February 22, 2013 - Volume 33 Issue 5


Do you know about Energy Express, one of the most beloved summer educational programs for West Virginia children? Energy Express is a six-week summer literacy and nutrition program that improves the school success of West Virginia children living in low-income and rural communities. Energy Express provides summer learning experiences and nutritious meals to address the issue of “summer slide” by offering learning programs in school buildings that are vacant in the summer months as a way to meet pressing community needs.  Research has shown that children from families and communities with limited resources lose academic skills during the summer and fall behind their more advantaged peers. Even more concerning is that this regression is cumulative.

To address these concerns for the past 20 years, Energy Express, a West Virginia University Extension AmeriCorps program, has served thousands of children each summer.  Through participation in Energy Express, children entering first through sixth grades are able to maintain their nutritional status and reading achievement during the summer months. Energy Express sites are located in West Virginia communities that have school populations with at least 50 percent free and reduced lunch eligibility rates.

Approximately 80 Energy Express sites are located in 49 counties across the state each summer. WVU extension agents and community volunteers partner with schools, county commissions, civic organizations, churches and businesses to provide Energy Express for children in their communities. More than 3,200 children participate in Energy Express each year. Thousands of family members and local volunteers help to ensure that children are provided with opportunities to improve their reading skills. Many of these volunteers are teens and pre-teens wanting to make a difference with their free time. These youth volunteers gain practical experience while giving back to their community, and they also receive two free meals each day.   

Energy Express implements a cooperative environment helping all children to feel successful about their learning experience. The program incorporates a placed-based theme (myself, family, friends, home place, community, and making my world a better place), and each week, the children receive a free book to take home related to the weekly theme. This place-based theme allows children to appreciate themselves, their personal experiences, and their place in the world. 

At Energy Express sites, children bring stories to life through a variety of literacy experiences including creating books, dramatic performances, journaling, creative art, reading aloud, and one-on-one reading with others. Children are also provided with two nutritious meals, served family-style every day. Energy Express conducts pre/post evaluations of children’s reading skills through an outside evaluator each year. Evaluations consistently demonstrate that children not only maintain their skills, but they actually gain an average of two to four months in reading skill through participation in Energy Express.  

At each site, a site supervisor who is a classroom teacher, Title I teacher, or principal oversees the management of that site. Each summer, 500 AmeriCorps members are engaged to serve with the program, gaining valuable skills that they will use for future employment. Each site supervisor oversees a group of five to eight AmeriCorps members serving either as mentors or community coordinators. Mentors serve with a small group of eight children to complete literacy activities and create a print-rich environment. Community coordinators connect parents and community members to the site. They recruit, train, and supervise youth and adult volunteers while also completing a variety of public relations activities. AmeriCorps members who serve at Energy Express sites are eligible to receive compensation in the form of a living allowance and education award to help cover higher education expenses. AmeriCorps members at each site also implement a service project specifically designed to benefit their community. Members have completed many valuable community service activities including food and clothing drives as well as disaster relief efforts.

Funding for Energy Express is provided by West Virginia University, Volunteer West Virginia – the state’s Commission for National and Community Service – the Corporation for National and Community Service, the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, the West Virginia Department of Education’s Office of Child Nutrition, and local schools, community organizations and businesses. Assistance is always needed to ensure community locations for sites, the availability of funding, and community partnerships that are critical to the survival of Energy Express. To learn more about how you may help ensure the continuation of Energy Express for West Virginia children and communities, please contact:  Alicia Cassels, Energy Express Director at (304) 559-6424 or Additional program information may be found on the Energy Express website at:



Creative students could win as much as $500 for developing a video about the U.S. Constitution as part of a video contest sponsored by the West Virginia Department of Education and the West Virginia State Bar.

Participants are asked to create a three-minute video with the theme, “We the People: The Constitution in Our Lives.” The videos will be placed on YouTube. The contest is open to West Virginia residents in sixth through 12th grades. Entries will be divided by middle school and high school. First place in each category receives $500, while second place wins $250. The creators of the first place videos also will be invited to attend the West Virginia State Bar's annual meeting on May 10 at Stonewall Jackson Resort.

Videos will be judged based on originality, creativity, adherence to the theme and overall quality. Entries must include parental permission for those under the age of 18. Students interested in entering the contest can fill out an application as well as read the rules at Submissions for 2013 will be accepted until March 31. Last year’s winning videos also are posted on the website.

