• IPEI makes several types of grant funding available to ICSD’s teachers, staff, students and school building leaders. 

    Each grant has specific criteria:

    See below for information pertaining to each grant. 

  • Red & Gold

    Red and Gold Grants are one-time awards of up to $700 to ICSD teachers, staff, students or community members for projects, programs or performances that strengthen and enrich school’s curriculum.

    Learn More
    Read a successful application
  • Teacher

    Teacher Grants program provides funding up to $1,750 to ICSD teachers interested in implementing an innovative educational project, program or performance designed in collaboration with at least one community partner.

    Learn More
    Read a successful application
  • Connecting Classroom

    Connecting Classrooms Grants are designed to encourage collaboration and innovation within the Ithaca City School District by developing projects that will have a positive impact on students and actively engage students.

    Applicants must be ICSD teachers or staff members, including principals and administrators.
    Learn More
    Read a successful Letter of Interest (LOI)
  • Student Leadership Grant

    Learn More
    Read our FAQ Document
  • Grants funded: 2023-24

  • Red & Gold grants

    Global Citizenship Through Maps
    Kristina DeCicco 
    Ithaca High School
    Students expand their connection to geography and enhance their global citizenship through differentiated lessons specifically linked to a large world map posted in the classroom space.

    Participation in Government - Field Trip to City of Ithaca
    Ludi Augustine
    Ithaca High School
    Each semester all of the seniors enrolled in Participation in Government meet with local government officials downtown to learn about how to create a thriving city.

    Engaging Students with eSpark
    Kim Lazzaro 
    South Hill Elementary School
    E-Spark is an engaging online ELA and math program that differentiates lessons based on students’ abilities. Students proceed at their own pace and will be assigned videos, lessons, and interactive activities based on their reading and mathematical abilities.

  • Teacher Grants

    Big Ideas in Fashion (Year 3)
    Gina Cacioppo
    Ithaca High School
    This partnership between IPEI and ICSD impacts students by allowing students to propose a hands-on fashion project. Students have support from a professional designer and seamstress to bring their idea from concept to actual garment. This is an experience that is impactful to student understanding of cost to produce items, global impact, garment construction and opens up opportunities for careers in fashion. 

    Youth Theater Project 
    Simnia Singer Sayada
    Lehman Alternative Community School
    During LACS Project time, students will collaborate with Civic Ensemble teaching artists to develop their own short play exploring experiences and issues such as identity awareness, emotional wellness and regulation, community development and equity. 

  • Grants funded: 2022-23

  • Red & Gold grants

    World Map Mural
    Suzanne VanDeMark
    Ithaca High School
    A World Map Mural will be integrated into the Global 1 co-taught classroom to benefit all students, especially those with learning disabilities.

    Hydrogen for Halloween Chemistry
    Michelle Lee
    Ithaca High School
    The Halloween Chemistry Demo Day finale demonstration needs a hydrogen gas lecture bottle.

    Safe and Dry Outdoor Learning Materials
    Spencer Hill.
    Cayuga Heights Elementary School
    Lockable, waterproof storage containers will be purchased for our four 3rd-grade outdoor classrooms, to keep our supplies safe, dry and close at hand.

    Trout in the Classroom
    Jennifer Willkie
    Caroline Elementary School
    Funding will support a student inquiry-based project raising trout to study how they survive and are connected to our own/the land/community health.

    The Memory Project
    Kate Wheeler
    Ithaca High School
    Students create portraits of Nigerian students to send to them as a gift to help build cultural understanding and care.

    AVID 12 Trip to NYC
    Matthew Fellman
    Ithaca High School
    We will be taking a bus of AVID Students to the American Museum of Natural History and New York City College for a college tour.

    Science Olympiad
    Nicole Skiba
    Ithaca High School
    Science Olympiad team members gather twice a week to prepare for competing in various events within the competitions.

    Skills & Thrills!
    Blair MacLeod
    Northeast Elementary School
    We are investing in PE equipment to allow students to utilize frisbee throwing skills more effectively and efficiently.

