What are the SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants?
The SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grant Program provides grants to members in support of innovative educational and student-oriented projects. The grant program funds new member-led projects. It does not fund projects on an on-going basis. The SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants give preference to proposals that address student achievement, cultural diversity issues, include community partnerships, and can be duplicated by others.
Where does the SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants obtain its funds?
The SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants are funded directly from SDEA/NEA members. In 1994, the SDEA Representative Assembly established the innovation grant program with ongoing funding through a yearly per member assessment of $2.00.
SDEA/NEA member contributions are a critical source of grant funds. The willingness of members to make these contributions carries a powerful message to the public. It says that members believe so strongly in the talents of their peers, that they are willing to spend their own money to encourage their colleagues’ creative initiatives.
How are the SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants governed?
The SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants Committee evaluates grant applications and makes funding recommendations to the SDEA/NEA Board for final approval. The members on the Educational Innovation Grant Committee represent different instructional levels, subject areas, and regions of the state. The SDEA/NEA President appoints committee members.
Who is eligible to participate in the Grant Program of the SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants?
To be eligible to receive a grant through the Grant Program, you must be a member of the SDEA/NEA holding active membership status during the school year in which the grant will be implemented. Applicants must be employed in a position that allows the grant project to be implemented as it is described in the application, and were not a SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation grant recipient during the previous granting cycle.
How do I apply for a grant through the Grant Program?
Design a project that is innovative, directly benefits students, and will produce measurable results.
Consult the current Grant Guidelines received by local association presidents. They are also posted on the SDEA website. You may also call SDEA to request the guidelines. Follow the instructions and suggested format in the guidelines and application form when describing your project.
The grant application process is designed to be simple and straightforward; elaborate applications are neither necessary nor recommended. There are only a few questions that you’ll be asked in your grant application.
What types of projects are eligible?
All innovative student-oriented projects are eligible. An applicant may submit one proposal; one grant application per school per topic is appropriate. Multiple grade level requests with the same project are not acceptable. Because the focus is on student-oriented projects, grant applications to pay an individual for curriculum development will not be funded.
What are my responsibilities if my proposal is funded?
You will be notified by mail that your project is funded. At that time, you will be requested to make a commitment to:
- use the approved grant funds for the approved project;
- submit a recent photo for promotional purposes;
- complete mid-way and final narrative and budget reports by established dates;
- share your project;
- work with your local association to release a press statement announcing your grant project; and
- you may be requested to present your project at any SDEA/NEA sponsored conference or at any statewide educational event approved by the state president.
Besides the funds to implement a project, what other unexpected benefits could occur if I receive a grant from the SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants?
Benefits could include the following:
- local and statewide professional recognition;
- a chance to develop leadership skills and self-confidence;
- the ability to impact schools and communities in a new way;
- an opportunity to "soar" with your project or raise additional funds because of the significance other groups attach to the educational profession; and
- contagious enthusiasm for learning
To be eligible to receive a grant from the SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation Grants you:
- must be a member of the South Dakota Education Association/NEA holding ACTIVE membership status during the school year in which the grant will be implemented.
- must be employed in a position that allows the grant project to be implemented as it is described in this application.
- were not a SDEA/NEA Educational Innovation grant recipient during the previous granting cycle.
Most grant applications are made in the school year prior to their intended implementation.
Applicants should be reasonably sure when they apply that they will be able to meet the requirements listed above.
WHEN APPLYING FOR A GRANT
- read all grant guideline materials including this application
- send proposals postmarked on or before May 1. Late proposals will not be accepted
- create proposals that represent creative and unique ideas directly benefiting students seek support of school district administration and board if appropriate
- submit practical, action-oriented proposals that are member developed and led
- have others review your proposal for clarity
- provide all the information requested
- acquire opinions and support from other educators and citizens
- seek opportunities to share your ideas with others
- use clear descriptions that explain what will be done, by whom and with what kind of evaluation
- share your proposal with your local association
- secure the signature of a local association executive committee member
- type or word-process all application materials, one side only. Handwritten proposals will not be accepted
- address questions regarding the application process to the SDEA President at 605-224-9263
- skip anything or try to change the guidelines
- overlook the possibility of seeking additional sources of funding and other resources. If your budget shows other sources of funds, be sure to indicate which are formally committed and which are "potential" sources.
- send supporting materials that you’d like to have returned
- bind your proposal or spend money for special printing processes. Submit proposals to conduct research.
- submit proposals to continue existing programs
- submit requests for equipment unless it is an integral part of the project
- submit requests for personal educational scholarships
- call to check on the status of the advisory committee’s decision. Applicants will be notified of the status of their grant on or before July 15.