April 2008
Vol 5 No 4

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Teachers.Net Gazette Vol.5 No.4 April 2008

Cover Story by Marvin Marshall
Immaculate Perception
There is no such thing as immaculate perception. What you see is what you thought before you looked.

Harry & Rosemary Wong
Effective Teaching
Schools That Beat the Academic Odds

Are We Demanding Enough of Our Students?
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five
Podcasting 101
Think Outside the Box
Problem-Based Learning Part 2: Good problems
Ten Ways to Foster Resiliency in Children

Finger in the Dike Protects Half the Kingdom
April 2008 Writing Prompts
Amusing Abacus
Making the Grade
The Disrespecting of Social Studies
Classroom Magazines: More Than Just Shared Reading
The Silenced Majority
I Won't Learn What You Teach!
Dear Laura Bush
Choice, Access, and Relevance: Reading Workshop in the High School Classroom
Stay Inside the Lines
Chat with Grant Writing Expert LaVerne Hamlin
Proofreading and Learning Disability
Drexel Online Education Program

Featured Lessons: April 2008
Video Bytes: Abbott and Costello, Earth Day rant and more
Today Is... Daily Commemoration for April 2008
Live on Teachers.Net: April 2008
The Lighter Side of Teaching
Apple Seeds: Inspiring Quotes for Teachers
HELP! Grading: How Do You Do It?
Newsdesk: Events & Opportunities for Teachers


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Editor in Chief: Kathleen Alape Carpenter
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Cover Story by Marvin Marshall

Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong

Contributors this month: Cheryl Sigmon, Marjan Glavac, Rob Reilly, Barbara & Sue Gruber, Hal Portner, Leah Davies, Tim Newlin, James Wayne, P.R. Guruprasad, Todd Nelson, Alan Haskvitz, Mandy Yates, Bill Page, Susan Rismiller, Bradley Cook, Kimberly Payne, Kevin Coffey, John Keegan, and YENDOR.

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Teachers.Net Live!

Meeting Transcript

A Teachers.Net Chat with Grant Writing Expert LaVerne Hamlin

Author of Show Me the Money
Meeting date was March 20, 2008
April 1, 2008

"Show Me the Money" author LaVerne Hamlin chatted with members of the Teachers.Net community, offering a multitude of tips for successful grant writing. Here is the transcript of the live meeting.

Moderator - Welcome to Grant Writing with LaVerne Hamlin

LaVerne - Good Evening

Moderator - Good evening to you too, LaVerne

Moderator - Hi vicki, welcome.

vicki/kdg/mo - good evening.

vicki/kdg/mo - I read your "Show me the Money" article in the Teachers.Net Gazette and wanted to hear more.

LaVerne - Great, I have such a passion about writing grants and wanted to share my experiences.

vicki/kdg/mo - Besides writing grants, I am interested in what would be involved in administrating a grant once it is given.

LaVerne - I have found through the years, that there are so many grants and awards out there, but a lot of teachers do not apply.

vicki/kdg/mo - You talked about making the title something memorable. Do you have to be careful that it is not too "cutesy"?

LaVerne - Now, after getting a grant the real issue is the implementation. The main factor is simple to follow your schedule and keep good records

LaVerne - No, a lot of times that is what attract the evaluators.

LaVerne - I have learned from writing grants that the better and cute the title is the better.

LaVerne - Now, I have been a judge for Bayer Aspirin for several years and that is one of the main criteria for attracting the judges

LaVerne - When writing a grant a lot of times you have to get the evaluators on board simply from your abstract

vicki/kdg/mo - OK, I got the title part. How about telling me more about using volunteers as... was it "donations in kind"?

LaVerne - I think it is like going to a book store and select some books according to the titles

LaVerne - Yes, a lot of times volunteers, business leaders, college students will donate their time and you simply convert that into their hourly wages if they were being paid.

vicki/kdg/mo - How do you determine an appropriate wage?

LaVerne - The grant funders want to see a lot of involvement with the community and of course sometimes this will give them advertisement.

LaVerne - You base their wages simply according to their professional involvement.

LaVerne - Let say a lawyer was working with you, you find out his or her hourly payment.

LaVerne - Once you get a grant I guarantee you will be addicted to the funds because students are getting much needed equipment and supplies

vicki/kdg/mo - Wow--using those wages you would have quite a bit of donations in kind.

LaVerne - You will and grant funders simply want their projects to live on each year and they pay a lot of attention to your in-kind contributions.

vicki/kdg/mo - I was amazed at the number of grants you listed in the article. I am guessing the amounts vary, but what would you say is an average?

LaVerne - Usually I put about 1,500 for in-kind for a 8,000 - 10,000 grant and the more you ask for the more volunteers you will need if your project is lasting for a few months

vicki/kdg/mo - Hello Sonia

Sonia - hi! I'm new at this!

LaVerne - The average amount of each is usually 10,000 and I always go for the summer research programs where I can have a paid working vacation and learning something to take back to the classroom in the fall

vicki/kdg/mo - nothing to it, type and hit enter to "talk" with us

Sonia - where do you find grants to apply for?

