Teachers, get those pencils out and let the brainstorming begin.
The Turlock Education Foundation is offering teachers up to $1,000 for classroom projects that improve students' educational experiences.
The grants are part of TEF's first annual Classroom Grant program for Turlock Unified School District teachers. The non-profit foundation was founded in 2011 to offer additional educational resources to students.
TEF has set aside $12,500 for the program, which is designed to fund educational opportunities not available through the school district's general budget to enhance and enrich students' educational experiences. The grants are not meant to replace TUSD funding; they are meant as supplemental funding.
The program has been in planning since the 2008-09 school year. It is the first real-world application for TEF to directly provide funding to improve TUSD students' educations.
“We hope to make it an annual grant. When TEF started we sort of came in at the tail-end of the economic hardship so we are excited to get this started and the ball rolling,” TEF President Barney Gordon said.
In the coming years, TEF plans to increase funding to $25,000 annually for the Classroom Grant program.
Any TUSD certificated staff member can apply for a grant of up to $1000 in the 2013-2014 school year. Applicants may submit multiple grant applications in a single year but only one will be awarded per year, based on a evaluation criteria including: the quality of the application, how likely the project is to succeed, how effective the project can be, and how well the project supports the TEF and TUSD’s missions.
There are no restrictions on how many grants will be given, or how often applicants can receive grant funding from TEF. Grant applications must be received by Oct. 18 of this year. TEF will announce the grant recipients on Nov. 11, and funds will be dispersed Jan. 11, 2014.
This year's program is dedicated to the memory of Richard W. Lopes, the beloved husband of Julien Elementary School Principal and TEF Director Linda Murphy-Lopes.
For more information on the grant or to donate to TEF, visit www.turlockedfoundation.org.