    Get Belle Sherman's Kids Rolling!
    Megan Ginley
    Belle Sherman Elementary School
    "Kick starting Belle Sherman Bike Program with helmets, bike parts and tools (to maintain bike fleet and teach basic bike maintenance) so that all 2nd graders can learn how to ride bikes inmPE and other grades can use bikes for field trips and as curriculum aids."

    Fuel for Engagement
    Tara O'Malley
    Ithaca High School
    Funding will provide snack and food resources for Student Services. Student Services is a place where students can come to meet multiple academic and emotional needs, and where we hope to eliminate some of the hunger we're noticing this year.

    Power of the Written Word
    Deborah Lynn
    Ithaca High School
    Funding from IPEI will allow IHS’ “The Tattler” editors to attend a journalism conference at Columbia University in NYC

    Musical Theater for Reimagining Justice
    Devin Boaker
    Cayuga Heights Elementary School
    Our 1st grade class is co-creating a musical theater performance with superhero characters, which includes an exploration of how different forms of justice impact individual and community needs.

    “Tompkins County Votes” Murals
    Jackie Richardson
    Beverly J Martin Elementary School
    Our BJM team is collaborating with voting advocates and Ithaca Murals with a goal to inspire and organize for BIPOC artists to paint voting-themed murals at BJM and every school in Tompkins County!

    Sneaker Program*
    Courtney Kane
    Enfield Elementary School
    Funding from IPEI will buy sneakers for students so they can be safe in Physical Education (PE)

    Speaker Series - Poetry & Exploring Identity
    Mary C. Mantelli
    Boynton Middle School
    We will host two published poets as guest speakers, one an Indigenous man who is a member of the Cayuga Nation and one who is a white mom to children of color; they will address oppression and identity in their presentations and read some of their work to the students.

    Fieldtrip to Hangar Theater
    Mariah Prentiss
    Enfield Elementary School
    Enfield Elementary’s K-3 students will attend The Kiddstuff production of Little Red Riding Hood at the Hangar Theatre.

    Periodic Table Mural
    Elizabeth Quadrozzi, Allison Kootsikas and Carlan Gray
    DeWitt Middle School
    Funds from IPEI will help replacing a very old and outdated mural of the Periodic Table at DeWitt.

    Cups, Conversation & Crafts
    Tracy S. Voorheis
    Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS)
    This project will provide an opportunity for students of all abilities to have a drink/beverage, conversation and create "potholders" to be used as gift giving/fund raising.

    Atomic Structure Props*
    Michelle Lee
    Ithaca High School
    Funds will help purchase non-consumable equipment to engage student interest and deepen understanding of atomic structure

    Sunnytown Ecovillage: The Future of Ecological Living
    Michele Mitchell
    Boynton Middle School 6th graders will be creating their own Ecovillages, including the laws/rules, and a garden to support their ecovillage models.

    IHS Healthy Snacks for Student Services*
    Jacquelyn Aman
    Ithaca High School
    Funds from IPEI will purchase healthy snacks for high school students, which will help them learn.

    Caroline Music -Red Riding Hood at the Hangar Theatre
    Katherine Gould
    Caroline Elementary School
    4th grade Caroline students will visit the Hangar Theatre to attend and participate in a professional theatre experience.

    Unit 3 Book Group*
    Kyle Erickson
    Ithaca High School
    During the course of Unit 3, student will engage in lit circles (all books will be related to a Unit 3 topic) which will culminate in an individual one-pager assignment.

    William Sauve
    Ithaca High School
    The iRacing program aims to allow students the ability to apply math, science, and technology skills to the racetrack in a mathematically simulated environment!

    Baseball/Softball Program
    Anthony Archetti
    Fall Creek Elementary School
    Funding will help purchase baseball/softball tees for our elementary Physical Education program

    *Grant will be funded in partnership with ICSD funds.

  • Teacher Grants

    Jill Browne
    Enfield Elementary School
    We are exploring the benefits and challenges of growing produce hydroponically.
    Community Partner: Cornell's School of Integrative Plant Science. Active researchers in the fields of hydroponics and aquaponics. They will serve as our expert advisors via virtual visits where students can hear from them about their work and ask them questions about the work in the classroom. We will also plan a visit to their greenhouses to learn about their hydroponics and aquaponics facilities and research.

