WEF awards grants designed to support programs, projects and activities that enhance creativity and/or harness the use of technology in order to expand educational opportunities for Weston students and residents. Specifically, WEF supports four broad categories of grants:
- Community Grants (up to $1500)
- Teacher Classroom Enrichment
- School-wide Initiative
- District-wide Initiative
Examples of grants that have been funded in the past include funding for experts in residence, initial purchases of advanced technology, an oral history project by the Weston Historical Society, and community learning programs at Weston’s Town Library and Lachat Town Farm.
Any Weston-based organization, Weston resident, or certified staff member currently employed by the Weston School District may apply.
Criteria for Grant Awards
In making its grant decisions, WEF will consider all relevant factors including:
- the existence of clearly-defined goals
- the innovative nature of the project and/or goals
- the number of students or learners who are expected to benefit initially as well as long-term
- the potential for future sustainability or expansion of the project
- the ability to evaluate whether goals are successfully met
- for grants involving the retention of experts or consultants, a demonstration of the expert’s qualifications and suitability for the project, and, where applicable, the potential for the wider dissemination of the knowledge and/or data derived from the expert’s work
WEF does NOT fund:
- annual appeals or fundraising events
- open space purchases
- support for religious or political organizations
- for-profit, parochial, charter, or private schools
- nonprofit endowments
- certain types of capital requests (for example, furniture or building improvements)
- ongoing personnel expenses
- existing school or community programs, absent an innovative extension or addition to the program
- repeat requests for projects already funded
Grant Writing Tips
Here are a few tips to assist you in submitting a grant application.
Grant applications should:
- be specific and well-written
- have a specific budget and explanation of how and when funds will be spent
- be tied to a learning goal or meet a specific unmet need of students or residents
- ideally, support projects that are collaborative and that have the potential to be duplicated by other classrooms or sites
A successful school-based application will:
- support projects that encourage and facilitate innovative teaching practices
- enrich learning in the classroom
- promote collaboration and the exchange of ideas
- further district initiatives and curriculum goals
Some reasons why grants may not be approved:
- the goal of the project is unclear
- the cost per student is exceptionally high and/or the number of students affected is very low
- the application requests the purchase of technology or software that cannot be supported by the district
- the project is not clearly tied to learning goals
- the project could easily be funded by other sources
- the project is not innovative or does not have a sound plan to evaluate success
- the request falls within a category of grants that WEF does not fund
- the project is one that WEF has previously funded
Beginning in 2017-18, all grant applicants will use the same Grant Application.
- For school-based grants, there will be one grant cycle. The deadline to apply is April 1, but grant applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. WEF will make every effort to finalize its grants decisions by May 15.
- For community grants, there will be two grant cycles: September 1-October 15, and February 15-April 1. WEF will make every effort to finalize its grants decisions by December 15 and May 15, respectively. Organizations that receive funding must sit out at least one cycle before applying for another grant.
Download the Grant Application here.