Tight school budgets can often mean cuts to beloved programs—arts, music, sports, and extracurricular activities in general. Yet losing these activities can hurt students’ well-rounded education and chances of success after high school. The National Center for Education Statistics found that students who participate in extracurricular activities have better attendance, GPAs, and test scores.
For sufficient funding to support an extracurricular activity, bake sales, and other fundraisers can get you only so far. We recommend checking out the following grant opportunities.
Grants For Environmental Clubs: Youth Garden Grant
If your school’s environmental club needs funding for a garden project, the Youth Garden Grant can help. This grant program welcomes applications from any public or private school, from pre-K to high school, that is either planning a new garden program or expanding an existing one. A total of 25 programs are awarded:
- 5 programs receive $1,000 cash, a $100 gift card to Gardener’s Supply Company, and $500 worth of gardening tools and supplies.
- 20 programs receive a $100 gift card to Gardener’s Supply Company and $500 worth of gardening tools and supplies.
Preference is given to programs that exhibit sustainability and impact. The deadline for 2019 grants will be in December 2018, so the application should be available online soon.
Grants For Chess Clubs: Chess-For-Youth Program
The U.S. Chess Trust helps school administrators establish a chess club at schools where funding is lacking. For Title I schools, the program provides chess-playing equipment and/or up to 10 U.S. Chess Federation memberships for needy students. To apply, a school administrator or principal at a Title I school must download and submit the application, along with a letter of request, by mail to the Chess-For-Youth Program—see full instructions. Applications are accepted year-round.
Grants For Yearbook Clubs: Picaboo Yearbooks for Everyone Fund
Have budget cuts at your school eliminated the yearbook club? Each year, Picaboo Yearbooks accepts requests from schools where a yearbook program has been discontinued due to extenuating circumstances or where some students are unable to pay for their yearbooks. Guidelines for this program are very simple: just email your request to email@example.com. The company states they look especially for compelling stories; our recent blog on demonstrating value and impact provides some guidance on how to use compelling, narrative evidence to strengthen proposals and requests.
There are no limitations about who may apply and no deadlines are given. Picaboo Yearbooks states that they read all requests and will assist as many schools as they can. If yearbooks are in peril at your school, this fund could be a great way to carry on the yearbook tradition.
Grants For Any Extracurricular Activity: The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation
The McCarthey Dressman Education Foundation offers Academic Enrichment Grants to support both extracurricular activities and regular classroom instruction. The Foundation prioritizes programs that serve children in low-income households and nurture academic and creative skills. Educators grades K-12 in public or private schools may apply for a one-, two-, or three-year grant. The amount requested per year should not exceed $10,000, for a maximum of $30,000 over three years. Applications can be completed online and are accepted January 15-April 15. Apply early—the application system closes after 350 submissions have been received. Special note: The online application requires three letters of recommendation from colleagues that address the applicant’s character, leadership skills, and academic abilities and achievements, so be sure to secure these in advance.
|Expert Advice: Practice good etiquette when requesting a letter of recommendation. Ask early, provide specific instructions, and don’t forget to say thank you.|
If you need more information about educational grants, please contact us—we can help you to plan and write a strong proposal. We offer free consultations, among our other services. Email TGH@TheGrantHelpers.com today.
Photo Credit: John Schnobrich