For more information, contact Michael Frazier with the West Virginia State Bar at 304-697-4370, 304-553-7220, or, or the Office of Communication at 304-558-2699.



Captain Planet Foundation
The Captain Planet Foundation funds hands-on environmental projects to encourage youth around the world to work individually and collectively to solve environmental problems in their neighborhoods and communities.
Maximum Award: $2,500.
Eligibility: U.S.-based schools and organizations with an annual operating budget of less than $3 million.
Deadline: February 28, 2013.

Earthwatch Institute: Fellowships
The Earthwatch Institute offers educators fully-funded fellowships for hands-on learning with leading scientists doing field research and conservation on one of over 100 projects around the world.
Maximum Award: fully-funded fellowship.
Eligibility: Elementary, middle, and high school educators and administrators of any discipline.
Deadline: Two weeks after educator-interest application is submitted; ultimate deadline May 1, 2013.

AIAA Foundation: Grants for Excellence in Educating Students about Math, Science, Technology and Engineering
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Classroom Grants encourage excellence in educating students about math, science, technology, and engineering.
Eligibility: Current AIAA Educator Associate or AIAA Professional members actively engaged as K-12 classroom educators.
Maximum Award: $200.
Deadline: Rolling.

Actuarial Foundation: Advancing Student Achievement
The Actuarial Foundation Advancing Student Achievement grant program brings together actuaries and educators in local classrooms with the belief that interaction with real-world mentors will boost student interest and achievement in math. The Actuarial Foundation can provide a local network of actuaries ready to participate, as well as suggestions on how to integrate math concepts from the workplace into the classroom. Schools applying for grants will be given wide latitude in designing programs that enhance learning and create a "love of math" in each student.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: All schools willing to undertake a math-mentoring program involving local actuaries as volunteers are eligible. However, in order for a program to be viable, there must be a sufficient population of volunteer actuaries within easy traveling distance to make a regular program possible.
Deadline: None, but applications should be received at least one or two months prior to proposed start date.

AIAA Foundation: Grants for Excellence
American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Classroom Grants encourage excellence in educating students about math, science, technology, and engineering.
Eligibility: Current AIAA Educator Associate or AIAA Professional members actively engaged as K-12 classroom educators.
Maximum Award: $200.
Deadline: Rolling.

Allstate: Grants for National and Local Progams
The Allstate Foundation supports national and local programs for new partnerships that fit within its current focus areas of Teen Safe Driving and Economic Empowerment for Domestic Violence Survivors.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations.
Deadline: Rolling.

American Councils for Education
The American Councils for Education, in association with the U.S. Department of State, is seeking to place five young professionals in non-governmental internships across the country during the fall intern season (September-December). Prospective interns will be arriving in the United States in mid-August under the auspices of the federally funded Legislative Education and Practice program (LEAP) and will be ready to report to work in early September. LEAP Fellows are dedicated public servants between 23 and 33 years of age from Georgia, Russia, Ukraine, and Turkey. They are college-educated (many have advanced degrees in law or international studies), speak fluent English, have had previous U.S.-based experience, and are eager to learn how Americans address rule of law, civil society, work in advocacy, infrastructure, energy, human rights, and related topics, so that they may better their own societies. Interns will be available to work a full-time schedule and will be fully supported by American Councils and the U.S. Department of States in terms of compensation, health insurance, etc. To learn more, please contact RaeJean Stokes at 202-833-7522 or via email at:

Barnes and Noble Grants
Barnes and Noble booksellers is considering requests for grants from nonprofit organizations that focus on art, literacy, or education (K-12). Applicants must have a plan for promoting the grants program with Barnes and Noble and must be willing to work with the local stores on in-store programming.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: Nonprofits that focus on art, literacy, or education (K-12).
Deadline: Rolling.

Best Buy: Teach@15 Award
The Teach@15 Award program improves classroom learning by helping schools (grades 7-12) meet technology needs. A teen member (age 13-18) who is a registered member on can nominate his/her school to win a Teach@15 Award.
Maximum Award: $1,500 in the form of Best Buy Gift Cards.
Eligibility: Accredited, nonprofit junior or senior public, private, parochial, magnet, and charter high schools in the U.S. serving any grades 7-12.
Deadline: Ongoing.

