A room without books is like a body without a soul. The adage is especially true if that room is a classroom. But if you’re new to teaching, outfitting your classroom with books can feel like it’s a fairly expensive hurdle. That is where grants come in.

Classroom grants are available from a variety of sources to help you buy the things you need to be a great teacher. Book grants offer a way to supply students with new reading material if your school or district can’t afford to buy you a new classroom set. Grant writing for teachers is an easy process once you find the grants themselves. Getting a grant is all about following directions, which, of course, you can do because you’re a teacher.

How to Find Classroom Grants

Classroom grants may sound hard to come by, but they’re much more numerous than you may think. They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from million-dollar grants from tech companies used to outfit districts with new computers to small community book grants that help teachers buy new novels to teach in class.

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To find these grants, first ask around to see what your veteran teacher friends know. The head of your department, for example, should be you acquainted with all of the local grants that have been available in the past.

Searching for Better Grants

Go online to conduct a wider search. Many companies offer grants that tie in with their specific ethos or mission. Nike offers awards to help promote gender equality in sports. Scholastic offers book grants that range in size from large-scale donations of thousands of books to small-scale donations to promote literacy. Many Target stores offer local store grants and Olympus may help outfit your classroom with digital cameras.

When conducting your search, be as specific as possible. If you want money for elementary science project supplies, search for “elementary STEM classroom grants,” instead of just classroom grants. The results will be much more worthwhile.

Grant Writing for Teachers

The most important aspect of grant writing for teachers is to follow the instructions on the grant information page. Besides following instructions, thorough descriptions and evidence are key components of an effectively written grant. When composing your grant application, be as specific as possible. Outline why you need the money, how you plan to use it and the predicted results of your project. Provide diagrams and data if possible.

Donors love to see results. Once you receive funding, make sure to keep track of your progress. Take pictures of your classroom activities. Visuals and concrete details will help sell your project to more stakeholders.

About the Author

Rebecca Renner is a writer and editor out of South Florida. Her essays have been featured in the Washington Post, New York Magazine, and Glamour. She is working on a novel.