10 Grants for Teachers: What to Apply For Before Back to School

A teacher reading to a student in a library.

Who doesn’t love free money? Grants for teachers are an incredibly useful way to fund your classroom. They can be used for general funding (like supplies) or for buying big-ticket items like tablets and VR headsets for STEAM lessons. Most importantly, grants allow teachers to give their own wallets a break. The average educator spends $511 of their own money throughout the school year – and 25 percent of teachers spend more than $750 of their own money and are never reimbursed. 

Summer is an ideal time to apply for grants. If you are given funding, you can start budgeting for the year ahead and adjust your lesson plans around the new materials. Here are 10 grants for teachers to apply for today.   


Secrets of the School Supply List

Source: MDR


1. NEA Foundation Grants

The National Education Association (NEA) Foundation offers multiple grants that you can look into. These range from a few hundred dollars to cover learning ad leadership costs to large-scale funding for student success and global learning. This is a great place to start when looking for funding. 


2. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) offers a classroom grant program of up to $500 for projects that support science, technology, engineering, art, or mathematics (STEAM). The project must have an emphasis on aerospace to excite and engage students in flight and space. Applications must be AIAA members – but membership is free for K-12 educators.

The AIAA provides clear guidelines for what the grants can and cannot be used for. Check the website to learn more and submit your proposal. The deadline to apply is September 30, 2022.  


3. National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) lists several grants for teachers that you can apply for and it regularly updates its pages with new opportunities. There are several grants opening in August 2022 that range from a maximum of $3,000 to a maximum of $10,000 each. Each grand has its own limits on who can benefit (usually restricted by grade) and what the grant can be used for. 


4. Association of American Educators Foundation

The Association of American Educators (AAE) Foundation offers both fall and spring classroom grants for teachers. The current deadline to apply for a fall grant is October 8th. These grants are for full-time teachers who have not received an AAE grant in the past two years. AAE membership isn’t required, but members receive additional weight in the scoring rubric. 

This is a competitive grant at a national level, but you can also apply at the state level. Currently, six states have their own grant contests: Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Oregon, and Washington. This grant can be used to fund a variety of projects and the AAE will award up to $500.   


5. International Literacy Association

The International Literacy Association (ILA) strives to improve the quality of literacy learning across the globe. It offers multiple grants and awards for teachers and communities who taking steps to improve literacy in unique and exciting ways. These awards are sorted by their deadlines, some of which roll throughout the year. Explore your options if you are a literacy teacher or work with literary groups in your community. 


6. Believe in Reading

Believe in Reading provides funds to existing and provably successful literacy programs. These programs need to be at least two years running and they can rapport any reading age or literacy goal. It is important to note that is program is meant for programs that go above and beyond. It is not appropriate for purchasing core curriculum-based texts, lesson plan assigned reading, or textbooks. 

Applications for fall grants should open soon. The maximum grant size is $10,000 but most grant approvals are below $3,000. 


7. Casey’s Cash for Classroom Grants

Casey’s, a popular rest stop chain across the midwest, gave away more than $1 million to K-12 public and nonprofit schools in 2021. It approved 99 grants for teachers, ranging in size from $3,000 to a maximum of $50,000. Consider applying for one of these grants if you have a large project for your school – like replacing the HVAC system or investing in schoolwide materials. 

The application period for this grant starts in October 2022 and recipients are announced in March 2023. Start working with your admin team now if you want to apply for one of these grants. 


8. Classics for Kids Foundation

Classics for Kids words to provide string instruments to support the band and orchestra development of students. These grants are always available with four deadlines throughout the year. The fall deadline is September 30 and the winter deadline is December 31. You can learn who received these grants in the past and how their programs grew as a result. 


9. GrantWatch 

If you are looking for a hub to find grants for teachers, check out GrantWatch. This is a website where you can find open grants for niche funding options. There are more than 3,000 live education grants and you can filter them by geographic focus, funding source, and recipient. You can also search by target keywords if you have an idea of what you need funded. 

For example, you can search for grants specifically eligible in your state for your school or for your specific classroom. You can each limit certain deadlines if you want to apply before the start of the new year or wait until Spring to start applying. Check out this website to learn what is available to you.   


10. DonorsChoose 

There is one more option if you are looking to fund your classroom without having to pay for the project or buy the supplies yourself. DonorsChoose allows educators to submit proposals for projects. This is a crowdfunding website where people can donate to your project to help you achieve your goals. Oftentimes, these projects will have their donations matched, allowing you to get your funds faster. 

Look at some successful past projects by other educators and see if creating a fundraising challenge in your area is a viable idea. 


Find Tools That Are Useful and Affordable

Most teachers have to work with a tight budget throughout the year. If you feel overwhelmed by the price of supplies and the number of items you need, try to refocus your budget and lesson plans. Find a tool that can enhance your learning objectives and engage your students throughout the year. 

At eSpark, we create games and quests for students grades K–5 in reading and math. Try eSpark for free today and learn why so many teachers love our tools. 

Ready to see student-centered learning in action?