Campbell’s: Labels for Education
The Campbell’s, Inc., Labels for Education Program gives schools free educational equipment in exchange for labels from Campbell products.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: Schools or parents coordinate label drives to raise resources for schools.
Deadline: N/A.

C-SPAN: Video Archive Grants
C-SPAN Archives Grants give teachers videotapes from the extensive collection in the C-SPAN Archives for creative proposals that use the network's programming in the classroom or in research projects.
Eligibility: Middle and high school teachers and college/university professors.
Maximum Award: Use of archive tapes.
Deadline: N/A.

Charles Lafitte Foundation: Grants Program
The Charles Lafitte Foundation Grants Program gives funds to groups and individuals to foster lasting improvement on the human condition by providing support to education, children's advocacy, medical research, and the arts.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: 501(c)3 institutions.
Deadline: Rolling.

Comcast Grants for Diversity-Oriented Program
The Comcast Foundation is awarding grants to maximize the impact of community investments so they yield tangible, measurable benefits to the neighborhoods Comcast serves and the people who live there. The Foundation's primary focus is in funding diversity-oriented programs that address literacy, volunteerism, and youth leadership development.
Maximum Award: $500,000.
Eligibility: 501(c)3 organizations operating within communities that Comcast serves.
Deadline: N/A.
For more information:

Critical Exposure: Through Your Lens
The 21st Century School Fund, Critical Exposure, and Healthy Schools Campaign are inviting students, teachers, and everyone with a view of our nation's school buildings to show the world what you see every day at school: the good parts, the troubling parts, the things to be proud of, and the things to change. Contest launched February 1, 2011.

Do Something: Seed Grants
Do Something Seed Grants can be used towards project ideas and programs that are just getting started, or to jump-start programs and realize ideas for the first time. These grants can also be used towards projects that are already developed and sustainable, towards the next steps of the project and organization to help as the project expands.
Maximum Award: $500.
Eligibility: U.S. or Canadian citizens aged 25 or under.
Deadline: Rolling.

Driver's Edge: Driving Instruction
Driver's Edge empowers young drivers through a combination of classroom discussions and behind-the-wheel defensive driving instruction to erase the "Fast and the Furious" and video-game mentality that many of today's young drivers have and that has skyrocketed automobile fatalities. The program is free.
Eligibility: Students between the ages of 15 and 21 who have a learner's permit or driver's license.
Deadline: See tour schedule for relevant dates.

Earthwatch: Education Fellowships
The Earthwatch Institute offers educators fully funded fellowships for hands-on learning with leading scientists doing field research and conservation on one of 130 projects. Earthwatch's Education Fellowships are national in scope, and supported by a wide range of businesses, foundations, and individuals.
Maximum Award: Full cost of expedition, including all research costs, meals, housing, on-site travel, etc.
Eligibility: K-12 classroom educators of any subject(s) from public or private schools nationwide.
Deadline: Applications accepted on a rolling basis throughout the spring.

ePals, Inc.: free In2Books curriculum
In2Books, the curriculum-based e-mentoring program from ePals, Inc., will be offered for free to some Title I schools. Students participating in In2Books select and read age-appropriate, high-quality books from a list compiled by a team of children's literature experts. The students are matched with carefully screened adult pen pals who read the same books as the students. After reading each book, students and their pen pals exchange thoughts about the important issues in the book via online letters. Teachers reinforce these activities in the classroom with related lessons and discussion.
Maximum Award: The online program, books and professional development (valued at more than $500).
Eligibility: All 3rd-5th grade classrooms in Title I schools from any one district.

Fund for Teachers: Grants
The Fund for Teachers provides funds for direct grants to teachers to support summer learning opportunities of their own design.
Maximum Award: $5,000.
Eligibility: Teachers who work with students in grades pre-kindergarten through 12, with a minimum of three years teaching experience, full-time, spending at least 50 percent of the time in the classroom at the time grants are approved and made.
Deadline: Varies by state.

Fund for Teachers: Grants for Travel
The Fund for Teachers makes direct grants to teachers for summer learning opportunities of their own design.
Maximum Award: $5,000.
Eligibility: Teachers K-12 with a minimum of three years teaching experience; teachers must be full-time and spend at least 50 percent of the time in the classroom when grants are approved and made.
Deadline: Varies by state.

