Catholic Elementary School Grants

by Gianna Maria

Grant money is available to Catholic elementary schools that want to enhance their learning environment with creative teaching methods, tools and equipment. Grants are available to fund programs in math, science, reading, social studies, technology and environmental studies. Corporate foundations, nonprofit organizations and professional associations are three of the best sources for Catholic elementary school grants.

Lego Children's Fund

The Lego Children’s Fund awards grants to tax-exempt organizations--including private, public and parochial schools--for innovative health, physical education, math, reading, science, social studies and technology programs. Preference is given to organizations in Connecticut and western Massachusetts although it will consider applications from anywhere in the United States. Schools have been given grants to add digital photography and movie making to their curriculum, offer sign language classes, start a robotics club and create a lab to study a local watershed. Grants range from $500 to $5,000, and schools must provide matching funds. Money is awarded quarterly, with deadlines on Feb. 1, May 1, Aug. 1 and Nov. 1. LEGO Children’s Fund Grant Administrator P.O. Box 916 Enfield, CT  06083-0916 860-763-6670 legochildrensfund.org

National Italian American Foundation

The National Italian American Foundation offers a matching grant program to help schools or community organizations offer Italian language classes. Grants, which range from $500 to $2,000 annually, may be used to pay a language teacher’s salary or to purchase textbooks, language compact discs or other teaching materials. The grant application deadline is usually at the end of July. The National Italian American Foundation Language Study Grants 1860 19th St. N.W. Washington, DC 20009 202-939-3107 niaf.org

Toshiba America Foundation

Teachers in grades kindergarten through six can receive grants up to $1,000 to implement special science and mathematics programs. Schools have received funding to study the science behind maple syrup production, to build simple machines that demonstrate basic physics concepts, to learn about pitch and sound waves and to design prototypes of useful inventions. Application deadline for grade school grants is Oct. 1. Grants Program for K-6 Science and Math Education Toshiba America Foundation 1251 Avenue of the Americas, 41st Floor New York, NY 10020 212-596-0620 toshiba.com/tafpub/jsp/home/default.jsp

Captain Planet Foundation

The Captain Planet Foundation will provide grants to schools and other organizations that want to implement educational programs which teach grade school students about the environment and resource conservation. In 2009 it provided funds for land restoration projects, to establish outdoor classrooms and to develop organic herb, vegetable and fruit gardens. Projects must offer hands-on learning opportunities for children ages 6 through 18 and teach skills in planning, problem solving and group dynamics. Schools can apply for up to $2,500 in funding. Quarterly deadlines are March 31, June 30, Sept. 30 and Dec. 31. Captain Planet Foundation 133 Luckie St., 2nd Floor Atlanta, GA 30303 404-522-4270 captainplanetfoundation.org

ING Unsung Heroes

The financial services company ING recognizes innovative teachers with its Unsung Heroes grant program. Each year it awards $2,000 to 100 teachers to help them fund creative educational projects that help children learn in new ways. In addition, three teachers from the 100 winners receive top awards for $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. In 2009 teachers received funding for a cross-curriculum study of bluegrass music and culture, to establish a student-run weather center, to build a solar-powered robot for studying the environment, to implement a math and game week and to hold a cultural fair on ancient Egypt. Applications are due by April 30 of each year. ING Foundation 5780 Powers Ferry Road N.W. Atlanta, GA 30327 770-980-6580 ing-usafoundation.com

About the Author

Gianna Maria has written for print and online publications since 1980. Her articles about parenting, education, travel, health, marketing and hobbies have appeared on websites such as Catholic Mom, 4Marks, Creative Homemaking and Epinions. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism and minors in French and foreign studies from the University of Minnesota.