Rhode Island Foundation Awards Grants for Classroom Innovation to Teachers in 26 Communities
PROVIDENCE, RI -- The Rhode Island Foundation today announced that teachers in 26 communities will share $215,000 in grants through a program that encourages classroom innovation in elementary classrooms.
Full-time third-grade teachers in any public or charter school statewide were eligible to for grants of up to $1,000 to fund programs that will engage students through unique experiences and creative learning methods in order to stimulate their interest in academics.
Launched by philanthropists Letitia and John Carter in 2013, the Spark Grants program previously had been limited to urban school districts such as Providence and Central Falls.
“The creativity and impact of the first two rounds of proposals was impressive. Third grade is a critical stage in the educational development of children. Expanding the scope of the program will put more youngsters on the road to a lifetime of academic success," said Letitia Carter.
Eligible expenses include software licenses, field trips, equipment and other resources that otherwise would not be available in the classroom. Spark Grants are for one-time expenses and cannot provide ongoing funding to sustain projects.
“Once again, the Carters are advancing change by example. Thanks to their vision, teachers all over Rhode Island have an extraordinary opportunity to be innovative,” said Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Foundation.
The announcement of this year’s grants took place at the Orlo Avenue Elementary School in East Providence, where seven third-grade teachers received nearly $8,500 in grants. Amanda Betchy will purchase percussion instruments to teach students how to read music.
Elizabeth Sweeney will buy an iPad, tripod, green screen and special software in order to work with students on their public speaking skills.
Pawtucket teachers at Elizabeth Baldwin, Nathanial Greene, Agnes Little and Henry Winters elementary schools received nearly $20,000 to fund innovative work, including creating a read-out-loud center to address literacy delays.
“Quote,” said Michelle Gorman.
Providence teachers received more than $82,000 in grants. All but ___ of the ___ eligible elementary schools in Providence were awarded funding. In all, ____ teachers will share more than $82,000 for classroom initiatives.
The proposals range purchasing an ELMO projector and related equipment for teaching fractions at Frank D. Spaziano School to an animation project in collaboration with the Rhode Island Museum of Science and Art .
Elementary schools in Barrington, Bristol, Burrillville, Central Falls, Charlestown, Coventry, Cranston, Cumberland, East Providence, Glocester, Johnston, Lincoln, Middletown, Newport, North Kingstown, North Providence, Pawtucket, Portsmouth, Richmond, Smithfield, Warren, Warwick, Westerly and Woonsocket also received grants.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.7 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit www.rifoundation.org.