Funding for Teachers to Bring Monarch Butterflies into the Classroom
The Live Monarch Foundation Educator Outreach Program provides funding for teachers throughout the United States to enroll in the National Campaign to bring Monarch Butterflies into the classroom. This program provides education and materials to strengthen the Monarch's 3,000 mile migratory route within North America by creating self-sustaining butterfly gardens and refuges. Current extreme weather has eliminated early milkweed growth... participation is critical. Materials will be provided for each participant to raise a virtual butterfly and start a real butterfly garden with professional instruction on each level of its maintenance and care, with insight into the shared responsibility of each person to protect our fragile environment one backyard at a time.
Maximum Award: N/A.
Eligibility: Teachers and classrooms in areas on the monarch migratory route.
Deadline: Rolling.

Grants for Math Mentoring Programs
The Actuarial Foundation Advancing Student Achievement Mentoring Program awards grants to schools and groups to develop a viable mentoring program involving actuaries in the teaching of mathematics to children in private and public schools. Collaboration among school systems, local actuarial clubs, corporations and other stakeholders in education is encouraged in order to enhance the chances of success, particularly on a long-term basis.
Maximum Award: $30,000.
Eligibility: All schools and groups willing to undertake a math mentoring program that involves local actuaries as volunteers.
Deadline: N/A.

Grants for Nonprofit Music Programs
The Guitar Center Music Foundation's mission is to aid nonprofit music programs across America that offer music instruction so that more people can experience the joys of making music.
Maximum Award: $5000.
Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations. Qualifying applicants are established, ongoing and sustainable music programs across the United States that provide music instruction for people of any age who would not otherwise have the opportunity to make music.
Deadline: N/A.

Grants to Support Education, Child Advocacy, Medical Research and the Arts
The Charles Lafitte Foundation Grants Program awards funds to help groups and individuals foster lasting improvement on the human condition by providing support to education, children's advocacy, medical research and the arts.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: 501c-3 institutions.
Deadline: N/A.

Grants for Early Literary Professionals
RA & RR Reading Conference Grants are available to help fund expenses for selected early literacy professionals attending International Reading Association or Reading Recovery conferences.
Maximum Award: $200.
Eligibility: Early literacy professionals (grades K-3).
Deadline: N/A.

Grants for Foreign Language Training 
The U.S. Department of Education's International Education Programs Service (IEPS) offers funding to promote expertise and competence in foreign languages and area and international studies. The Group Projects Abroad Program supports overseas projects in training, research, and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies by U.S. teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: Must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident of the United States and a faculty member in modern foreign languages or area studies; a teacher in an elementary or secondary school; or an experienced educator responsible for planning, conducting, or supervising programs in modern foreign languages or area studies at the elementary, secondary, or postsecondary levels.
Deadline: See website.

High Tech Camp for Girls
Microsoft DigiGirlz High Tech Camp for girls works to dispel stereotypes of the high-tech industry and gives young people a chance to experience firsthand what it is like to develop cutting-edge technology. During the camp, girls are exposed to executive speakers, technology tours and demonstrations, networking and hands-on learning workshops.
Maximum Award: Camp attendance.
Eligibility: Girls grades 7-12; must be 13 at the time of attendance.
Deadline: Varies; see website.

Lockheed Martin: Grants for Education
Lockheed Martin provides grants for K-16 Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education. This includes Lockheed Martin's K-12 STEM Education Initiative, Engineers in the Classroom, as well as STEM-focused curricular and extracurricular programs that provide employee engagement opportunities in a community in which Lockheed Martin has employees or business interests.
Maximum Award: Varies.
Eligibility: 501(c)(3) organizations that deliver standards-based science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education to students in K-16.
Deadline: Rolling.

MetLife/NASSP: National Principal of the
The MetLife/NASSP National Principal of the Year honors secondary school principals who have succeeded in providing high-quality learning opportunities for students as well as demonstrated exemplary contributions to the profession.
Maximum Award: $5,000.
Eligibility: Any principal, headmaster, or leader of a public or private middle-level or high school from the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the Department of Defense Education Activity, or the U.S. Department of State Office of Overseas Schools. Middle-level and high schools are defined as those containing some portion of grades 6 through 12; candidates must have served as a principal at one or more middle-level or high schools for three years or longer. Each candidate must be a principal or headmaster and member of NASSP and his or her state affiliate association at the time of selection as state principal of the year. For national finalists, these conditions must also be met at the time of national principal of the year interviews in August and at the national winner announcements in September.
Deadline: Varies by state; see website.

