IPEI Introduces Connecting Classrooms Grants

August 30, 2014


The Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI) introduces Connecting Classrooms Grants, another grants program for Ithaca City School District (ICSD) teachers and staff who have ideas to enhance educational opportunities for all students. Details about how to apply for these grants will be distributed to all ICSD schools and are available online at: http://www.ipei.org/index.php?page=connecting-classrooms-grants.


Connecting Classrooms Grants will build on IPEI’s successful models for encouraging and supporting innovative teaching and deeper learning.  “Our intent is to be the catalyst for ICSD staff to seek and develop innovative collaborative partnerships between teachers within a school, across grade levels and/or between schools,” according to Connie Patterson, IPEI board member and retired educator. 


“It’s about working together,” said IPEI Executive Director Christine Sanchirico. “This is really our guiding principle for the grants.”


IPEI has initiated Connecting Classrooms Grants using funds IPEI received from generous community members who donated to its Our Children * Our Schools * Our Future campaign.  One of the capital campaign’s three goals was to expand programs and grants. IPEI’s other grants programs are funded by the Annual Fund and Adult Spelling Bee. 


IPEI will offer significant resources for Connecting Classroom Grant recipients to plan, develop, and implement their visions that are aligned with the grant criteria.  Connecting Classrooms Grants criteria include: internal collaboration among ICSD staff; identification of overall promise or potential of project aligned with school and district goals; plan encourages active learning and student engagement; realistic, thoughtful outline of process; proposed budget aligns with project goals and intended outcomes; potential for academic impact; and process for effective evaluation of the project. 


IPEI expects that these large scale projects will be oriented toward student engagement that support learning consistent with school and district goals.  “IPEI has dedicated funding to encourage innovative thinking, further engage students, and increase the sense of community between groups of teachers and students,” explained Patterson. To be considered for funding, projects must have a plan for sustainability and a method for evaluation. Patterson added that applicants should first consider whether the request fits into IPEI’s other grant categories (Teacher Grants, Red and Gold Grants, Community Collaboration Grants). 

Applicants first submit the Statement of Interest Form to ConnectingClassroomsGrants@IPEI.org.IPEIwill respond within 30 days. If invited to apply, applicants will complete the Formal Proposal Form and accompanying narratives.  An IPEI representative may be assigned to applicants to support proposal planning. The proposal form will be reviewed and considered for approval by the IPEI Board.  The application deadline is rolling, and it is expected that the entire process will require a minimum of 10-12 weeks.


For more information, contact ConnectingClassroomsGrants@IPEI.org or call (607)256-4734.


IPEI is a community based not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization that develops supportive community and private sector relationships with the ICSD.  Founded in 1996, IPEI is committed to connecting school and community through collaboration, engagement, gifts and grants. 





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