    Reform in the 1800s
    Jevon Ballard
    Boynton Middle School
    Students will visit 4 regional sites to get a better understanding of the change that occurred in the 1800’s and will be actively involved by presenting each site with a marketing campaign to encourage more educational visits
    Community Partners: St. James AME Zion Church, Howland Stone Store Museum, Cinemapolis, Africana Studies, Professor Gerard Aching, National Women's Rights Historic Park

    Enfield Family Welcome Center Mural, an “Equitable, Edible Farm School”
    S Kissilof
    Enfield Elementary School
    We want to create a mural outside of our Family Welcome Center depicting our Equitable, Edible Farm School motto. The design will incorporate the ideals of social/food justice.
    Community partners: Ithaca Murals

    Big Ideas in Fashion- Year 2
    G. Cacciopo
    Ithaca High School
    This partnership would impact real-world skills to my students, opening work opportunities and/or study in the future.
    Community Partner: Amelia Rosenthal

    IHS Moroccan Cultural Exchange
    E. Crawford
    Ithaca High School
    A group of 24 high school students will be traveling to Morocco to experience Moroccan and Muslim culture.

    Facing History Holocaust Remembrance
    Rebecca Page Johnson
    Lehman Alternative Community School (LACS)
    The Facing History Holocaust Remembrance project aims to educate ICSD high school students about the Holocaust through in-depth study and educational programming, with an experience at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC.

    West African Music for Social Justice
    Devin Boaker
    Cayuga Heights Elementary School
    Our 1st grade class class is inviting Dr. Baruch Whitehead to teach us about West African drumming and its connections to dance and storytelling.

  • Grants funded: 2021-22

  • Red and Gold grants

    Yay Ukulele!

    Leslie Kurzweil, Cayuga Heights Elementary School

    Students will learn basic chords, strumming patterns, and simple songs on the ukulele.


    Water Justice

    Stephen Anderson, Beverly J Martin Elementary School

    Our district continues to import water jugs every week into schools. My students will test the water coming from the pipes and in local streams to determine levels of lead in the water and make a recommendation to the board of education as to the continued use of water jugs in our buildings.


    Kindness Rocks at IHS

    Marie Sadusky Ithaca High School

    The Yoga & Self Care for Every Body (Physical Education) students will design rocks with kind messages and either hide their rocks around campus or place their rocks in the IHS rock garden to help spread kindness around Ithaca High School to both students and staff.


    Missing COVID Rockets!

    Spencer Hill Cayuga Heights Elementary School

    Our current 4th & 5th graders missed Rocket building and launching at CHES due to COVID and we want to get them caught up, one year at a time.


    Science Olympiad Registration Fees

    Matthew Fellman Ithaca High School

    Our Registration Fees for competitions are increasing every year as our team grows and succeeds.

    The Girl Who Swallowed A Cactus- Syracuse Stage ( Virtual)

    Maureen Gilroy Fall Creek Elementary School

    A virtual performance by the Syracuse Stage draws on elements of traditional storytelling and explores themes of courage, friendship, and environmental preservation.
    Contemplative mural space Michelle Harty Fall Creek Elementary School We are creating a quiet contemplative space to install a mural created by incarcerated youth which commemorates black men and women murdered by police.

    A taste of Spain

    Claudia Miettunen Ithaca High School

    Walking field trip to La Bodega in Dewitt Mall


    Kinder Yogis

    Jessica Custer-Bindel Beverly J Martin Elementary School

    Kinder Yogis is a mindful based yoga program that aligns with social emotional learning.


    Edison Robots for our Elementary Engineers

    Megan Hulburt Northeast Elementary School

    "Our project will give our elementary school students the ability to engineer solutions like real robotics engineers with Edison robots that are simple enough for students to work with independently but versatile enough that our students will be able to really engineer robots with lego attachments and coding to “help humans” just like career robotics engineers!"



    Independent Music Production.

