Field trip grants take students on a journey to authentic learning.
Although field trips may have taken a dip in popularity recently due to a lack of funding, these valuable extensions of the classroom do not have to be left out of your planning! Luckily, increasing numbers of organizations offer field trip grants in an effort to help teachers provide authentic learning experiences beyond their own the classroom.
The application process may seem daunting, but once you have received your first field trip grant, we’re certain you'll be looking for more ways to plan free field trips for your very grateful students.
Free Field Trips for Student Learning
There are some important tips you should follow in order to increase your chances of receiving grant money from various organizations:
Think Outside the Box. This is where teachers can begin to practice what they preach. Search for any kind of grants or funding that applies to education. Even if they don't state "free field trips for sale" that doesn't mean your creative application can't be worded in such a way that their grant can be used to fund your field trip ideas.
- Do an Online Search. Many of the free field trips available to your students are waiting right in your very own community - or nearby. Type in search terms like "Field Trip Grants Michigan" or "Columbus OH Field Trip Grants" and dozens of options will appear, just for the clicking.
- Make Some Phone Calls. Start calling local organizations and businesses, such as the Rotary Club, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, museums, art galleries, local grocery stores, anyone at all - and ask about field trip grants. There could be some extra grant money lurking in their bank accounts. Or, you may be a source of field trip grant inspiration. Many organizations know education funding is tight, but they may not realize just how little is available for field trips these days. Upon hearing your plight, some organizations may even be excited to create a field trip grant fund - and your class could be the first lucky recipient!
- Go Corporate. Many large corporations make it their policy to give back to the community, which means they could offer field trip grants as part of their outreach programs. Some examples of these include:
Forget Applying On Time. Apply Early! Many of the deadlines for grant applications (as you may have noticed in tip #3) are due the spring or summer preceding the academic year they will be used. While you may not be in time for some of this year's field trip grants, you now have plenty of time to brainstorm and prepare for next year's application deadlines.
Follow the Directions. Make sure that you follow all of the instructions. It may sound ridiculous but simple errors and omissions are going to throw your grant application right into the circular file for organizations that are sifting through hundreds, or even thousands, of applications.
Enlist a Proofreader. It is probably wise to have someone else proofread your application and/or essays and letters. This is especially true if you are applying for multiple grants. It's easy to get lost in the repetitive information and it's better for mistakes to be caught early.
Field trip grants are the community's way of saying they care about the work teachers are doing. Start applying for field trip grants and bring back the excitement of free field trips for your students! Also check out some more free ideas about extending learning outside of the classroom by downloading our FREE Extension of The Classroom Guide.