Classrooms Can!

Wenatchee High School students converse one-on-one with local leaders on policy issues through a "Classrooms Can Impact Public Policy!" grant.

Wenatchee High School students converse one-on-one with local leaders on policy issues through a “Classrooms Can Impact Public Policy!” grant.

Application Opens February 1 – Due April 1

“By 3rd grade, a child’s grades, attendance rates, and behavior can foreshadow with 80% accuracy whether she’ll finish high school.” according to a recent study from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. The study also showed that “children who aren’t reading at grade level by the end of 3rd grade are FOUR TIMES as likely to drop out of school.” Half the battle in educating our students is getting them in the classroom and keeping them engaged. We know you want to make a difference in your students’ lives, and we know that your classroom CAN make that difference.

We know our teachers have innovative, imaginative, engaged, creative, dedicated and successful ideas for their classrooms. We know they often don’t have the resources to try something crazy and fun that will keep kids coming back for more! We know that Classrooms CAN…  

  • Have 100% of students reading at or ABOVE grade level.
  • Be so EXCITING that students don’t miss school they can’t wait to get there!
  • Succeed at 100% GRADUATION rates among all students.
  • STOP kids from dropping out of school.
  • Be leaders in modeling HEALTHY life skills.
  • Have 100% of students EXCEEDING math and science proficiency standards.
  • Have ARTS RICH educational experiences that stimulate creativity and innovation.
  • Use, teach, and include technology in FUN learning activities.

The Community Foundation of NCW, The United Way of Chelan Douglas Counties, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are awarding fifty $1,000 grants to teachers who are trying to excite, expand, and enhance their classroom experiences. We are looking for entrepreneurial classroom projects, particularly focused on engaging the hard to reach learner. The project should engage students in hands-on activities that excite, enhance, and improve educational achievement!


How to Apply

The Classrooms Can! Application process involves creating and submitted an online application through a third-party, Common Grant Application. You will be able to start, save, upload attachments, and return to an application at any time prior to your final submission. We will only accept complete electronic submissions with all necessary documentation requested.

First Time Users: Login Here | Returning Users: Login Here

NOTE: All grantseekers must set up their user accounts as “Organizations.” The organization that you enter under the “Work” section of the contact page will carry over to your grant application as the organization that is requesting funds. Please ensure that you enter the correct organization.

Application Instructions:

  • We use Common Grant Application to manage our grant applications.
  • First time users can sign up here. You will be creating an account for the organization that is applying for the grant, so be sure to enter the organization’s name and address, your name and preferred email address so we can contact you. Once your account is created, you will be able to return to it at any time.
  • If you already have an account, sign up here. If the organization’s information has changed, please be sure to update the profile.
  • As you complete the application and have questions regarding certain fields, you can click on the question mark for further detail.
  • Please us the name of your school as the “Organization”.
  • If you are applying for multiple programs (such as Classrooms Can! and/or the Endowment Grant), you can find those applications by clicking on “Grantmakers” and finding the “Community Foundation of NCW”.
  • If you have any questions about the Common Grant Application or need technical assistance, please contact them directly at and click on the Contact button, or call them directly at (310) 490-1277.


Grant Guidelines

Eligibility Requirements

  • This grant is open to any K-12 certified public school teacher in Chelan, Douglas or Okanogan counties.

Project Criteria

  • Awards will be given to projects that fit within one of five categories: arts education; field trips; literacy & social studies; STEM; or wellness. Please select one category only per project. You may apply for multiple awards in separate categories, for separate projects.
  • If you apply for field trip support, please explain how the field trip supports the students’ curriculum goals and what activities you will do before and after the field trip to reinforce what was learned.
  • Teachers who received grants last year are invited to apply for continued funding to expand or improve upon successful programs.
  • While new projects are strongly encouraged, we also include “Success Stories” from previous grant recipients for ideas and inspiration. Teachers who implemented these projects have agreed to be a resource to other educators in the region who want to do something similar in their classrooms. If you plan to emulate one of the “Success Stories,” please explain why it is right for your population and what modifications you plan to introduce to customize the project for your students.

Awards may NOT be used to:

  • Purchase computers or administrative equipment which should normally be provided by your district (including ipads/ipods). These awards are meant to be used to purchase supplies and materials that students need to create a project, conduct an experiment, grow or tend living things, or learn a new skill.
  • Provide salary compensation to teachers, teacher or substitutes
  • Support teacher development, trainings or conferences. Students should be a main participant in any project.

You will be asked to identify the costs of the project by providing an itemized budget of how you plan to use the funds.

Project Timeline

  • Awards will be announced during the third week of May. To receive funding before the end of the school year, grant agreement letters must be signed and returned to CFNCW within one week. Funding will be sent to your school district’s administrative office.
  • Projects must be implemented during the next academic year.
  • Grant recipients are not expected to complete a grant report, however, a representative from CFNCW will schedule a time to visit your classroom to see the project underway.

Success Stories from 2013 Classrooms Can! Grants

One of the goals of the Classrooms Can! program is to create a community of teachers who can be mutually supportive in experimenting with innovative ideas int heir classrooms. We are also interested in seeing particularly successful projects implemented in school districts throughout the region. We offer some of last year’s successful projects to help you get started (coming soon).

We welcome you to emulate one of these programs if you feel it may help engage your students. if you do so, please explain in the application why it is right for your student population and what modifications you plan to introduce to customize the project for your classroom. Please also indicate if you have contacted the teacher and what you learned from that experience.



The foundation selects leaders in the community who are knowledgeable in specific subject area of the grant and establish committees by subject. Committees review each application and recommend awards to the Board of Trustees. Up to 10 applicants may be awarded per category.

Grant Reports

Classrooms Can! grants do not require any grant reports; however, staff will contact teachers to visit during implementation of projects to understand its successes and challenges, talk to the students, and take photos. This helps staff and board better understand the needs of the shools in our communities and showcase to the public some of the great work teachers are doing to engage students and prepare them for successful futures.

Other Resources

There are similar funding initiatives across the country and beyond that are focusing on engaging studentgs through innovative classroom projects. Here are a few that might provide some great projects to try yourself, or getting your inspiration flowing!

  • – See the winning classroom projects from the Kids in Need Foundation.
  • – created by George Lucas, this organization shares evidence-based K-12 learning strategies that empower you to improve education.
  • – see what projects other teachers are asking donors to fund.
  • – STEM activities and resources for K-12 teachers and students.

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