New Grant Programs Fund Public Schools and Educators in NCW

Stronger Schools and STEAM Teacher Grants

The Community Foundation of NCW announces two new grant opportunities to support public education in North Central Washington: Stronger Schools and STEAM Teacher Grants.

Stronger Schools is a new program that provides grants up to $5,000 to public schools. The program replaces the former Classrooms Can! grant program to widen the reach of financial support and encourage innovative programs that impact entire schools.

“Last October the Foundation hosted a Town Hall style meeting to discuss how we could increase participation and broaden the impact of our support for public schools” said Denise Sorom, the foundation’s director of community philanthropy. “We heard from principals, school board members, ESD representatives, and many others that increasing our award amounts and focusing on individual schools could make a real difference for the student experience.”

To be eligible, Stronger Schools applicants must serve Pre-K through 12 public schools in Chelan, Douglas, and Okanogan counties (excluding the Methow Valley School District which is supported by the Methow Valley Fund).

Only one application may be submitted per school and must be approved by the school principal to submit. Multiple programs or projects can be included in one application, including PTA and Education Foundations requests.

The application opens January 15 with a deadline of March 15.

Additionally, the Community Foundation and the Woods Family Music & Arts Fund have partnered with the North Central Education Service District (NCESD) Education Foundation to increase Teacher Grant opportunities through “STEAM” grants. STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Art and Mathematics) adds art concepts to the traditional STEM category, introducing elements of creativity to applied science and math projects.

“We wanted to be careful not to abandon our support for individual teachers which had gained some traction with the Classrooms Can! program” said Sorom. “We recognized that the NCESD Foundation was making great strides with their Teacher Grants program, so rather than duplicate efforts, we are joining ranks with them as a funding partner to facilitate more teacher grants.”

Through the foundation and the Woods Family partnership, $12,500 will be invested in STEAM grant programming through the NCESD. Applications are now open, accepted year-round, and due on September 30; awards are announced by October 24.

Public schools and their funding arms (such as PTAs and education foundations) will no longer be eligible to apply for the foundation’s Regional Impact Grant program; Stronger Schools and STEAM Teacher Grants will be the sole funding sources supporting the sector.

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"My father was a migrant agricultural worker who eventually started his own cherry and apple orchard. [He] told me if I wanted to live a better life, I had to get an education. I plan on starting a career with the Chelan PUD with a passion for renewable energy and in turn give back to my parents and community for supporting my dreams.”

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