    Harry Nichols. Dewitt Middle School

    Using online tools to foster student creativity through music production

    I currently run an indie music production club at school. Students in the club write and record original music using the technology provided by the district, and materials that I have supplied. The club will use this grant money to purchase Melodyne, an application to help produce their music, turning rough demos into professional-sounding products.


    3d Printer for our Elementary Innovations.

    Megan Hulburt. Northeast Elementary School

    Northeast’s  4th and 5th-grade students are learning to engineer 3-dimensional creations with Tinker Cad.  With our own 3D printers, our students will be able to bring their designs from a model on a screen to a creation they can hold in their hands!


    Hoophouse growing facilitation for IHS

    Robert Tuori. Ithaca High School

    I would like to purchase a weed wacker to simplify clean-up of the hoop house in the spring before planting; I would also like to purchase a black tarp to cover our cover crops after they are weed whacked.


    SEL Onstage at Northeast

    Brian Goodman. Northeast Elementary School

    Students will engage with our social-emotional curriculum through theatre arts.


    I See You, You See Me: Diverse Books for the Fall Creek "Share-a-Book"

    Shelf Sarah Smith. Fall Creek Elementary School

    Imagine a bookshelf at Fall Creek school from which all children can take books home. And imagine that this shelf is always full of a beautifully diverse collection of books in which all children see themselves and see others. The FC Pre-K class is starting a giveaway bookshelf for the whole school, and we need books with BIPOC characters to fill the shelf.


    Breakout EDU

    Michelle Lee. Ithaca High School

    Escape-room like boxes that are content-driven for use in small groups - each Breakout EDU game requires collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication.


    Field and Contemporary Small Group Activities

    Justin Carr. Ithaca High School

    This PE elective aims to increase student engagement by offering traditional back yard style games that promote movement, challenge, and teamwork.


    Diverse Needs, Flexible Environment

    Michelle Szymczak. Northeast Elementary School

    Students' diverse academic, social, cultural, neurological, and sensory needs dictate that a classroom environment should have flexibility in seating and a diverse array of tools to help all students be successful.


    Loom Knitting with Kids

    Kelda McGurk. Cayuga Heights Elementary School

    Teaching students to use knitting looms to make hats as an activity to build self-regulation in the classroom and fine-motor skills and confidence.


    Vacuum Pump

    Andrew Lesser. Ithaca High School

    A vacuum pump is an amazing tool to make ideas like pressure/volume relationships and the effect of pressure on a substance's boiling point real for students.


    Anansi Does The Impossible- A Fifth Grade Play

    Maureen Gilroy. Fall Creek Elementary School

    Chris Bell and I will work with 5th graders at Fall Creek School to craft a script, design a set, and perform based on the book Anansi Does the Impossible an Ashanti Tale by Verna Aardema.


    Solar Power!

    Perry Gorgen. South Hill Elementary School

    Solar power engineers will visit our classrooms, explain their work and the science behind it, and provide a hands-on experience building a solar-powered fan for the class.

  • Teacher Grants

    Caroline Rides- Caroline Bike Trail and Bicycle Riding Development Program

    Samuel Trechter Caroline Elementary School

    Continuing to build out the Caroline Bike program by increasing our fleet of bicycles and significantly building out our rough draft dirt trail with the addition of dirt berms, rollers, and other low-level challenges appropriate for beginning and intermediate young bicycle riders.


    Capoeria: (part 2)

    Stephanie Colombo Enfield Elementary

    In its second and third years, this project will focus on the cultural and musical aspects of the art form. More attention will be paid to the finer details of style in the movements, player interactions, rituals and customs. Instruments will be provided to the school so children can participate in the Batteria. Gourd seeds and trees will be purchased and the ground of the “Enfield Vines” location as well as the forest will be worked to curate a capoeira garden for the creation of Birumbao’s in the third year of this project (and beyond). Another goal for the third year included in this project will be teaching the upkeep of the type of gourd used for the musical instrument and responsible forest management for the trees/boughs harvested for the stick of the instrument.


