Thursday, September 25, 2008

Best Buy Teacher Grants

I have once before alerted my readers about one of the easiest ways to apply for a grant that just might give you the funds to purchase a laptop computer, a projector for your class, a new digital or video camera, or a myriad of other hardware that you might be wishing for. I do not mean that it is so easy that you apply and automatically are awarded the funding, but there are many awards made and the application process is not so hard that it is not worth your time to try.
It is time for this year's round of Best Buy Teacher Awards!

Go to

You must first know that the deadline for applications is October 12th. and you will receive notification by March 2rd.

Best Buy Teach Awards range from $1,000 to $5,000 and will be granted to programs that engage students at any grade level by creatively integrating interactive technology into the curriculum.
There are also $10,000 Best Buy Teach Awards and these will be granted to up to fifteen (15) schools serving 9th grade students that display the greatest creativity in their programs/projects and the clearest vision of how to increase the school's use of interactive technology.

Jen Wagner, writing in her blog Tech Thoughts by Jen , gives us some insight on how she has been lucky (lots of skill there, too) to be awarded these grants each year since 2003. We should be grateful to her for sharing some of her secrets!
Jen's thoughts:
1. Write about what you are doing now — But also write about what you are doing in the future. When asking for ipods, I wrote “our students are recording books which will help to grow our audio library.” Share what you are doing TODAY but also how it effects TOMORROW!
2. Make sure your Wish List equals what you are doing. If you ask for a MAC on your wish list…..make sure your plans for use emphasize greatly what the mac can bring (such as iLife!!) Be specific as much as you can. If you are asking for ipods — really talk up podcasting. If you are asking for computers, talk about internet availablity, programs you will need, how the printer, the ipod, the monitor, and the tower will all work together for the benefit of your students!
3. Don’t be afraid to boast.If you have won awards on what you are doing, share it. If your class got written up in the local newspaper, share it.And talk #’s — share how this award will not only impact your immediate classroom but also how it will help the entire school as well.
4. Be specifically vague.They want to know what you have done, but they also want ideas of what you will do. Dream big, blow it out of the water……..shoot for something you might not be able to achieve, but with the grant monies, it will be a bit more possible. It is okay to embellish a bit….. (smiles)
5. Emphasize how you won’t be able to do what you wish to do without this grant!Be confident that you will get the grant and let Best Buy know how much you are grateful that their grant will help your classroom achieve your goals!! I wrote “when we receive this grant, we will be able to ……” Look forward and accept the grant before you are even given it!!
6. You don’t have to use all the words quota!Don’t ramble on and on. If you can be specific with 100 words — but they ask for 250……but you said it with 100… content!! As long as you convey your thoughts well….not hitting the word quota is okay.
7. Type it up in Word first!Use spell check, use the thesaurus, check for words you use over and over again. And have someone else read it before you send it.
8. Double check carefully before you hit submit!!!Triple check if necessary.
9. When you get the grant…….MAKE IT KNOWN!! and at Best Buy, meet the manager and thank him/her and get a Personal Shopper to help you! This last time we won, the manager kept introducing us to EVERY clerk saying she (Janell) won the Best Buy Grant and mentioned our school. Great free publicity — made our school look very good!

And you thought you were going to have a quiet weekend??????

Lots of Luck,


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