Teacher Grants: From Start to Finish

Bradley Cleveland Public Education Foundation

BCPEF, much like everyone, has navigated a challenging year, yet our grant process remains consistent.  Have you ever wondered how Bradley County and Cleveland City Schools receive funding from BCPEF?  There are two categories of grants  BCPEF manages: Major Grants and Teacher Grants.  Major Grants support major initiatives that address school wide or system goals or objectives. BCPEF collaborates with school and system administrators to identify needs and target initiatives that support Tennessee Standards, System 5-year Plans, or School Improvement Plans.  BCPEF seeks funding for Major Grants from businesses, corporations, general foundations, family foundations, and individuals interested in and committed to charitable education causes. Once awarded, BCPEF acts as the fiscal agent, managing the funds to ensure proper use and observance of applicable financial laws. 

Teacher Grants support innovative classroom instruction designed and implemented by teachers. BCPEF solicits funds for Teacher Grants from attendees of the Vision 100 event and from the educational family of both systems.  Our website is organized to make the application process for a Teacher Grant simple and thorough. An individual, full time, certified teacher may apply for a Teacher Grant of up to $1,000. A team of full-time, certified teachers may apply for a TEAM grant for up to $5,000. The team of collaborating teachers (full-time, certified) is defined by the individual school. It may consist of a grade level team, a cross-curricular team, a subject-specific team, a school-wide team, etc. Teachers submitting a TEAM proposal are NOT eligible to submit an INDIVIDUAL proposal. The application process opens in August although teachers may begin researching and

developing proposals earlier. Generally, the second week of the new school year,  BCPEF offers a grant writing workshop conducted by a panel of teachers from both systems who have experience and expertise in writing and implementing award winning BCPEF Teacher Grants. The panel will present a thorough explanation of all guidelines, including addressing the school’s overall strategic plan, going over grant restrictions, and making sure that project ideas are academically at the best interest of the student population they represent,  previous award winning examples and one-to-one help. All submissions are anonymous to ensure fairness and are scored by a minimum of 3 members from the BCPEF Educational Family Committee composed of representatives from each BCS and CCS school. Submissions scoring at a specified benchmark are reviewed by a Grants Committee composed of community representatives with grant experience.  Awards are announced in October and funds are immediately available for purchases to implement the initiative.    

In May each year, BCPEF presents Gifts, Grants and Gratitude, a luncheon which brings together donors and grant recipients promoting a personal connection.  This event showcases the annual creative activities and accomplishments of both Major Grants and Teacher Grants.  

To learn more about Major Grants or Teacher Grants visit our website at BCPEF.org or feel free to call 423-476-0034.  Our staff is always available and eager to hear from you and help with your innovative ideas.