollar value.

Finding a potential funding source goes hand-in-hand with identifying fundable programs. In next week’s blog we’ll talk about some potential funding avenues.

Meantime, feel free to contact us with any questions about your search for funding.

Photo credit: Patrick Q

Topics: education, education resources, education funds, art grant art education grant, STEM Education, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, corporate grant for education, education grant, art education grant, early childhood education, art education, Education grants for Native Americans

Grants for Art Education

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Tue, Dec 13, 2016 @ 17:12 PM

We consistently receive requests to help teachers and principals improve their arts education programs with grant funding. Below we have outlined four hand-picked grants that may help fund your prog2380333875_57c27a15f8_q.jpgrams as well.

Crayola Creative Leadership Grants

This manufacturer’s foundation provides grants for innovative, creative leadership team building within elementary/middle schools. Grants must be submitted by a principal who is a member of the National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP). To be eligible, your school must form a collaborative team to create unique ways to infuse creativity in the school. Your team’s plans must then be outlined in the application, which can be submitted anytime between now and June 23, 2017. Applications submitted before June 5, 2017 will receive a free Crayola Classpack. Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) will receive $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000. Grant awards are announced at the end of October. A winner in 2016, Monett Intermediate School in Missouri, will use its grant to collaborate with the school district’s regional technology center, the community, and local business partners to meet its needs for future designers and problem solvers. Monett will create coaching videos that show how design thinking and mobile maker spaces can enrich learning.

Mary Lou Anderson Grant

Sponsored by the National PTA, the Mary Lou Anderson Grant is a $1,000 award in matching funds to support local PTA arts projects in a school. Funded projects will increase access to learning opportunities in the literary, media, visual, and/or performing arts for at-risk or underserved audiences. Arts projects must actively engage families and community partners to strengthen family-school partnerships. Eligible applicants must be a PTA in good standing, as determined by the state PTA. Three grants were awarded in 2016. Applications for the 2017 grants are due between Jan. 10, 2017 to March 17, 2017.

Buckley Moss Foundation

For educators who need assistance to further their in-school program goals, the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children’s Education has grants available to teachers who integrate visual art into their classroom curricula, for up to $1,000. Only new or evolving programs that integrate the arts into educational programming are eligible. The purpose is to aid and support teachers who wish to establish an effective learning tool using the arts in teaching children who learn differently. Before-school, after-school, day-care, or Saturday arts programs are not eligible. Deadlines for 2017 have not been released yet though this year applications were accepted in May through September. Check back on the website for more information.  A teacher in Mobile, Ala. received a $1,000 award this year to provide art instruction to students who are not currently benefitting from art education and how art relates to other subjects.

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

This foundation believes that an effective arts education can nurture a lifelong interest in the arts and reach a broad group of students at an important time in their development. Only California schools and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Art programs in school, after school, and out of school are fundable programs. The foundation also awards grants to raise awareness among parents and educators, develop research to inform policymakers, and help set priorities and standards for arts education in schools. Additionally, grants are also given pre-professional training organizations. In 2016, 29 grants were awarded. One recipient was the Young Musicians Choral Orchestra, a winner of $750,000 for general operating support. Grants are accepted throughout the year.


Grants are available for a wide variety of education subjects, not just arts education. We can help you fund bullying programs, technology improvements, safety concerns, and other educational subject matters as well. Contact us today to get started. The first consultation is always free.

 

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver

Topics: education, education resources, education funds, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, grants for education, grants for art education, art instruction, education grant, art education grant, grants for the arts, art grant, arts grants, art education, arts, art grants

Grants for Education Part 1: Pre-K and Elementary Financial Support

Posted by Mary Ross on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 @ 15:01 PM
Education is one of the most heavily funded of all grant sectors. There are more education grants available to teachers than we could ever capture, and it seems that most educational needs are eligible for some type of grant support. Over the next few weeks we will cover a sampling of grants offered for schools and educators. Teachers, principals, and parents, get ready: the support you need is out there if only you ask.

