Substantial Local Grants Now Available to Create Innovative Learning Spaces for Students
St. Louis, Mo. – The St. Louis-based Innovative Technology Education Fund’s (ITEF) 2016 grant cycle has opened, and schools and teachers in 12 counties across Missouri and Illinois can now submit applications to receive grants to advance innovation and technology in their classrooms. In 2015, ITEF awarded more than $360,000 to seven area schools, with grants averaging more than $51,000 each.
“Today’s students are preparing for a future that will be even more technology-filled than we can yet imagine,” said ITEF Executive Director Charmaine Smith. “We are extremely pleased to provide grants that allow teachers in our region to find new ways to incorporate technology and innovative learning spaces into their schools and classrooms.”
Since 2008, ITEF has provided in excess of $2 million in grants to area schools, allowing them to transform libraries into makerspaces, introduce robotics and animation to elementary art students, and put computers with advanced software in the hands of middle-school students.
The Soulard School, which received one of the 2015 grants, has put in place a ‘Total Wellness Project’ for K-5 students, connecting health and wellness to their larger curriculum goals. Students use monitors to track personal health and fitness measures, as well as to become more technologically savvy. One student, eight-year-old Joss Thenhaus (pictured, left), sets personal fitness goals with his mom, Sarah Buckles (pictured, right). Joss said the devices help them both “choose to be more active”. His device has also alerted him to an increase in his daily activity level when he plays outside with friends, leading to conversations at home and school about health and fitness as well as technology.
ITEF’s model allows them to use technology to provide access to innovative education tools for students. The nonprofit organization derives revenue by leasing a broadband signal, and turns those funds into grants that benefit area schools. The organization also uses the signal to help some schools obtain portable Wi-Fi hotspot devices for students to use at home if they do not have internet access.
Applications for the 2016 grants will be accepted through January 31, 2016. Project proposals may support single-grade classrooms, multiple grade levels, entire schools, or collaborations with a nonprofit partner serving students and/or classroom educators. Grants must be used in charter schools and accredited K-12 public, private or parochial schools.
Eligible counties in Missouri:
- St. Charles
- St. Francois
- St. Louis City
- St. Louis County
Eligible counties in Illinois:
- St. Clair
Proposal writing workshops are available for educators who have questions.
Thursday, November 19, 3:30pm
Thursday, January 14, 5pm
Click here to begin the application process: Apply Now.
The Innovative Technology Education Fund (ITEF) is a St. Louis-based nonprofit that provides grants to advance innovation and technology in classrooms. In 2015, ITEF awarded more than $360,000 in grants to seven area schools, with average grants of more than $51,000.
ITEF has provided grants to area schools allowing them to transform libraries into makerspaces, introduce robotics and animation to elementary art students, and put computers with advanced software in the hands of middle-school students.