As individuals who have served their communities well, retired teachers deserve time off to relax, spend time with family or devote time and energy to an interest or hobby. However, the lifestyles of retired teachers differ. Some are well off and continue to play a role in their communities as mentors and resources for current educators and students. Others enjoy a new occupation or field whereas still others have trouble making ends meet with their retirement benefits. Regardless of a retired teacher's lifestyle, grants can still play just as much a role in his life as they probably did while he was teaching.
Grants for Educators
On their own or with their retired teacher's association, retired teachers often make grants to current educators. These grant opportunities range from mini-grants given out of a teacher's own pocket to reoccurring, larger grants that retired teachers can contribute to. For example, Cleveland-area retired teacher Jill Herrick offers mini-grants to support teachers' classroom projects each year while the Illinois Retired Teacher Foundation offers $15,000 in grants to teachers across Illinois each year.
Grants for Starting a Business
Retired teachers who want to start a business in education, such as a tutoring center or child care center may be able to find small business grants to help them get started. Although the U.S. Small Business Association does not make grants to small businesses, state and local government agencies may be willing to give start-up grant money to retired teachers starting education-related businesses. Further, some companies and nonprofit organizations offer grants for educational business. For example, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation devotes money to developing high-quality early childhood education.
Grants for Living Expenses
Retired teachers who are having trouble making ends meet may be eligible for grants or donations, especially from community organizations. Many churches or other places of worship, community centers and local nonprofits offer small grants or donations to community members who are struggling financially. Retired teachers who are well known in the community may be even more likely to qualify for this support. Further, teachers in the U.K. may be eligible for grants from the Teacher Support Network, which offers money to retired teachers in need.
National Education Association Resources
Although the National Education Association (NEA) does not advertise grants for retired teachers in need or who want to start a new project, the association does offer a number of resources for retired teachers. Working with the NEA, retired teachers can stay in contact with colleagues and friends in the education industry while learning how they can serve as volunteers or mentors. Further, the NEA helps retired members protect their benefits and pensions while offering savings accounts, health insurance, loans, investment opportunities and savings accounts for retired teachers. Retired teachers in dire financial need can contact their NEA representative about where to find help.
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