In our upcoming blogs we will be covering grants from pre-K to 12th grade, and we'll discuss topics such as elementary education, art and music education, STEM education, English education, and physical education. If you don’t see your educational need on this list, let us know and we'll cover that, too!preschool.jpg

Let’s start with the little guys—pre-K and elementary education students! Although many curriculum-specific grants are offered to K-12, there are some grants that are specifically given to younger grades. Applying for a grant that is specifically for younger students has the advantage of having fewer applicants and therefore more of a chance for your grant to be funded. Below are some grants that pre-K through 8th grade programs could consider.

Pets in the Classroom

Kids love pets! But caring for a classroom pet can get expensive. That is where education grants come in. Pets in the Classroom, sponsored by the Pet Care Trust, helps offset the costs of a class pet so that teachers have the opportunity to teach kids about the care and responsibility of pets. Unlike many grants that have lengthy applications and long wait times, Pets in the Classroom has streamlined the process to a single email and promises a response within three to four weeks. Pets in the Classroom works with big name pet supply stores like PetCo and PetSmart and offers nine different grant options. Grants are for a max of $150 and applications are being accepted now.    

 

Crayola’s Creative Leadership Grants 2016

Do you have a new and original idea to help kids get creative? Crayola's Creative Leadership Grants program wants to hear about it! Although it is not specifically stated that only elementary grades can apply, the grants awarded in the past are primarily to elementary schools. Crayola will award 20 grants of $2,500 cash and $1,000 of Crayola supplies to programs that “develop an art-infused education creative capacity-building professional development program.” Applications are due June 20 and must be submitted by the school principal. Early bird applications submitted by June 6 will receive a special Crayola gift of a classpack. Applications and other requirement details are on the website. Crayola asks you to imagine “what if…” and to tell them how your students can show their creativity at school.  

 

KidsGardening.org Youth Garden Grants

The Youth Garden Grant program seeks to help classrooms that teach children the value of gardening. The program goals are to create “improved academics, better eating habits, greater environmental stewardship, and ultimately healthier, more secure and engaged communities.” The program started in 1982 and has awarded more than $4.1 million through 10,000 grants. Although the grant cycle just closed, Kidsgardening.org offers an on-line newsletter that will notify you when the next grant cycle becomes available. In the meantime, your school can request a free entry kit for the Carton2Garden contest and a chance to win up to $5,000 for your school gardening program.  

 


 

These three classroom grant programs focus on the youngest children in the education system. There are many more grants available as well and we can help you find them with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact TheGrantHelpers.com to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.


Topics: education, education resources, education funds, STEM Education, educational funding, educational grants, education grant, art education

Grants to Fund Summer Youth Programs

Posted by Mary Ross on Mon, Apr 27, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

Summer school, summer camp, summer programs? What summer situation are you in need of funding? With the school year coming to a rapid end, many parents are looking for activities to keep their kids busy for the summer months, and many foundations are looking to support SummerProgram resized 600organizations that can make this happen.  Time is running out on getting grant funding for this summer, so here is a sampling of the grants you should know about.

 

State Farm Youth Advisory Board: Service-Learning Grants 

State Farm is accepting applications now through May 1st for grants of $25,000 to $100,000 that address one of its chosen key areas.  Access to higher education/closing the achievement gap, environmental responsibility, and arts and culture and just a few of these areas. If your summer program helps struggling students, or is centered on the environment or the arts, give these categories a look.  Each of these is described on the website, and an online application is available now.

 

The American Honda Foundation

Awarding grants of $25,000 to $75,000 at a time, the American Honda Foundation is accepting online applications from non-profit groups and schools. Generally concerned with STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) subjects, Honda is specifically looking to fund programs “which are characterized by the following qualities: imaginative, creative, youthful, forward-thinking, scientific, humanistic and innovative.” Organizations can submit applications at any time, but only one application can be submitted per 12-month period. This is a national program hoping to achieve long-term benefits.    

 

The Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation

Will your organization’s summer work have a national impact? Look into an MEAF grant.  The Mitsubishi Electric American Foundation is accepting applications until June 1st.  MEAF prefers to support programs that teach leadership skills and help youth with disabilities. Six to 12 grants of $10,000 to $75,000 are given a year.  "EcoChanges," a program that gives youth with disabilities the chance to participate in outdoor activities, is one that MEAF has funded in the past.  Take the “grant eligibility quiz” on the website to see if your organization should apply.

