Website that helps teachers find grant money takes off
Craig Clough | September 18, 2014
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Teachers are responding with enthusiasm to a website that helps them find grant money for classroom projects and professional development, according to the LA Fund for Public Education, the non-profit that launched the program last spring.
Called Grants HQ, the website puts hundreds of millions of dollars in educational grants online in one place and is available only to LA Unified’s approximately 30,000 educators.
“Teachers want the grants,” Andrea Kobliner, a grant advisor with the program told LA School Report. “This is really the only grants website that is just geared for education, only for LAUSD teachers, and helps them by actually classifying the grants.”
Previously, hunting down grants required the arduous task of searching the Internet on many sites to find one that specifically fits an educator’s grade level and eligibility, according to Kobliner.
The program also offers free grant-writing workshops to teachers, which have been oversubscribed, she said. Two upcoming workshops this month and next are already full, with a waiting list of over 90.
At least seven successful grants totaling $12,370 have been handed out to LA Unified educators through the site. Kobliner said she thinks the actual numbers may be higher but teachers are not obligated to report their successes. “It’s kind of tricky, as we’ve asked everyone when they apply for grants… and then if they win an award to please notify us,” Kobliner said. “That doesn’t seem to be the case, and we have no other way to get the information unless they tell us.”
Kobliner said six of the seven confirmed grant winners had attended a workshop.
Kobliner said the site has 1,153 registers users and at the moment about 275 available grants. She recalled recently putting up a new available grant on the site at 9:30 a.m.
“By 11:30,” she said, “we had 257 hits on it.”