The state of Connecticut is making 4 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) dollars available to fund teachers’ classroom projects through DonorsChoose. [Update: as of Feb. 5, all funds have been assigned.]
“Recognizing their expertise, this initiative empowers teachers to submit projects that directly address the unique needs of their students,” said Governor Ned Lamont. “By investing in these projects, we ensure that qualified teachers have the resources to create impactful and personalized learning experiences, ultimately benefiting the students they passionately guide toward success.”
Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz said, “I know from my family members who are teachers—they all have a mental list of what they could do with extra dollars, if they had them. They spend their waking moments thinking about how we can educate our kids in the best possible and most enriching way.”
“We are tremendously excited to see additional resources go to Connecticut educators, because we know that lack of funding is a persistent challenge in classrooms throughout the state. I look forward to seeing the projects that result from this fund,” said CEA President Kate Dias.
She continued, “We want teachers everywhere to have opportunities to engage their students in new ways and do things differently. I think we all wish we had more funding for all schools so that we didn’t have to go out and do this as a one-time project—but I do think this program allows us to prove proof of concept, if nothing else. I hope teachers will go ahead and apply for funds to do whatever it is that you think is a truly engaging, meaningful opportunity for your students, and use it as a proof of concept to go back to your district and say, ‘Let’s do more and see if we can institutionalize some of these practices.’ There is no shortage of good ideas. There’s no shortage of inspiration. And there is no shortage of ways that teachers can use four million dollars.”
How to apply
The website is open and ready to accept teachers’ applications. [Update: as of Feb. 5, all funds have been assigned.]
Here’s what you need to know.
- Apply as early as possible—funds are limited.
- Teachers must create a new project after 11 a.m. on February 1 that aligns to the following State Department of Education priorities:
- Learning acceleration, academic renewal, and student enrichment
- Social, emotional, and mental health of students and school staff
- Applications should be for approximately $800 or less as larger projects are not eligible for funding.
- Eligible projects are anticipated to be funded within one week of posting. Material shipment will take 3-6 weeks.
- Funding will go directly to DonorsChoose, not the school district. DonorsChoose will send the materials to teachers’ classrooms and they will become the property of the school.
Share photos of your funded project on social with the hashtag #CTDonorsChoose.