 

The Captain Planet Foundation 

The Captain Plant Foundation funds as many small project grants, between $500 and $2,500, as its yearly resources allow.  With rolling deadlines throughout the year, Captain Planet grants are awarded to schools and non-profit organizations for student-led, project-based environmental programs. Organizations can apply online now. Captain Planet funds projects that get kids involved in protecting the earth and using its resources.  In addition to supporting garden programs, The Captain Planet Foundation even puts on its own Earth Day Celebration for kids in its local area of Atlanta.

 

Where will your organization get its funding this summer? If you’d like to know about more grant opportunities and get help finding grants specifically tailored to your group, contact TheGrantHelpers.com. We have the resources you need, and the first consultation is always free.  

 

Photo Credit Camp PinewoodBy: Camp Pinewood

Topics: education, education resources, education funds, educational opportunities, art grant art education grant, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, grants for education, enviornmental grants, enviornmental funding, environmental education, grants for art education, art instruction, education grant, environment grant, art education grant, grants for the arts, art grant, environmental grant, art education

Grants for Art Education

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Oct 9, 2014 @ 14:10 PM

The Chicago Public Schools (CPS), one of the largest school systems in the country, recently unveiled a first-of-its kind analysis of arts education offerings, staffing, partnersarthips, and funding in CPS during the 2012-13 school year. This report found that elementary students on average received 99 minutes of arts education per week. As part of the district’s arts guidelines, elementary schools should provide at least 120 minutes per week. But, according to the self-reported data, only 40 percent of CPS elementary schools offered that much arts education. Additionally, the report found that 95 percent of elementary/middle schools, and 88 percent of high schools, had at least one part- or full-time arts instructor. That means there are some schools that have no arts instruction by a certified arts teacher.  

The CPS report also found that over 400 arts organizations had active partnerships with CPS schools to provide arts programming to students either before, during, or after school. Some of these partnerships included one-time events like field trips or performances while others included active ongoing art instruction and education with students.    

It’s understandable why CPS had so many problems fitting arts education into the day. Education goals in the United States are an ever-changing cocktail of math, science, language, arts, and more. STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), the focus of the last decade, has now evolved into STEAM, with the addition of arts into the education focus. For some schools, this change is a tough drink to swallow, just one more thing to fund with dwindling budgets. Below are some school grants for art opportunities that we selected to help with this new focus on arts education. Some of these are just for schools/educators while some grants could be used by non-profit organizations to create a partnership with a school.

The National Art Education Foundation (NAEF)

NAEF has five different grant programs that support a wide variety of arts education and instruction programs. If you want to apply for these grants, plan ahead. The deadline for the 2015 funding has already passed. Look for applications for 2016 to be due in October 2015. The grants available include:

  • Ruth Halvorsen Professional Development Grants are awarded to projects focused on understanding, implementation, and issues specifically relating to the National Visual Arts Standards and support the improvement of the teaching of art. Grants total up to $2,500.

  • Mary McMullan Grants fund projects that promote art education in all levels of schooling. Grants total up to $2,500.

  • NAEA Research Grants support research that advances art education. The maximum amount for these grants is $10,000.

  • SHIP Grants are given to educators for equipment and instructional curriculum resources. Grants total $500.

  • Teacher Incentive Grants cover a wide array of subjects that promote the teaching of art. These can include but are not limited to curriculum materials, student instruction materials, and student assessment materials.

National Endowment for the Arts / Art Works

Art Works provides funds for projects that support arts in K-12 classrooms as well as educators in those classrooms. There are three types of grants under this program, and grants fund all artistic disciplines. It is anticipated applications will be accepted in February and July. The three categories include the following:

  • Direct Learning Grants fund projects that increase student knowledge and skills in the arts by engaging students to professional artists and arts educators.

  • Professional Development Grants are for projects that assist educators and/or civic leaders in their arts education and development.

  • Collective Impact Grants hope to ensure that all students across entire schools, school districts, and/or states participate in the arts over time. These projects are larger in scope and qualifying projects should have the potential to be shared with other communities.

The Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation

Schools serving low-income students can apply for funds from this foundation to help with musical instrument repair and the acquisition of new instruments. Schools must serve a population of at least 65% that participate in the National Lunch Program. Private schools that do not participate in the National Lunch Program must serve a minimum of 65% of students that attend at no cost due to low income status. Additionally, schools must have an established instrumental music program that has been offered during the regular school day for a minimum of three consecutive years. Application deadlines will be announced this month.  

