Vote for a $2,500 Proposal

Time to vote! Thank America’s Teachers received grant applications from educators all across the country. Now you can help even further by voting on the proposals they submitted.

We will award up to sixty $2,500 grants to the top twenty vote getters in each of the three regions during the three voting periods this year.

Step 1: Search for a Proposal

Find your favorite teachers proposals and read what these dedicated educators are doing to help their school and communities. Search fields are case-sensitive.

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Proposal Name and Author

  • S. Krause, Byron Center High School, Byron Center , MI

    The Best Books for the Best Students

    How does someone become a better athlete, musician, or cook? He practices the skills associated with the talent. The same goes for reading. If someone does not read, he will never become a better reader. When students get to high school, they often just stop reading. They don't enjoy it and find ways to avoid it in a traditional English class. After attending a handful of conferences, conducting some research, and putting a lot of thought into it, I have redesigned my curriculum to allow for more choice reading. Students select books that fit their interests and abilities. They typically spend 20-30 minutes a class period reading these books. The results have been amazing! They are actually reading! Unfortunately, I still have students waiting for certain books and requesting new books. I have one book that has a waiting list of 9 students (and I have 2 copies of it). This money would be used to build my classroom library that provides the best books for 120 9-10th grade students.

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  • C. Kofahl, Hutchinson Middle School, La Mirada, CA

    Achieving Personal Best in the 1-mile Run at Hutch

    Hutchinson Middle School is one of four schools in the state of California to have earned the 2013 "Exemplary Physical Activity and Nutrition Award" in conjunction with California Distinguished School award. Students at Hutchinson M.S. run a timed 1-mile course and complete a demanding fitness station program weekly to address standards. P. E. teachers may use a stopwatch to call out lap times to students as well as their final times. Our students would greatly benefit from being able to see their individual lap and final times using a large timer display. The electronic, large number, battery operated timing unit would be rolled out on a cart, and placed where students can see it. From the information on the timer, they can deduct their lap times, and figure out their pacing so they can adjust it. They can strive for better times because they know their previous personal best, and can endeavor to improve.
    The cost of two timers is $1200, plus shipping. I am seeking $1500.

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  • S. Raymond, River Valley, Lemont, IL

    Creating a Makerspace for our Genius Time!

    Creating a space for students to find intrinsic motivation for learning by studying what they are passionate about. Students take ownership of their learning and create products to share with each other and the world. This will lead them to new, deeper questions that will encourage their creativity and imagination! They will become effective researchers, note takers, collaborators, investigators, and creators who will be challenged to new learning.
    The grant money will be used for items such as electric circuits, spheros for programming, rockets, soil testing samples, gardening supplies, books, sewing materials, knitting supplies, solar kits, cubelets, and other "Makerspace" items that only a 5th grade mind can imagine! With this grant I hope to be able to support students in the study of their passions as they look for answers, try to solve problems, and learn to understand the world around them better!
    Thanks for helping with our Makerspace!

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  • T. Junior, Abraham Lincoln, Phoenix, AZ

    Classroom Technology

    Our teachers work hard to meet the needs of every student daily. Technology in the classroom would be a BIG benefit.
    We need document cameras for teachers so they may enhance instruction by projecting reading material, working through math problems, demonstrate how to revise/edit writing pieces, and students are able to present projects.
    Computers are an essential motivational tool to increase student reading comprehension. We are in need of student computers in 2nd grade. We use a reading incentive program at our school; not having a classroom computer makes it hard for students in these classes to participate. Oftentimes, students have limited access to computer use.
    The cost for a document cameras would be $158 and the cost of a student computer would be $873.98. The Items can be ordered and put into use this year. There are many teachers who can utilize a document camera.

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  • L. Enneking, Batesville High School, Batesville, IN

    Building a steel band

    In our rural community of Batesville, far from any ocean, we have begun a steelband. It has become very popular and we are in need of instruments for the students to play.I would like to acquire for them another lead or tenor pan.

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  • A. Carrera, Lamar Elementary, New Braunfels, TX

    Twinkle, Twinkle Reading Stars

    I teach Kindergarten and there are times my class is buddied up with 5th graders. I love that the bigger kids can read to them and by spring the little ones are reading to the big kids. Both parties love the relationships they build. I would love to take this to the next level. Reading and re-enacting! I want to make book story telling bins. In each bin, there would be the story and figurines, puppets that go with the story. So the big kid can read with 1-3 little ones. The big kids benefit from practicing fluency, accuracy, expression, punctuation, pace and comprehension. When the story is finished the smaller kids can use the props to re-tell and re-enact the story with the help of their bigger peers. Some bins I would love to have are classics: Three Little Pigs, Little Red Riding Hood, Goodnight Moon, The Hungry Caterpillar, etc.
    We could even take it to the next level by using our ipads to video tape these little "plays."It's a win-win for everyone!