LaVerne - Usually the summer awards average about 15,000 because they are paying for your rent and travel.

Sonia - what is an "in kind" contribution?

vicki/kdg/mo - So this summer I would love to attend a two week training on discipline. I could possibly find a grant. Well, probably too late for this summer but for next?

LaVerne - The best place I have found outside of your professional organizations is simply to go to your search engines like google and type in classroom grants for history teachers or whatever your subject area is

Sonia - Are the available grants usually a year or so out?

vicki/kdg/mo - So, I hate to ask this, but are there as many grants for elementary teachers/classrooms?

LaVerne - In- kind contribution is when you have volunteers parents, professionals, community leaders or business leaders who help you with your project and you equate their hourly rate with their profession

LaVerne - There are numerous grants for all teachers I could help you get started if you would like.

LaVerne - Now , you may find a summer grant a lot of the deadlines are in April or may and I could if you would at least point you in the direction

LaVerne - Usually you write a grant one semester and you may get for the next school year

LaVerne - Also, in your community or city area your local business may fund programs even if they do not advertise. Send in a proposal and they may contribute

Sonia - I'm an ESL teacher, do you think there are specific grants for me?

LaVerne - Also, I write grants to companies that may want to cultivate a positive imgae in the community.

vicki/kdg/mo - I live in a city with major sports teams. Have you ever tried those with any success?

LaVerne - Now in Richmond they were having a problem with oil spills and I wrote a proposal to a local Exxon company because they did not want to be blamed and they contributed $5,000 for students to research the James River and give some solutions to the problem.

LaVerne - Yes, when I used to live in DC the Redskins donated $10,000 to my class to do physics and sports projects.

Sonia - That's very interesting! You approached them before they announced a grant?

vicki/kdg/mo - Because I am looking at this discipline program I thought the sports teams might be interested.

LaVerne - Also, the NASCAR community has been extremely resourceful because they have contributed to my NASCAR Physics Competitions every year

LaVerne - Yes, there are numerous grants for ESL teachers many, many.

vicki/kdg/mo - When you do what I'll call a cold application (before a grant is announced) do you submit it to several corporations?

LaVerne - Yes, I sometimes make them want to give money because they want the support of the community and they do.

Sonia - I'm so glad you are doing this chat for us! Thank you!

vicki/kdg/mo - LaVerne--you are doing great with the different conversations happening all at once!

LaVerne - I hope so… I do not want to leave anyone out

LaVerne - I submit many just like you do for job applications the law of probability covers that the more you submit the more chances you may get several.

LaVerne - Once you write your proposal you can resubmit to as many companies as possible.

LaVerne - Many times my rejections are approved by another company.

LaVerne - I am glad to help, please email me if you would like for me to point in the direction you may need to go (

vicki/kdg/mo - If you do get several for the same program, do you have a problem because you have 2 times as much money to pay for the same program? I would not want to upset a company.

LaVerne - Oh, no one year I had $25,000 to run a NASCAR Physics Competition and many companies called me the next year wanting to get on board because I always have the local media there. Students love to see their names in the paper and on tv.

vicki/kdg/mo - Are government grants more difficult to deal with?

Sonia - Do we have to file anything for taxes if we get a grant?

MM - Hello.

LaVerne - Remember a lot of companies want to be included as grant funders and they care about their communities and this is free advertisement for them.

Sonia - Hello MM!

vicki/kdg/mo - 25,000? See that seems staggering to me!

vicki/kdg/mo - Hello MM

LaVerne - Government grants are not that hard, they just want you to fill out so much paper work and it takes longer to get one private organizations are the best.

vicki/kdg/mo - Are government grants harder to administer?

LaVerne - The 25,000 was great - students got bonds for college, I gave away money for them to get their stock cars, food. It was a great event; the media covered it and everyone learned something and my enrollment in physics increased.

LaVerne - With most of the grants the taxes are exempt; the school has a tax number. When ordering items the school takes care of that you just keep good records.

vicki/kdg/mo - So you can note the increased enrollment as you apply for another grant for another program?

LaVerne - Yes, definitely that was the main data point where I could show, that was my reason to do the NASCAR to get kids interested in taking upper level science courses

LaVerne - Actually I worked in the Prince George's Public Schools Oxon Hill High School and I got the basketball professional team also to support a lot of my programs. During that time they were called the Bullets

vicki/kdg/mo - Does it matter if your school district is considered "wealthy"?

bev – hello

bev - LaVerne... I've been reading along for a bit.

vicki/kdg/mo - Hello Bev

bev - Some very good suggestions you've been giving!

bev - hi Vicki

LaVerne - No not at all because your grant will show in some respect how students can mentor others; according to your project it does not matter.

MM - Are there any places that will award money for classroom supplies and not specific projects?

LaVerne - To be honest you need a specific program. However another way around that is to look up philanthropist in your area. I found a list in Virginia of over 100 and I send them a proposal of items that I need. I have gotten about $4,000 from five area philanthropists.

MM – wow

vicki/kdg/mo - How did you find the list of philanthropist?

MM - I don't know much about the grading, we don't have the same as everyone else for kdg here.