Champion Creatively Alive Children

Crayola sponsors this grant program to fund elementary school programs that construct creative leadership team building in arts education. Eligible projects will need to form a collaborative team to plan unique ways to infuse art throughout the school. In order to apply, principals of the applying school must be members of the National Association of Elementary School Principals. Each grant-winning school (up to 20 grants awarded) receives $2,500 and Crayola products valued at $1,000. Applications are due June 22, 2015. Every application submitted prior to June 8, 2015 will receive a free Crayola product Classpack.

 

Photo Credit: Alan Cleaver

Topics: grant notification, grants for art education, art instruction, music grants, grants for new music instruments, grants for music education, grant opportunity, art education grant, school grant, art education

STEM Funding Heats Up and Changes State: STEAM Funding

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 @ 15:04 PM

STEM STEAM GrantsThe acronym “STEM” (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics), one of the past decade’s most prominent educational buzzwords, is quickly becoming out-of-date. Taking its place on the podium, is the successor term “STEAM” (science, technology, engineering, arts, & mathematics). The argument for the integration of arts into the STEM curriculum is based on evidence that children learn in a variety of ways and need to develop art and design capabilities in order to create new technologies and make new discoveries. 

In this article, TheGrantHelpers.com provides resources and information that justify the integration of arts into the STEM curriculum. These resources can bolster a grant application for STEAM. In addition, there are funding agencies and websites related to grants awards for STEAM eduction, research, and development.

 

Resources and References

In the top TED talk of all time, Sir Ken Robinson’s “How Schools Kill Creativity,” Sir Robinson discusses the fact that children are born artists but are being educated out of their capacities to stay artists. He explains that schools all over the world have a curricular hierarchy that places subjects like mathematics at the top and arts at the bottom, and he adds that degrees today are not worth anything. Whereas degrees in prior decades made a big difference in the job market, today’s citizens who have earned degrees are still headed home, unable to get a job. Creativity, he says, adds value to the degree.

In “Full STEAM Ahead: Arts, STEM and 21st Century Learning,” Doug Haller discusses various research projects being conducted that link how the brain works and how research findings apply to the integration of arts into the STEM fields.

Even lawmakers have caught on, as pending legislation to add the arts to STEM to make “STEAM” gains traction—in both government as well as research circles. House Resolution 319, introduced by Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI), “expresses the sense of the House of Representatives that adding art and design into federal programs that target Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, encourages innovation and economic growth in the United States.”

Because of the movement encouraging arts integration into the STEM curriculum, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) are both exploring the intersection of art and science through various workshops and events. You can read more about this in “Bridging STEM to STEAM: Developing New Frameworks for Art-Science-Design Pedagogy.”

There have been several case studies conducted on the integration of art into the STEM curriculum. One, by stemtosteam.org, which is founded by the Rhode Island School of Design, focuses on Sesame Street’s intentions to integrate arts into its STEM focus by introducing a segment called “Elmo the Musical,” in which Elmo uses dances and sings as he uses his imagination to navigate through STEM concepts. Sesame Street plans to continue its use of STEAM-based learning by offering learning tools and games on its website.

 

Examples of Grants

To see examples of grants that have been awarded for STEAM research and development, such as the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, you may wish to visit Education Week’s article “STEAM: Experts Make Case for Adding Arts to STEM.”

 

Examples of Funding Agencies

Federal agencies funding STEAM include the following:

  • National Science Foundation
  • National Endowment for the Arts
  • US Department of Education
  • US Department of Agriculture (HSI Education Grants Program)

A few of the many major Foundations that have recently funded STEAM education initiatives include:

  • AT&T Foundation
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • American Honda Foundation
  • Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • The Abell Foundation

There are plenty of resources, studies, and ideas about students’ learning and how the arts can have a positive effect on the STEM curriculum. TheGrantHelpers.com is here to help you find the funding you need to incorporate arts into your own STEM curriculum in order to give today’s students the tools and instruction they need to be creative innovators of the future.