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  • J. Schwalm, Sonoran Sky Elementary, Glendale, AZ

    An Apple a Day With No More Delay

    As speaker Ken Williams says, "Schools need to be built for students to come learn." To say the least my kids enjoy, look forward to, LOVE technology. They cheer the days we get to go to the computer lab.
    My students need 6 iPad minis and 6 protective cases. The iPads will be used independently, in small groups, with intervention programs, and whole class. My class would also benefit with a class license to A-Z Headsprout Intervention Reading program to further utilize these iPads. By having Apple TV students will also be able to share group thinking at the touch of a button. Students learn best by learning from each other. In this day in age, students already have so much knowledge of how to use technology that using it as a tool to learn only makes sense. This technology will have a profound impact on student learning. Students will be motivated and feel confident to learn using this new technology and student growth would be imminent. Thank you for your time and consideration.

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  • O. Salas, Kilmer Elementary School, Chicago, IL

    Differentiating Instruction with Technology

    My classroom consists of eighteen Second Grade students. They are all English Language Learners and come from many countries. I am currently teaching students from Persia, Mexico, Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Burma. It is exciting to see so many cultures in one classroom, yet this can also be a challenge when it comes to individualizing work for so many levels. I am requesting Chromebooks because I would like to further differentiate my instruction with each child. There are many websites that help students with their specific reading level, as well as attain vocabulary skills by teaching them in their own language. Obtaining books for my students in their native language is not a simple task and I feel that a Chromebook will help them learn with ease, and also facilitate my job. In addition, using this tool will also familiarize students with the use of a computer since some of the tests they are required to take are computer-based. Thank you for reading my proposal.

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  • S. Bowen, PS 721X @Stephen D. McSweeney School, Bronx , NY

    Plant Learn Grow

    Plant-Learn-Grow is a program that supports D75 schools in building and sustaining edible gardens. We are a special needs school in the Bronx that caters to students who have a variety of disabilities. The students that are involved in the program learn about sustainability, urban gardening, nutrition, and the "plant-to-plate" philosophy/lifestyle. Our proposal is to have supplies to expand our tiny garden in the space provided in our schoolyard. Students involved will have a pivotal role in the process. The Engineers will be in charge of the instructions of building the flatbeds. The Finders will be in charge of all the "stuff", gathering supplies and materials and also in charge of collecting the data for the project. The builders will be in charge of construction of flatbeds and the Production crew will be in charge of taking photos/video and documenting the progress of the project. Please help make our dream come true of expanding out school garden!

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  • L. Craig, Jesse S. Bobo Elementary School , Spartanburg , SC

    Books, Books, We want NEW books!!!

    Hello Everyone!! My name is Lindsey Craig and I am a first year teacher at Jesse S. Bobo Elementary School in Spartanburg, South Carolina!! Bobo is a Title One school full or eager students who love to learn and read. Evidence by our school being one of the top elementary schools in the district for passing Accelerated Reader test. However, when students have independent reading time in my classroom they often say, "Miss Craig, you have old books!" My response to my students usually is, "Yes, I know I do; however, they can teach us just like the 'new' books can!!" I have had to become creative when talking about the books in our classroom library. Sadly, my students are very truthful about the books being very old. It is any teacher's dream to go out and buy new books; however, being a first-year teacher on a fixed budget I cannot! I would love to have a new updated library for my student to enjoy in our classroom and at home!! :)

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  • L. O'Daniels, High Point Elementary, Atlanta, GA

    Interactive Reading and Learning

    As a teacher, I want to inspire my students to become lifelong readers and learners! One way to help students become lifelong readers and learners is to make learning more engaging and hands on. With this grant, I hope to create an inviting reading corner for my students so they can get excited to curl up with a good book. A large area rug and beanbags would help make our classroom more inviting and welcoming for my students. In addition, iPads would help my students take learning to a whole new level. Not only can we read books on an iPad, but we can use them for research, to connect us to the world, and to make learning more hands on. As a teacher, I hope to not only help my students learn and grow, but to inspire them to become lifelong learners and readers.

