Why Didn't I Do This Earlier?

Tuesday, December 02, 2008 | | 5 comments »

While every school year presents itself with a series of "Firsts" - this school year marked my first attempt at writing a grant proposal. In fact, I've written two. One was the Best Buy grant, which is a pretty big grant - potentially thousands of dollars in tech for my school. Winners of this grant aren't announced for a couple of months yet, but the excitement is still there. The other grant I completed for the first time was a smaller grant, under $500, from our school district education foundation. I wrote a grant, with the help of my co-advisor, for technology for our newspaper club.

A couple of weeks ago, we found out that we were one of many programs awarded with the district grant. We received funding for new technology in the amount of $315. As soon as we found out we won, I immediately went online to find the best deals on a digital camera and digital voice recorders. These were the two items we submitted the proposal for, knowing we would not only use them for the newspaper club, but would not have any problems finding great uses for these tools in other classrooms. After making the purchases prior to Thanksgiving break, I arrived at school this past Monday to find a box from Amazon.com waiting for me. Needless to say, I was like a little kid on Christmas morning! I immediately ripped open the box to check out our new "toys."

This got me thinking. Why did it take me 13 years of teaching before I went after "free money?" Not that writing a grant is easy and can be done quickly, but why don't other teachers write grant proposals more often? Sure, some are more involved than others, but many groups are looking to give money away to worthy causes in education. Why aren't more teachers taking advantage of the opportunity? Is it because they are too busy? Is it because they are not aware of the grants that exist? Is it because they don't know what they'd do with the money? I'm sure it's a combination of these and more, but after succeeding with one grant proposal, I certainly see myself looking into more opportunities down the road. I'm super excited about the stuff we already added to our technology toolbox, but am just as eager to see what could happen if the Best Buy grant comes through. I'm certainly not getting my hopes up for that one, but figure if I submit two grant proposals a year, winning one isn't too bad!

5 comments

  1. Jennifer // December 2, 2008 at 10:55 PM  

    CONGRATS!!! or CONGRANTS!!

    You now have the first one under your belt. And I bet you get the Best Buy.

    I am waiting to hear on the SAMSUNG -- any day now. Hope Hope!

    And don't worry about waiting so long -- you did it....you did it successfully -- and now you will write even more!!

    Good job!!
    So happy for you!
    Jen

  2. The Mind Machine // December 2, 2008 at 11:20 PM  

    Good work. Grant writing should be a class in every credential program and should be encouraged/supported by all school admins

  3. Kim Caise // December 2, 2008 at 11:53 PM  

    I have written grants most of 20 year educational career and secured several thousand dollars worth of equipment and donations. I would be happy to offer my guidance any time any is interested in securing grants for various tech projects. I am not the grant guru by any means but I read up on grants and stay abreast of grants that are practical to write, secure, implement and evaluate the growth or results stemming from the use of the items purchased/mentioned in the grant. Just let me know and drop me an email!

    Kim

  4. mrstmath // December 3, 2008 at 7:53 AM  

    It is is great feeling...winning a grant award. Perhaps some feel discouraged after a couple of rejections (me) but chose to continue improving and submitting grants. I have five smallish grants awarded in seven years plus have written the BestBuy several times. I just keep retweeking them. Glad to see you "get it" and you got it!
    Susan

  5. IMC Guy // December 8, 2008 at 8:42 PM  

    Thanks everyone. I hope my future grant writing is as successful as my first.

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