 

Image credit: aussiegall

Topics: education, education resources, STEM careers, STEM resources, art grant art education grant, STEM research, STEM teaching, STEM Education, STEAM funding, STEAM grants, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, STEM grant, STEM grants, STEM funding, education grant, arts grants, NEA grant, teacher resources, art education

Impact of Arts Education on Student Achievement

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 20:04 PM

In making the case for funding, it’s hard to overerestimate the importance of first establishing the need for funding. Funders can’t be expected to have a deep understanding of the need in your particular area. While we are not suggesting you write a thesis on the topic, it's important to clearly and authoritatively describe the need for and the benefits of your grant proposal.

With that in mind, we offer you a few data points about the positive impact of arts education on student achievement. These points suggest the types of arguments you could include in a proposal. As always, feel free to contact us if we can help you with wording of a component of your proposal or help you on a larger scale.

 

Where does the U.S. rank in cognitive skills and educational achievement?

Art EducationIn November 2012, Pearson, an educational firm, published The Learning Curve, a report aimed at bettering our understanding of the economic and social factors that lead to successful educational outcomes. According this report, the United States ranks 17th in the index of cognitive skills and educational achievement, well-behind other developed countries across the world. (The top ten countries were: 1) Finland; 2) South Korea; 3) Hong Kong – China; 4) Japan; 5) Singapore; 6) United Kingdom; 7) Netherlands; 8) New Zealand; 9) Switzerland; and 10) Canada.)

As a result of ongoing budget cuts at the state and federal level, schools are facing difficult decisions about how to stretch their already dwindling budgets. Arts education programs, not considered to be part of the academic core, are among the first to go. While most would agree that cutting any educational programs is a harmful practice, cutting arts education programs might be more devastating than many realize, as there is a clear correlation between the arts and student development and achievement.

 

How does arts education impact student achievement?

Sir Ken Robinson, an international specialist in creativity, addressed the need for arts education in a TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) talk entitled “Schools Kill Creativity.”  You will find, by watching this address, an entertainingly presented rationale for the importance of maintaining the instrinsic creative skills of children as they face an ever more volitale and uncertain future.  Sir Robinson's reasoning could comfortably be integrated into a proposal's main argument for funding.

In a May 2002 report titled “The Impact of Arts Education on Workforce Preparation,”  published by the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, it is said that, “The arts provide one alternative for states looking to build the workforce of tomorrow.” It is added that the general student population experienced increase academic performance, reduced absenteeism, and better skill-building when exposed to more arts education opportunities.

The same report claimed, “For at-risk youth,… the arts contribute to lower recidivism rates; increased self-esteem; the acquisition of job skills; and the development of much needed creative thinking, problem solving, and communication skills.”

According to Americans for the Arts, arts education “stimulates and develops the imagination and critical thinking, and refines cognitive and creative skills.” Problem-solving, critical thinking, team-building, life skills, and quality of task performance are among the many other areas that are better developed in students and children with more exposure to arts education.

The Americans for the Arts website contributes a substantial list the impact of arts education on social, academic, physical, and sensory indicators including:

  • As children describe people and things in their world using pictures, body movements, and mime, they enhance their descriptive, nonverbal, cognitive capabilities
  • Drawing, sculpting, and other visual arts develop spatial acuity.
  • Group activities, such as learning dance steps or singing songs, build social skills.
  • Repeating stories, poems, and songs strengthens memory.
  • Dramatic play, rhyming games, and songs are some of the language-rich activities build pre-reading skills.
  • Listening to music for an hour a day changes brain organization, allowing greater brain coherence.

Numerous studies over the last two decades have confirmed the positive correlation that arts education has on student achievement. With this knowledge in mind, it is vital to our students’ education and the promotion of a positive and productive future that funding continues for arts education programs across all grade levels.

 


In our work, we encounter many arts education grants. We have hand-selected a few of our favorites to share with you. Please see our education page to see these select few, and remember there are many, many more. If you need assistance finding more arts education grants, simply ask one of our experts for more information.

Remember that The Grant Helpers are here to help you reach your funding goals. If you have any questions about grants, your fundability, or our services, please do not hesitate to contact one of our grant experts. Our initial consultations are always free. You can also sign up for our Grants Watch List, a complimentary service, in which we will alert you when we find grants that might fit your funding needs.

 

Image credit: US Department of Education

Topics: educational funding, making case for funding, education grant, grant opportunity, grant strategy, art education grant, grant tips, art grant, art education