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  • C. Ruhl, Abraham Lincoln Traditional School, Phoenix, AZ

    Audio/Book Pack

    Reading is a fundamental skill. I wish to purchase audio books so children can check out books with audio to read along.
    While not a Title I School, we have over 50% of students on free/reduced lunch. Many parents work long hours or multiple jobs. Their children need extra school support for reading.
    Comprehension is improved when learning addresses multiple modalities. Neurological studies show that pairing images and print causes recognition to soar and recall rates are much higher.
    By checking out a Book pack from the library, a child will have both audio and a print copy of the book so they can read and listen. Book packs are the easiest way for emerging/struggling readers, special education learners, and ESL students to improve reading comprehension, vocabulary skills, and build phonemic awareness and fluency. Book packs bring together the simplicity of all-in-one audiobook and a print version to deliver a fun, educational read-along experience.

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  • C. Zirnheld, Longfellow Elementary, Daleville, IN

    Small Group iPads

    Longfellow Elementary is located in Muncie, Indiana. Our free and reduced lunch population for the current school year is about 95%. I am the Data Coach at Longfellow, so I teach intervention groups with students who are performing below grade level in reading and math. I would like to use the money to buy 6 iPADS to use in the small groups. There are so many useful and practical ways to use iPADS in the classroom that actively engage students in learning.

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  • B. Peyton, Helen M. Smith ES, Las Vegas, NV

    Technology Rocks

    I love using some of the various educational websites in order to allow students to work at home and at school. Unfortunately, we can't spend most of our day on the computer. I would like to purchase tablets for students to use at home and at school. Some of my students don't have access to technology at home, and this would allow them to keep up.

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  • J. Woods, Mountain Institute JTED, Prescott, AZ

    Technology engages students

    Technology engages students. The course I teach – Education Professions – introduces students to the field of teaching throughout Yavapai County. Students gain a small snapshot of what is like to be educators. One of the many projects the students are asked to complete is to teach a lesson using technology. The need for my students to use and expose their students to technology is imperative. The great thing is with the grant monies, we will be able to purchase 6-7 iPads, my students will be able to use this innovative technology to over 600 students in Yavapai County. The digital native students that are currently learning in the classroom will have access to the newest and latest apps and be thoroughly engaged into the lessons that my students are teaching them. By having Mountain Institute JTED Education Professions students teach using the latest technology in their lesson will engage their learners.

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  • P. Waldman, Horace Mann Elementary, San Jose, CA

    RSP Bookstore

    I am the new Resource Specialist Program teacher at Horace Mann Elementary and am incorporating new incentives to my students, one of which is the RSP Bookstore. The students range from kindergarten to fifth grade with learning disabilities. This means that my students academic average are two to three grade levels below their peers. The students earn money for various jobs, successes or challenges. The monies were created by the students, then voted on and established as this years currency . Then, every other week, they are allowed to choose a book from the bookstore. The books are new and old. Thus far, I have spent over three hundred dollars out of my own pocket to offer the students new books; however, the majority of my books are second hand. I work at a Title One school where the majority of my students receive help. The students would greatly appreciate the chance to buy a new book from the money which they earned, they would go home with a smile and gratitude.

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  • Y. Slaughter, United SOuth High School, Laredo, TX

    Educator of a lifetime

    I have been in education for a few years. Being in a high school classroom at first can be a little scary. As an educator, you never know what kids are coming into your classroom and what attitudes they will have. I am a Speech and Oral Interpretation Teacher and with a last name like Slaughter, my students can be a little frightened even before entering my classroom. But soon enough they realize that I am not what they watch on a horror flix. I am more than that. As they enter my room I make them feel not as students but as people. I teach them that in this lifetime, they need to make the best of every minute and be grateful for every opportunity that is given to them. Learning and having a love for knowledge is a blessing that as high school students do not realize. Adolecence can be taken so lightly and yet some are so dramatic but when an educator understands and can relate to our adolecent children, our jobs are made. I am Blessed everyday!

