Governor Nathan Deal today announced the six award winners who will participate in the Innovation Fund Accelerator, a competitive grant opportunity that provides funding to local educational agencies, regional educational service agencies, traditional public schools and charter schools to develop innovative programs that address challenging and complex educational issues.

“The Innovation Fund Accelerator connects leaders in education with additional resources to develop innovative solutions that improve student achievement,” said Deal. “By investing in programs that address the challenges facing our education system today, we are building a stronger foundation for Georgia’s students to succeed in the classroom of tomorrow and the workforce of the future. Congratulations to the award winners and we look forward to learning how each innovative program will improve opportunities for student growth and success.”

Award winners will receive a $10,000 grant to support activities directly related to Innovation Fund Accelerator participation. Upon successful completion of the Innovation Fund Accelerator, participants can apply for an additional grant of up to $45,000 to pilot the innovative programs they developed.

Programs supported by the Innovation Fund Accelerator must align with one of the four following priority areas: applied learning with a focus on science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEAM) education, development and replication of blended and personalized learning school models, birth-to-age-eight language and literacy development, and teacher and leader development for high-need schools. 

The grant award winners and their respective programs are listed below:

Applied Learning with a Focus on STEAM Education

Peachcrest Elementary School

DeKalb County School District

The Peach Goes Green

West Jackson Elementary School

Jackson County School System

AIM Higher

Birth-To-Age-Eight Language and Literacy Development

Carrollton City Schools

Literacy Without Limits

Villa Rica Elementary School

Carroll County School System

Improving Early Literacy

Teacher and Leader Development For High-Need Schools

Department of Juvenile Justice

Operation Turnaround: Recruit, Retrain, and Retain

Latin Grammar School

Fulton County Schools

Teachers are Brain Surgeons

Descriptions of the programs are attached.

About the Innovation Fund

The Innovation Fund invests in public education entities that develop and scale programs that enable Georgia educators to improve student performance and tackle our state’s most significant education challenges. In 2011, the Innovation Fund began as a $19.4 million grant competition created under Georgia’s Race to the Top (RT3) Plan. To continue the Innovation Fund’s work beyond RT3, Deal appropriated state funding for Fiscal Years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. Since its inception, the Innovation Fund has invested more than $33 million of state and federal funding through 148 grants to school districts, charter schools, postsecondary institutions and nonprofit organizations to pilot innovative education programs, ranging in focus from teacher and leader induction and development to STEAM (science, technology, engineering arts and math) applied learning, blended learning and birth-to-age-8 language and literacy development. More information about the Innovation Fund is available on the GOSA website.