Microsoft: DigiGirlz High Tech Camp
Microsoft DigiGirlz High Tech Camp for girls works to dispel stereotypes of the high-tech industry. During the camp session, girls listen to executive speakers, participate in technology tours and demonstrations, network, and learn through hands-on experience in workshops. This year camps will take place at various dates throughout the summer in Stonybrook, NY; Charlotte, NC; Fargo, ND; Redmond, WA; Las Colinas, TX; and St. Louis, MO.
Maximum Award: Free attendance to camp.
Eligibility: Girls grades 9-11 in the 2010-2011 school year and at least age 13 at time of application, with the exception of the Fargo, ND and Las Colinas, TX locations, where eligibility is restricted to grades 7-10 and 8-11, respectively.
Deadline: Varies by location.

NAA: Young Publishers Program
The Newspaper Association of America Foundation Young Publishers program is designed to help high school students and advisers learn the skills required for success in newspaper publishing through the development of a business plan. To accomplish this, students and advisers must interact with and be mentored by volunteers from the local newspaper as the business plan is crafted.
Maximum Award: $2,500.
Eligibility: Schools with a high proportion of minority students or located in and drawing its students from a rural area; must be able to demonstrate that its student newspaper is either struggling to exist or has ceased to exist.
Deadline: Rolling; applications must be submitted at least five weeks before program is to begin.

NASSP/Virco: Assistant Principle of the Year
The NASSP/Virco National Assistant Principal of the Year program recognizes outstanding middle-level and high school assistant principals who have demonstrated success in leadership, curriculum, and personalization.
Maximum Award: $5,000.
Eligibility: Any assistant principal or equivalent (e.g., vice principal, associate principal, or dean) of a public or private middle school or high school who has been in an assistant principalship at one or more middle-level or high schools for a minimum of two years and is a member of NASSP and their state affiliate association.
Deadline: Varies by state; see website.

National Audubon Society: Pennies for the Planet
Pennies for the Planet helps young people get involved with conservation by taking part in local conservation action projects, and by collecting, saving, and sending in pennies for national and worldwide conservation projects. In this year's Pennies for the Planet campaign, students and their families can learn about three conservation projects around the U.S. that need help. Each Pennies project represents a conservation effort that will leave a legacy for future generations.
Maximum Award: National Audubon Society staff will visit prize-winning school to create a program about wildlife and wild places.
Eligibility: Kids working in classrooms, clubs, Scout troops, other groups, and on their own.
Deadline: N/A.

Scholastic Lexus Environmental Challenge
The Scholastic Lexus Environmental Challenge program is designed to educate and empower students to take action to improve the environment. The program encourages middle and high school students to develop and implement environmental programs that positively impact their communities. Middle and high school teams comprised of 5 to 10 students and one teacher advisor are invited to participate in four initial challenges, each addressing a different environmental element -- land, water, air, and climate.
Maximum Award: $75,000.
Eligibility: Students in grades 6-12 and their teachers.
Deadline: Varies.

USGA/Alliance: Grants for the Good
The National Alliance for Accessible Golf (Alliance) and the United States Golf Association (USGA) believe that golf should be open to everyone and supports a wide variety of programs that create opportunities for individuals with disabilities to participate in the sport. They especially encourage inclusive programming- opportunities that allow participants with disabilities and participants without disabilities to learn and play the game side by side.
Maximum Award: $20,000.
Eligibility: Tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations as defined under Section 501(c)3 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code or government entities such as public schools or municipalities.
Deadline: Rolling.

VSP: Sight for Students
Sight for Students is a VSP charity that provides free vision exams and glasses to low-income, uninsured children. The program operates nationally through a network of community partners who identify children in need and VSP network doctors who provide the eye care services. Parents and guardians interested in seeking assistance through the Sight for Students program must work through VSP's established network of community partners. VSP does not issue gift certificates directly to the public.
Eligibility: There are five basic qualifications a child must meet in order to receive a Sight for Students gift certificate: family income is no more than 200 percent of federal poverty level (see website for chart); child is not enrolled in Medicaid or other vision insurance; child is 18 years old or younger and has not graduated from high school; child or parent is a U.S. citizen or legal immigrant with a social security number; and child has not used the Sight for Students program during the past 12 months.
Deadline: N/A.