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3 Grants to Connect Youth to the Outdoors

3 Grants that Get Students Outside

My very first classroom pets were borrowed. A veteran teacher moved to a lower grade and didn't want to take the tarantulas with her, so I got to keep them in upper elementary.

I cannot for the life of me remember the names students gave them that year, but I vividly remember her telling me "don't pick them up because they've never been handled". We got really creative when we fed them and changed their bedding and thankfully, nobody ever had an close encounters.

The next year I left the classroom to pursue a career change with Texas State Parks and left the tarantulas for another teacher to adore.

Prior to that the only living thing in my classroom were plants. Easy to grow plants that were hard to kill for even the most novice gardener (me!).

Now that I'm back in the classroom, because I missed the community aspect of teaching, I am the proud owner of 2 vermicompost buckets full of earthworms. They are thriving and its so fun to show students decomposition in action. We're always surprised when our leftover scraps for lunch have decomposed in a matter of weeks, sometimes days!

Now it's time to upgrade to my very own classroom pet that will depend on me for a little than some veggie scraps once in a while. While on the hunt for my very first classroom pet I came across some grants that help connect youth to the outdoors.

I hope you will check them out!

Pets in the Classroom

Deadline: Applications accepted Aug 1 - June 1 each year

You can apply for a classroom pet thanks to this grant from The Pet Care Trust. At this time, public and private school teachers from Kinder - 9th grade are eligible to apply.

They have rebate grants or store grants, for select stores. If you're previously received a grant for a pet you can also apply for a sustaining grant.

My ELA partner received a grant several years ago for a Leopard gecko she named Hermione. She said it was an easy process. I am going to apply for this and can't decide between a gecko or a snake!

Kids to Parks Day School Grants

Deadline: February 17, 2023 by 11:59pm HST (Hawaii)

Kids to Parks Day occurs annually and will be celebrated on Saturday, May 20, 2023. The National Park Trust provides grants to Title 1 schools in the US and its territories.

Applications must demonstrate a stewardship component and a park-themed educational component, such as outdoor recreation, healthy lifestyles, environmental science, or history. Direct student involvement is a requirement and more than one application per school will be accepted as long as each application will benefit different students (e.g., multiple classes in one grade).

Every Kid Outdoors Small Grants

Deadline: Applications accepted annually, around November

This grant is made possible by a partnership between the National Park Trust and USDA Forest Service. It supports the Every Kid Outdoors initiative.

The grant is awarded to non-profits and schools looking to connect elementary school-aged youth to public lands, parks, and waters. Specific consideration is given to 4th grade and outings to USDA Forest Service lands for 2023. There may be other considerations next year.

I'd love to know what other grants you've found to get students connected to the outdoors. Comment below or email me and I'd love to add them to this list.

And I'd love some help. Which pet would you pick...a snake or a gecko?​

3 Grants that Get Students Outside

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