LaVerne - There is so much money out there it is unbelievable, of course it takes a little time but once you get the hang of it, it gets easier.

MM - time is my biggest problem.

Sonia - I'm so excited to start looking, and I really appreciate you taking the time to give us all this information!

LaVerne - Once again I go to the web and just type in philanthropist for a given area.

LaVerne - You are quite welcome.

bev -'ve given me hope LaVerne!

bev - I've been madly putting things into the search bar and getting all sorts of hits.

LaVerne - The web is the place, I have gotten so much money from grants that offer maybe 500 for small projects that people do not even know about.

vicki/kdg/mo - Sonia, I would be interested in the kind of program you are thinking about.

MM - Any suggestions on where to get money for books in English and Spanish?

LaVerne - I know you can do it. Sometimes I get together with other teachers in my district and we write together, therefore you benefit more students and grant funders just love that.

LaVerne - Sometimes you can check with your local library. They have sponsors and sometimes they are willing to share, also your local college or universities.

Sonia - I'm wanting to do a summer literacy program for my ESL kiddos

MM - That is a good idea.

vicki/kdg/mo - I would think that by working with another teacher or two, you would be able to write more creatively for the title and abstract

LaVerne - Also, you can write a proposal to the publishers and you will be surprised, they want to get their books in your system.

Sonia - My kids have such a drop over the summer that I want to get a jumpstart!

MM - I want to do a take home bag program for my kindergarten students where there is one English and one Spanish book and activities.

MM - I teach summer school for kindergarten students.

LaVerne - Yes, indeed we did a research projects on cells and the title was Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, taking a small project on edible cells and making a large project we got 3,000 for that.

Sonia - I'd like to have my students' parents learn English at the same time. Not necessarily in the same room, or by me necessarily.

vicki/kdg/mo - MM--doesn't Scholastic have books with both Spanish and English on one page? Guess you better write your first grant!

bev - thanks vicki

Sonia - but I was thinking if they could come at the same time the logistics would work out better?

bev - not getting very many hits on local philanthropists though.

MM - Scholastic will probably be my first place they are awesome.

LaVerne - You can do that. A lot of grant funders do summer programs. Email and I will point you in the direction for this summer.

Sonia - Thank you I will right now!

LaVerne - I will search my records. I have Virginia and maybe that will help.

vicki/kdg/mo - Maybe you could get reading a-z to wave the fee. That would be a small amount that would make a huge difference. Then get Kinko or another printing company to donate the printing!

bev - I'm in northern California...

LaVerne - Many grant funders love to have programs where parents are learning. I did one and we were able to furnish computers for twenty single mothers with a one-year subscription to the internet.

MM - I have seen ppl do grants for their site and include toner and paper in the grant.

Sonia - wow! that's so encouraging!

bev -'ve been at this a while!

LaVerne - Don't forget if you need any help please email me if you would like.

LaVerne - Yes, I won my first grant of $500 in 1977.

bev - I have your email address... I need to figure out what it is I really need.

LaVerne - Great, enjoyed talking with you. I just wanted teachers to know the money is there.

bev - I am a music teacher at the elementary level so funding is always iffy.

vicki/kdg/mo - LaVerne-and you were wondering whether anyone would attend this evening. Thanks for the info.

LaVerne - Find out what you need and build a program around that and you get to keep equipment and supplies for your class.

Sonia - Thank you to whoever it was that put the reminder on the website too!

bev - some of the grantors I have looked at briefly want proposals showing how music when integrated across the curriculum enhances learning.

vicki/kdg/mo - But more importantly, thanks for getting me thinking about this avenue of funding.

LaVerne - Yes, I was and it has been great would love to do again with more specifics.

bev - not a problem......I do that anyway

vicki/kdg/mo - Sonia, glad it reminded someone!

LaVerne - The Country Music Association Music awards money all the time.

bev - I need to pick a discipline.......math...reading...history...whichever

LaVerne - You are welcome I hope I have helped and to get a dialog going.

vicki/kdg/mo - I would love to do this again after I have started working on a grant or two or ....

Sonia - yes! We should all meet back up and share what we've accomplished.

LaVerne - Yes, I will be more than willing to help, like I said I have a passion for grant writing and jumping over the challenges.

Sonia - Thanks again! Bye!

vicki/kdg/mo - I'll watch the main board for another "chat." Good night and thanks!

bev - so.....this was a scheduled session...on grant writing?

LaVerne - That is an excellent idea and I can give websites and addresses. Let me know and I can do the research and let you know especially with where the philanthropists are because they are out there.

bev - very good LaVerne....will definitely try to return ...

LaVerne - It can turn into a mini workshop.

bev - thanks LaVerne!!!

LaVerne - Me too goodnight to all and let me know if you would like me to return. Great job teachers!

bev - YES!!!.....DO come back!!!!!!

Moderator - Thank you, LaVerne Hamlin for your help with grant writing. We'll offer another chat on this topic soon. Watch the Live Meetings schedule at for this topic and many others. You can read LaVerne Hamlin's article, Show Me the Money in the March issue of the Teachers.Net Gazette:

LaVerne - I look forward to a follow up chat! Good night all!

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