Education Foundation Offers Innovative Project Grants to Fund Real-World Learning Experiences

Thursday, May 31, 2012

STUART, Florida - Since its founding 20 years ago, the Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) has been awarding Classroom Enrichment Grants to K-12 public school teachers. For the 2012-2013 school year, the Education Foundation is changing the name of these grants to Innovative Project Grants. Additionally, each teacher who applies for a grant must include a subject matter expert as an adjunct to further promote the focus of the grants: Funding real-world learning experiences.

"The re-branding of these grants to Innovative Project Grants reflects the nature of these special projects," says Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director, Education Foundation of Martin County. "Each funded project has a practical, real world application and builds 21st century skills like critical thinking, problem solving, team work, and communication. Projects will allow students to address community issues, explore careers, interact with adult mentors, use technology, and present their work to audiences beyond the classroom,” she adds.

Innovative Project Grants fund S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Math)-related projects that will enhance the core curriculum. Last year, 43 classroom enrichment grants totaling $35,000 were distributed by the Education Foundation to teachers across the district. One grant funded the use gel electrophoresis for DNA fingerprinting. Another grant allowed a class to re-create a living slice of the Indian River Lagoon in their classroom. A third grant provided elementary students to experience the Japanese art of Kamishibai, a form of storytelling using picture scrolls. "These projects increase student engagement and foster creative thinking, analysis and problem solving skills – all vital abilities to prepare our future innovators," says Rhodes. "The culmination of these special projects is to prepare students to become competitive in a global market."

Martin County teachers can access the grant application on the foundation’s website at Grant proposals are due September 10, 2012.

For more information contact Lisa Rhodes, Executive Director, Education Foundation of Martin County at (772) 600-8062, or by e-mail at

About the Education Foundation of Martin County

For the past 20 years, the Education Foundation of Martin County (EFMC) is the only not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) community investment organization comprised of business leaders, community volunteers, and school officials whose mission is to enrich and enhance educational opportunities for all students and teachers, in the Martin County School District, through effective fundraising efforts, positive collaborative partnerships, innovative programming, and efficient allocation of resources. For more information, visit

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