The Altoona Area School District Foundation rewards the creation of exciting and innovative educational ideas through the Venture Grants for Teachers Program.
Grant awards up to $1000 to aid teachers in the design and development of educational materials for the implementation of innovative and creative classroom projects that will enhance student learning.
Click here for a listing of 2011 grant winners and the projects funded.
Venture grants programs have evolved throughout the nation to meet two needs present today in most public school districts. First is the need to bring new resources to bear in the classroom, the focal point of education. Second is the need to break down the school district's isolation from business and civic leaders, from municipal government and from community members who may not have children in the public school system.
Venture grants programs are not a new idea. Their prime goal is to reward teachers with an opportunity to put exciting and often long-cherished ideas into practice.
Materials developed in venture grants projects frequently become part of the school's regular curriculum. The excitement generated by a single grant can influence the learning climate of an entire school.
Venture grants are effective because they put funds directly into the classroom where they can do the most good.
All applications will be reviewed by business and civic leaders who make up the AASD Foundation Projects Committee. Based on the availability of funds, the projects will be chosen on a competitive basis.
The Foundation Board of Directors will give final approval to all funded projects.
Interested teachers should fill out the one-page application carefully. Each proposal will be reviewed with respect to the following criteria:
1. Is the project both innovative and curriculum-related?
2. Is proposed project clearly stated? Are the goals realistic and worthwhile?
3. Are the procedures to be followed clearly described? Are the methods, needed materials, resource personnel, tentative schedule and completion date specified?
4. Is the budget request reasonable and sufficiently detailed? All proposals must include an itemized budget.
5. Could this project be funded through the regular AASD budget?
6. Does the project have the potential to involve the community in some way?
7. Can this project become part of the regular curriculum? Does it have the potential to affect large numbers of pupils?
Interested applicants should complete the following process:
1. Think of a project you would like to try in your classroom. You may wish to work with other teachers, administrators, and/or parents. Involve the students; get their ideas.
2. Calculate the cost of the project. Obtain prices for the materials and supplies you'll need.
3. Carefully complete the application form. These forms are available in the principal's office of each school. (Click here to obtain form to print and complete or click here to fill-in the form online. Print the completed form and forward to Paula Foreman Community Relations Director. NOTE: Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed. Application is formatted to print on 8-1/2 X 14 paper.)
4. Submit your application to the Public Relations Office no later than October 1.
IMPORTANT TO NOTE
* Projects which will take several weeks to complete and have potential to become part of the regular curriculum have a better chance of being funded than "once and done" projects.
* Applications from elementary teachers must have the signature of the building principal. Secondary applications must be signed by the department head and the principal.
* Applicants will be notified of the Foundation Board's decision by November 1. Funded projects must be completed by May 31.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Does this involve a lot of paperwork?
A. No. The application form is one page. Should you receive a grant, you will be asked to submit a one-page final evaluation report upon completion of your project.
Q. What kind of project can I propose?
A. Almost anything that is innovative, related to the curriculum and directly involves your students. Your project will be judged along with the other proposals according to the criteria listed in this brochure.
Q. Can my project include the purchase of equipment such as a camera?
A. Only if it is an integral part of your project. The purchase of electronic hardware not vital to the project will not be funded. Project funds can be used to purchase equipment or to provide field trip transportation, but not when they are ends in themselves.
Q. If I am awarded a grant, how soon can I start my project.
A. Almost immediately. Your check will be presented to you in early November.
Q. If my project involves a large number of students, will that improve my chances of receiving a grant?
A. Not necessarily. Having a large number of students involved in a project can be a plus, but this is only one factor that's considered.
Q. What happens if I have "leftover" funds upon the completion of my project?
A. Unused money, along with your financial report, must be returned to the Foundation at the conclusion of your project.
TWO IMPORTANT REMINDERS
* The deadline for grant applications is October 1.
* Only one round of grants will be funded during the current school year.
If you have questions or need further information, please call Paula Foreman at 946-8424 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MAIL COMPLETED APPLICATIONS TO:
Paual Foreman, Community Relations Director
Executive Director -
AAHS - Administrative Wing
1415 Sixth Avenue
Altoona, PA 16602