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  • J. Piskie, Spooner Elementary School, Spooner, WI

    iPads for Littles

    My students are eager learners and love our hands-on classroom. They learn best when they are able to work in small collaborative groups and work together to create their own understanding of concepts. I am constantly doing centers, group projects, and activities to help motivate them and keep them engaged. Given the world we live in today, most of my students are digital learners and love when we are able to implement technology into our lessons. At this time our district budget does not have extra room for iPads in kindergarten. I would love to be able to provide them with a more technology-based learning environment to better meet their individual needs and learning styles, as well as, cover needed skills. iPads are the perfect way to make learning fun for students. Furthermore, outside of the classroom, iPads will help prepare my students for the digital word we live in. They need to be exposed to technology as much as possible in order to prepare them for the real world.

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  • H. Kocjancic, South St. Marys St. Elementary School, St. Marys, PA

    Playground PLEASE!

    I teach first grade in an amazing elementary school. Our students have lacked a functional playground for many years leaving us to play in a parking lot. Last year, our PTO raised money through spaghetti dinners, raffles, etc to purchase land next to our school and a playground that fits 50 students at a time. It is amazing! However, our school has approximately 650 students so we would love to be able to add to the playground. We could use a cemented area for hopscotch and other floor games as well as some basketballs and hoops! The kids love to play during our recess time and getting that physical activity truly enhances their learning in the classroom. Their minds need time to unwind, they learn to play with each other, and they get those muscles moving to help with their bodies!
    Please consider our school as it is truly one of a kind and ALL students would benefit from this!

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  • S. Cravens, Abraham Lincoln Traditional School, Phoenix, AZ

    Headsprout for reading

    Reading is a fundamental skill, the most important and complex skill taught. I wish to buy 8 classroom licenses of Headsprout, and the headsets needed to utilize the program.
    While not a Title I School, ALTS has over 50% of students on free/reduced lunch. Our children need extra support for reading. Headsprout is an online program that automatically adapts to the specific learning needs of each student. It addresses phonemic awareness, phonics, fluency, and basic vocabulary as well as the four main components of comprehension: finding facts, making inferences, identifying themes, and learning vocabulary in context.
    By utilizing this computer-based program, students will be able to work at their level. Headsprout is computerized so students are motivated, and they can log on at school or home. This program is one way for ESL, emerging/struggling readers, and special education learners to build phonemic awareness, vocabulary skills, and improve reading comprehension.

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  • C. Klein, Pacific Christian School, Santa Maria, CA

    Reference Roundup

    With the Farmer's Insurance grant money I will build a reference library with a class set of dictionaries, a thesaurus, 2 new sets of encyclopedias, a world atlas, a Biblical concordance and dictionary, and a Dictionary of American Biographies. I would also like to get a current pull down world and U.S. Map as mine are outdated. Some may argue that students do not need a reference library in this computer age, but I would disagree! Being able to use guide words and indexes are important life skills. This will also give my students valuable practice alphabetizing. I have my third graders define a new word everyday and look up a location identifying it as a city, state, territory, province, country, or continent. At the beginning of the year it is difficult for them to research independently, but they quickly improve! I hope you will consider my proposal as you look at many good teachers with great ideas across our wonderful land!

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  • S. O, JOHNSONVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, Cameron, NC

    Fidget me This

    We expect children to sit quietly, raise their hand and pay attention. But today's students are far from passive onlookers. They need to move, play, bounce and fidget. Students, with or without any diagnosis, need movement. How many times during the day do you find yourself tapping your pencil, chewing on your pen cap or drawing silly cartoons? Children get discouraged because they want to move.

    My proposal is to provide for fidgets so students have something to play with during class. It also includes yoga balls so students can bounce, roll and get some movement. Students enjoy sitting on yoga balls and it helps them pay attention. Fidgets and yoga balls do help children with ADD/ADHD and autism relax and calm themselves down.

    I feel that fidgets and yoga balls are a great resource for all students and will help them achieve success in school.

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  • H. Silva, Paul W. Bell Middle School, Miami, FL

    Setting our ESE Students Up for Success

    Every child should be able to witness scientific explorations in the Amazon Rain forest, to dissect a scaly creature from a far land, and to conduct research using rare sources.Every child should have access to the technology that can go beyond the walls of the classroom and allow them to explore in this competitive world. Unfortunately four out of five of the students in my classroom do not have any Internet access or technology in their home. My students are also faced with several of their own challenges everyday. They are learning English as a second language, they come from low socioeconomic backgrounds, and they are students with disabilities. My students need access to hands-on technology in our science class with WiFi enabled tablets. These tablets will help bridge the gap for my students and will give them a visual and auditory connection to the concept. Help my students overcome all of their challenges by giving them access to a learning tool that will ignite their passion .

