In an ongoing effort to help you think outside the box when it comes to funding, we have compiled a list of three different ways to justify funding for school gardens. Now is the perfect time to stratetize for funding for school gardens as spring, and grant deadlines, are right around the corner. We have included a potential grant for each funding theme to help you get started.
Possible Theme: Funding for Creative Curriculum
Teachers are always looking for innovative ways to integrate their curriculum into unique projects. School gardens could be used by physical education teachers to teach about healthy nutrition. Science teachers could use fruits, vegetables, and flowers to conduct experiments on the water amounts needed to maintain healthy gardens, or the effects of different soils. Gardens can provide valuable lessons in math as well. An example of this type of funding would be the NEA Foundation Student Achievement Grants. These grants aim to improve the academic achievement of students in any subject area. The work must involve critical thinking, problem solving, improving student’s habits of inquiry, self-directed learning, and critical reflection. The grant amounts available are $2,000 and $5,000. Deadlines for applications are February 1, June 1, and Oct. 15.
Possible Theme: Funding for School Beautification
Gardens don’t have to be limited to fruits and vegetables. School gardens can feature beautiful flowers and native plants so as to be educational yet beautiful as well. The gardens can provide a setting for outdoor classrooms, a serene setting for quiet thinking, or even a bright spot for students and teachers alike to enjoy during down time. In 9 years of funding schools, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grant program has awarded $35 million to more than 8,000 schools across the United States. The program prefers funding requests that have a permanent impact such as facility enhancement (both indoor and outdoor) as well as landscaping/clean up type projects making it perfect for school gardens. The spring 2015 grant cycle is closed, though the fall 2015 cycle will open in August. Applications are then due Oct. 15. Funding requests must range between $2,000 and $5,000.
Possible Theme: Funding for Health and Wellness
Gardens are also a natural way to teach children about good nutrition. Children can learn about the wide variety of fruits and vegetables by planting, harvesting, and eating them. Teachers could show students a variety of ways to prepare these different healthy foods by providing recipes that the students can then make at home with their families. The students could also learn what makes each food healthy by learning what nutrients it provides. The CVSHealth Community Grants: Wellness & Prevention grant program could help fund the nutritional aspect of school gardens. Programs, including those in public schools, that focus on building healthy habits and wellness initiatives are funded. These grants are by invitation only, so interested parties are encouraged to contact a CVS community relations expert to inquire about application.
TheGrantHelpers.com can help with a wide array of grant services from strategizing to finding grant opportunities to ensuring you have a strong proposal. See a list of our services here. Don’t see what you had in mind? Contact one of our experts for a free consultation to get started.
Photo Credit: US Department of Agriculture