Scholarships & Funding for Professional Development
2018 Educator Academy Scholarship Program
As part of our commitment to rainforest education and professional development, we are pleased to offer three $1100 scholarships to the Educator Academy in the Amazon. We are looking for applicants who demonstrate a strong commitment to bringing the Amazon experience back to their classrooms and communities in very tangible ways and sharing their experience with future academy participants.
Educator Academy scholarship applications are due no later than FEBRUARY 1 , 2018
Why wait for the outcome of the scholarship drawing? While many educators who attend our professional development programs fund their own travel, a number have received funding through district and state level professional development funds. Others have had success with corporate funding and even national education foundations. Below are some suggestions for where to look and how to proceed with locating funding.
Consider a grassroots, creative fundraising campaign and use your social networks to jumpstart your fundraising.
- Ask for friends or family to donate frequent flyer miles to cover the cost of your airfare
- Crowdsource your fundraising efforts. Consider creating an Indiegogo or Donors Choose project that connects the Amazon to your classroom. Include your travel expenses in your project budget.
- Be creative and persistent! Think outside the box and use the Amazon as a launch for bigger, better initiatives in your school and community.
- Don’t forget to reach out to business and organizations in your community. Offer to do presentations at rotary, optimist, and garden clubs in exchange for funding. Look for potential partners that could help fund a joint project in your school or district and partially fund your Amazon experience as launching or focal point.
- Seek funding from more than one source. Include updated information in your proposal as you are awarded monies from each source.
- Inquire with family members or benefactors who may help support you or help you network and find untapped sources of funding.
Read the Academy Syllabus as a source of inspiration for your funding. Note that the rationale, goals and objectives are written to be consistent with K-12 goals for professional development and readily fundable. Use this document to inform your grant writing!
- Identify how your experience in the Amazon will benefit your students, your colleagues, your curriculum, and your community when you return. How many people will you reach? How will you measure your results? How big will your impact be?
- Use the Amazon experience as a lens. Consider comparisons of local environmental issues with global issues, such as climate change, global health, sustainable development, energy, population, water, quality of life and community.
Do Your Homework
Research local funding sources. District and state funding projects are often more easily accessible than national funding projects.
- Consult with your principal or head of school and district curriculum supervisors. What professional development initiatives are underway or being planned in your district that could dove-tail with this Amazon program? What kind of a school program or global relationship could you develop as a result of your Amazon experience?
- Get to know local funders. What are their fund's objectives? To whom have they made their grants? Consider their goals when drafting your proposal. Consult with a person whose job is to know about local funding sources, e.g. a development officer, local fundraiser or PTA advocate.
- Would creating an interdisciplinary team or collaborating with teachers from other public or private schools improve your chances for a locally funded grant?
- People award money to people. Let your motivation, values, and commitments be known to your potential funders. Consult with them on your project ideas.
Expand your reach to the state and national level. These sources can be more challenging to access and their timelines are usually longer, but the payoff is worth a shot!
- NEW!! The Rural Trust's Global Teacher Fellowship (http://www.globalteacherfellowship.ruraledu.org/) program awards up to $5,000 for individual teachers and $10,000 for a team of two or more teachers to support teachers’ participation in self-designed summer learning experiences and a two-day place-based learning institute in the fall following their summer experience.
- NEW!! Generation Study Abroad (http://www.iie.org/Programs/Generation-Study-Abroad/Resources-for-Teachers) is awarding 50, $1000 grants for teacher travel.
- The Public Education Network (www.publiceducation.org) has a listing of state and local funding sources for public educators. Visit their website and click on "membership, then "find an LEF” local education fund to see what they have listed for your state.
- The Fund for Teachers offers fellowships for educators to explore their world. These are competitive fellowships but definitely worth the effort and the recognition that comes with it. They award up to $5000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams. Visit www.fundforteachers.org for more information.
- The NEA foundation also awards grants to teachers in the amount of $2,000 for individuals and $5,000 for groups engaged in collegial study. Click HERE for more information on their Learning and Leadership Grants. You can also view examples of past awards HERE.