Colibri Grants was established in 2014 in the interests of effecting change at the most basic level in education. Building on the idea that vibrant and engaging classrooms in student's formative years lays a base foundation for engaged learning our mission is to provide support to teachers who are spending out-of-pocket to provide an equitable educational experience for students in their classrooms.
"Both teachers (56%) and principals (41%) are spending their own money on books. While 89% of teachers have classroom libraries, regardless of school poverty level, 31% have fewer than 50 books." -Scholastic Teacher and Principal School Report: Equity in Education
We began our first year of giving as an experiment and had the opportunity to tour many of the classrooms who received our support. We were pleasantly surprised by the incredible and creative ways teachers were putting to good use an extra $250 in the classroom. Dozens of classrooms purchased books for their classroom libraries (56% of teachers and 41% of principals spend their own money on books for classrooms), art supplies, and new sets of manipulative learning tools to help visual learners better engage in science and math lessons. One classroom purchased yoga balls to replace traditional desk chairs which help reduce student restlessness between breaks. Several classes introduced garden kits that teach students the fundamentals of nature, science, and the environment. One school’s teachers combined their funds to purchase multiple parts of an alphabet video learning system which they rotate through the grade and use year after year. Our grants are competitive in nature and we make an effort to place funds in schools where their impact will reach a large number of students. Ultimately we believe Teachers are in the best position to decide how best to improve the classroom environment, which is why our grants have very few restrictions.
We expect our applicants to evidence a creative approach to utilizing funds in the classroom. Based on funding available, we will select applicants who show the best intentions to serve their classroom with large impact and support the mission of Colibri Grants. We will not consider applications requesting funds for the following:
- Textbooks for school-wide use.
- Technology equipment - PC’s, printers, scanners, tablets, Chromebooks.
- A/V Equipment - recording equipment, cameras.
- Registration fees
- Travel t-shirts or promotional materials
- Admission fees
Applicants will be expected to submit a brief summary report by the completion of the school year in order to be eligible to re-apply in future years.