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  • L. Anderson, Immanuel Lutheran, East Dundee, IL

    New Cabinets

    The building that I teach in is on the older side and the cabinets and shelves are falling apart. $2500 would help out greatly with the renovations. These cabinets are hard to open, very shallow and have layers and layers of paint. The built in cubbies are starting to split. It limits our space for the kids supplies. We need aface-lift, please!

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  • V. James, Serrano Intermediate School, Lake Forest, CA

    Technology Enables Learning for Special Needs Kids

    My Special Education students need laptops that enable them to access learning programs. Traditional materials do not work with children who cannot grasp a pencil but can use a switch to make selections. The portability, accessibility and adaptability of laptop computers are especially useful to my students who are confined to wheel chairs, are autistic, or present with a host of syndromes most have never heard of. Hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, pattern recognition, shapes, spatial relationships, socialization, letters, numbers, reading and writing apps give my students the chance to learn. Technology grabs their attention and motivates them to try harder. The interactive nature of computers provides multi-modal instruction that is visual, kinesthetic, and auditory. It can mean the difference between failing and being successful.

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  • T. Wade, Welleby Elementary, Sunrise, FL

    Technology in Their Hands

    I am working towards the goal of getting "Technology in Their Hands" (at all times). If I can have a classroom rich with technology, and get one to one technology, the opportunities for my students will be endless. My students are currently limited on the amount of technology time they can have due to our limited resources. My students could learn the world of technology through research, creating presentations, virtual field trips etc…. My heart is set on always providing my students with the optimal learning environment because I know they deserve the best opportunities possible. Please help me make this a reality in my classroom by putting "Technology in Their Hands".

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  • M. Fechter, El Modena High School, Orange, CA

    Send the Vanguards to SkillsUSA State Competition

    We started a chapter of SkillsUSA at El Modena High School this year in conjunction with the start of our Exploring Computer Science Program. We competed at the regional level (Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Orange Counties) and have 2 students who qualified to compete on the state level. However, we do not have the funds to send the students to the conference.

    The State Conference will be held in San Diego on April 4 to 9, 2015. We are in need of $2,000 to have our students and 1 teacher/advisor attend the conference. The remaining $500 from the grant would be used to purchase audrinos for our chapter.

    SkillsUSA is a CTSO – Career and Technical Student Organization. It used to be called VICA but with changing times and technologies the name has changed too. SkillsUSA is a partnership of teachers, students, and industry working together to ensure that America has a skilled workforce. The students develop leadership and workplace skills.

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  • L. Potter, Benton Academy, Benton, MS

    Help Us LEGO Old Ideas!

    LEGO. A toy that millions of children have played with since 1932. A toy that allows you to build creations from your imagination. In today's world when so many toys have become electronic devices much of a child's imagination has been diminished. The only choice a child has is what the electronic device offers. Hands-on is what LEGO is all about and LEGO education pairs hands-on with electronics. Now, we have LEGO ROBOTICS! Students follow plans to create machines, then write programs to make the machines solve a mission, or problem. TA-DA! Attention-grabbing, hands-on activity combined with problem solving, math skills, teamwork, language usage, etc. – the skill sets being practiced go on and on! I would like to purchase LEGO Robotics kits for a mobile station that can be shared amongst our classes 5k-12th. We are a small rural school. Please be a visionary for our students and help them LEGO old ideas and move confidently through the 21st century! THANK YOU!

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  • C. Shivers, Binns , Columbus, OH

    Just Monkeying Around!

    The students at Binns love to be active! I want to give them more opportunities to be active, build muscular strength, and increase self-confidence by installing indoor monkey bars in the gym. Students would be able to use them during PE, during indoor recess and during Monkey Bar Club.

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  • K. McGreer, kmcgreer@mtv80.org, Mt. Vernon, IL

    Special Students Need Special Resources

    My students are the ones who are being left behind.

    They are the ones who are willing to work hard, oftentimes harder than those who don't require extra help, but who are struggling due to learning disabilities, social-economical disadvantages, social-emotional issues, or all of the above. This struggle, however, is not because they're not smart enough; they just learn in a uniquely different way. It is my hope to give them an opportunity to learn with cutting edge technological tools that will bring out that uniqueness in them; to allow them to shine in the ways that suit them best.

    With the grant money, we will purchase one-to-one laptops, licenses for scientifically research-based intervention software, and explore teaching in directions that befit 21st century learners.

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