    Art-A Cultural Dig into the World through Artifacts & Storytelling

    Taura McMeekin Enfield Elementary

    Through yearlong partnerships with National Geographic’s Explorer/Educator Project, Cornell’s Archaeology Department, The Museum of the Earth & the Johnson Museum of Art students will design a Student-Led hands-on Geography of the Soul Community Festival on Friday, June 10th, 2022 highlighting a cultural dig into the world of artifacts and stories of identity from both near & far.


    Storytelling Project.

    Kathryn Arnold. Northeast Elementary. Community Partner – Regi Carpenter

    Students attending remote classes will create and present an original story. We expect that using the tradition of storytelling, students will be able to improve their social connections, begin to define their identity, and develop kindness and compassion for others. Our classrooms are participating in remote learning. We are looking for opportunities for students to overcome the challenges of isolation and distance through building bridges with storytelling.


    3rd Grade Mural.

    Marlena Doerr. Cayuga Heights Elementary. Community Partner – Hugo Medina

    "All students in 3rd grade will work collaboratively with Teaching-Artist, Hugo Medina, to 

    learn about murals, develop a mural concept, and paint a mural in a Cayuga Heights stairwell.


    BSES Social Justice Mural.

    Ashley Paolangeli. Belle Sherman Elementary. Community Partner – Ithaca Murals

    As part of their study of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the Belle Sherman 

    5th graders, in collaboration with a professional muralist, will work to bring a mural to the 1,135 sq ft Belle Sherman Annex wall that will highlight the core values and motivations of the school and its surrounding community. 


    6th Grade Joyshop. Nicole Dauria.

    Boynton Middle School. Community Partners – Elboner Stevenson and Kenneth McLaurin

    As part of an entire week of events and explorations for students, we are bringing in Elbonee Stevenson and Kenneth McLaren, the local duo, for interactive performances/workshops for 6th-grade students.


    Student Identities and Graphic Design

    Ann Kolodji. Beverly J Martin Elementary School

    Community Partner: Samarra Khaja

    As part of an anti-racist curriculum project, a local illustrator and graphic artist will work with 4th-grade students to design a mural highlighting BJM and student identities. 


    A Sensory Garden for Mental Health

    Jill Browne. Enfield Elementary School

    Community Partner: Johnson Museum of Art, Carol Hockett
    Students will design, construct and present to the school a sensory garden to support mental health to be used by the Enfield School Community. 


    Multicultural Mural

    Claudia Miettunen. Ithaca High School

    Community Partner: Mary Beth Inhken 

    Culturally and linguistically affirming mural welcoming students and staff entering the World Language area of K building 


    Big Ideas in Fashion

    Gina Cacioppo. Ithaca High School

    Community Partner: Amelia Rae Rosenthal

    This partnership would impart real-world skills to my students, opening work opportunities and/or study in the future. 

  • Grants Committee Members

    Our grants process would not be possible without the thoughtful dedication of these individuals.
    Andrea Volckmar, Chair
    Margery Brodhead
    JoAnne Church
    Millicent Clarke-Maynard
    Jessica Custer Bindel
    Linda Duttweiler
    Samantha Elibiary
    Jennifer Engel
    Wayne Gottlieb
    Jason Leifer
    Walaa Maharem-Horan
    Cheryl Mitchell
    Kathleen O’Neill
    Joyce Putnam
    Sari Stifelman
    Deborah Whitehead
    Mary Grover & Lily Talcott, ICSD Admin Reps.
    Adam Piasecki, ITA Rep.

    Want to join? 

    Are you interested in being a part of our Grants committee? Email to learn more! 

  • Situational Grants

    Thank you for your interest in our Situational Grants.

    We are NOT ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS at this time 

    Questions? email

    In keeping with our mission to connect our classrooms to the community and support teacher ideas, IPEI has created a special grant round to support our teachers and ICSD professionals during the current social-distancing and distance learning events occurring as a result of COVID-19.

    This funding will be made available to support the efforts of ICSD employees and benefits students who are
    participating in distance-learning programs. These grants will only be made available during a time period while ICSD schools are practicing remote

    Learn More
  • Grants Archives

    Lists of past recipients of Teacher Grants, Red and Gold Grants, Connecting Classrooms Grants, and Community Collaboration Grants are organized by school years.

    Learn More