The NEA Foundation Awards 47 Grants to Support Educators’ Innovative Ideas

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From marine biology field trips to professional development workshops in Peru, the NEA Foundation extends funding to 47 public school educators to improve student learning.

In Sacramento, CA, Brenda Grueneberger, an eleventh and twelfth grade arts educator, will help students correspond with architect mentors from across the nation to redesign a section of their high school. In Kualapuu, HI, Diane Abraham, a fifth grade educator, will lead students on an expedition to Kaneohe Bay, where they will collect samples and analyze levels of salinity, oxygen, turbidity, and acidity. And in Terre Haute, IN, Melissa Jordan, a seventh grade science educator, will attend the 2014 Educator Academy in Iquitos, Peru, where she will collaborate with scientists, researchers, and fellow educators on citizen science projects and field work.

This is a small, random sample of the innovative work the NEA Foundation is funding with its latest round of grants: awarded to 47 educators across 23 states for a total of $175,000.

“With these grants, we are supporting educator-driven solutions that contribute to improved student performance in public schools,” said Harriet Sanford, president and CEO of the NEA Foundation. “Our support enables educators to engage in a wide variety of innovative approaches to the benefit of students across the country.”

The NEA Foundation awards two levels of grant funding, $2,000 or $5,000, for two primary categories of grants to public education professionals: Student Achievement Grants for initiatives to improve academic achievement, and Learning and Leadership Grants for high-quality professional development activities.

A team of 20 educators, many former grantees, carefully reviewed all applications and evaluated each one against a set of criteria. Funded grants were selected for the quality of the grant proposal ideas and their potential for enhancing student achievement.

Over the past decade, the NEA Foundation has invested more than $7.1 million in grants to support the work of almost 4,500 educators from every state in the country to help students succeed. Each year, the Foundation awards approximately 150 Student Achievement and Learning and Leadership Grants. To learn about these educators’ projects, visit the NEA Foundation’s Grantee Archive. Search for grantees and projects by most recent, grade level, subject, state, or keyword.

The NEA Foundation awards its grants to educators three times a year. The next grant deadline is June 1, 2014. Application forms and a video with step-by-step instructions on how to apply can be found in the Grants to Educators section of the NEA Foundation website.

Note: Please use the correct name, the NEA Foundation. The NEA is never spelled out. It is not the National Education Association Foundation. Many thanks!


The NEA Foundation is a public charity supported by contributions from educators' dues, corporate sponsors, and others. The NEA Foundation supports student success by helping public school educators work with key partners to build strong systems of shared responsibility. For more information, visit

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Carrie McCloud
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