Innovation Fund Grant Opportunities

Innovation Fund Tiny Grants

The Governor’s Office of Student Achievement will be conducting a May review of Tiny Grants submitted by May 10, 2017. Applications submitted by May 10 will be notified by the end of May. 

What is a Tiny Grant?

Tiny Grants will provide traditional public schools, charter schools, and school districts between $1,000 and $10,000 to implement an innovative project that will deeply engage students. An innovative project solves an existing problem in an inventive way and has the potential to have a large and lasting impact on the academic environment. 

Tiny Grant-funded programs or projects must align with one of the following priority areas:

  • Applied Learning with a Focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) education;
  • Development and Replication of Blended Learning School Models; or
  • Birth to Age Eight Language and Literacy Development.
Award Timeline

GOSA will accept Tiny Grant applications on a rolling-basis and review applications four times throughout the year. Please see the table below for application review dates.

All Applications Submitted By Will Be Reviewed By
February 1, 2017 Late February
May 10, 2017 Late May
June 1, 2017 Late June 
September 1, 2017 Late September
November 1, 2017 Mid-December 
Who can apply?

You are eligible to participate in the Tiny Grant Program if:

  • You are a school administrator, principal, or instructional coach at a charter school or traditional public school in the state of Georgia;
  • You are a K-12 teacher at a Georgia charter school or traditional public school who has been teaching for at least three years; or
  • You are another type of leadership-level administrator in a Georgia Local Education Agency (school district).
How do I apply?

To participate in the Tiny Grant program, please follow the steps below:

  1. Carefully review the Tiny Grant Guidelines, including the eligibility requirements and proposal components, and scoring rubric.
  2. Electronically submit the online Tiny Grant Application Form. Please note, all applicants will need to upload the Tiny Grant Process Table and the Tiny Grant Budget Template.
Definitions

Applied Learning is the opportunity for students to integrate classroom content with authentic, real-world (personal, home, career, community, society) experiences. Through these experiences, students develop and strengthen their problem-solving, critical thinking, communication, and self-management skills. Applied learning not only supports students in mastering content standards, but also equips them with the skills they need to be successful students and adults.

STEAM Education is defined as an integrated curriculum (as opposed to science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics taught in isolation) that is driven by problem solving, discovery, exploratory project/problem-based learning, and student-centered development of ideas and solutions. (Definition from the Georgia Department of Education)

Blended Learning is a formal education program in which a student learns at least in part through online learning with some element of student control over time, place, path and/or pace, and at least in part in a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home.  In addition, the modalities along each student’s learning path within a course or subject are connected to provide an integrated learning experience. Blended learning is NOT simply placing technology in the classroom or providing students access to online courses.  Blended learning utilizes technology to restructure traditional school models, promote data-driven and individualized instruction, leverage the strengths of effective educators, and advance student achievement. (Definition adapted from The Clayton Christensen Institute)

Birth to Age Eight Language and Literacy focuses on creating high-quality and productive learning environments – both inside and outside of the classroom – where children, ages birth to eight, have access to the resources necessary to fully develop their language and literacy skills.  This priority area focuses on both in-school learning and, also, on leveraging community partnerships with social service and nonprofit organizations to address each child’s learning, health, family, and social-emotional needs. 

In alignment with the Get Georgia Reading Campaign, grants aligned with this priority area must address the following four pillars:

  • Language Nutrition: All children receive language-rich child and adult interactions.
  • Access: All children and their families have access to high-quality social services that support healthy development.
  • Productive Learning Climate: Children have access to home and school environments that foster their social-emotional development, school engagement, and academic achievement.
  • Teacher Preparation and Effectiveness: Early childhood educators provide high-quality, evidence-informed instruction tailored to the needs of each child, regardless of background.  (Definition from Get Georgia Reading)

An Innovative Program solves an existing problem in a new and inventive way, has the potential to dramatically improve student achievement, is replicable, and can be objectively evaluated. For the purposes of the Tiny Grant program, we are looking for projects that align with Level 2 or Level 3 from the chart below. (Definition adapted from The Walton Family Foundation and Forbes.com)

Level of Innovation Mindset Outcome Example
Level 4: Creator of New Future Visionary, fully engaged, and entrepreneurial – “Where must we be in ten years?”  Breakthrough approaches to teaching and learning, never- before-seen approaches to school models. A school district creates a mobile school to serve transient or homeless students.
Level 3: Continuous Improver Dissatisfied with the status quo – “Good enough is not good enough." Incremental changes to teaching, learning, and school models are proposed and implemented. A school district starts a new after school program for homeless students, designed to help them improve their life skills and stay in school.
Level 2: Problem Preventer Mindful and prepared of potential challenges – “Not on my watch.” Challenges are managed and mitigated.  A district starts an incentive program designed to improve homeless students’ attendance. 
Level 1: Problem Solver Practical, competent – “I can do this.” Challenges are resolved. A district makes sure it provides efficient transportation for all homeless students. 

Fiscal Year 2017 Funding Cycle

On October 11, 2016, Gov. Deal announced 18 Fiscal Year 2017 Innovation Fund grant awards.  Please click here to view a list of the winning proposals. 

On November 18, 2016, Gov. Deal announced Coleman Middle School as the first tiny grant award winner.  Coleman Middle School in Gwinnett County will receive funding to implement a project in which students will use drones to explore the waste inventory of the Chattahoochee River.

Fiscal Year 2018 Funding Cycle

Information about the Fiscal Year 2018 funding cycle will be available in Spring 2017.