Applications will open for the 2022-2023 school year on Monday, December 5th, 2022. Need more information on how to get started with your application? Check out the information below detailing the Beyond the Books application process.
- Applicants must be employees of District 87 and/or Unit 5. Both certified and support staff are eligible to receive grant awards.
- Grants will be awarded without regard to an applicant’s school district, race, age, creed, gender or national origin.
- In the event the recipient relocates to another position, school, or out-of-district, the grant may be withdrawn. However, if it can be demonstrated that the project will be carried out as envisioned within District 87 and/or Unit 5, the grant may be retained with BTBEF approval.
- Prior grant recipients are eligible to apply.
Grant Types & Funding Amounts
BEYOND THE BOX — One grant between $7,500 and $10,000
STANDARD — Limited to requests for $801 to $5000.
MINI — Limited to $800 or less
BEYOND THE BOX
One grant in the amount between $7500 and $10,000 will be awarded in this category for an exceptional proposal. The $7500 – $10,000 award is given by a private foundation to Beyond the Books Educational Foundation and BTBEF selects the winner.
You may submit applications with the same proposal in both the Standard and Beyond the Box categories. If you choose to do so, you must use the same title for both applications and within the Beyond the Box application, clearly explain how the extra money would be used. Only one of the two applications may receive an award.
- Applications MUST be submitted via SM Apply. Alternate submissions (via USPS, email, etc) will
NOT be accepted. Log in or register here to apply: https://beyondthebooks.smapply.org/.
- SM Apply will open for submissions at 8:00 AM on Monday, December 5th, 2022, and will close
at 6:00 PM on Monday, March 6th, 2023.
- To get started on your application before logging onto SM Apply, please use the "Grant Application
Planning Guide" found at https://beyondthebooksbn.com/educators/grant-guidelines.
- Be aware there are different word limits for each required response. These are noted in both
the application and the planning guide.
- When the application is complete, the applicant will click the “Mark as Complete” button. The
applicant will then complete the “Principal Permission” task by entering their principal’s name
and email address. This will trigger an email to the principal asking for their approval.
- Once the principal approves the application, it will automatically be submitted to BTBEF.
- The deadline for principal approval/submission is Monday, March 6, at 6:00 PM. Be sure to
“Mark as Complete” early enough for your principal to be able to meet this deadline.
- SM Apply does NOT accept edits or uploads to applications once they are forwarded to the principal
for approval .
- Once the application has been automatically submitted, the applicant will receive a confirmation
Guiding Criteria for All Grant Proposals
- All applications (Beyond the Box, Standard, and Mini) will be scored using the rubrics found at https://beyondthebooksbn.com/educators/types-of-grants.
- Proposals will be evaluated on:
- Innovation and project description and clarity
- Impact on student achievement
- Collaboration with others
- Effectiveness of teaching strategies
- Sustainability or justification for a one-time event
- Evaluation of outcomes
- Realistic and complete budget that aligns with program goals
- BTBEF is committed to a blind review. Applications that include any name(s) of district(s),school(s), staff member(s) or other identifying information (such as mascot, school colors, etc.) will be 'returned without review'. Careful proofreading will help avoid an application being 'returned without review'. Applications are not reviewed until the deadline has closed so there is no opportunity to rewrite the proposal and remove any identifying information that violates the blind review policy.
- A list of every item in your budget. (Do not group items together with general labels such as “books” $500 or "painting supplies" $200. Itemize with names and cost of each book, paintbrush, etc.)
- Item name, description, and price-per-item for each expenditure.
- Supplier’s estimate (upon request) for any labor costs exceeding $100.
MUST NOT INCLUDE
- Compensation for district employees or substitute staff (compensation for outside personnel, such as honorariums, is permitted)
- Professional development expenses (registration fees, travel, lodging, etc.)
- Expenses for food, unless it is essential to the success of the project (explain)
- Taxes (school districts have tax-exempt status)
- The grant must be used solely for the purpose described in the application.
- Foundation approval must be obtained before any changes may be made in the scope of the project, or in the recipient.
- Grant winners are to request funds from the business office of their district and the district will administer the disbursement of grant dollars. The Foundation will forward all awarded funds to each district after July 1, 2023.
- Funds must be used during the summer of 2023 or the 2023-2024 school year; otherwise, funds
may be forfeited.
- The Beyond the Box Grant recipient must, by September 15, 2024, submit a complete report of
the grant work and outcomes to BTBEF as provided in the award information. This report will be
forwarded to the private foundation that sponsors the award.
- Recipients of a Standard Grant or Mini Grant will be asked to complete a survey at the end of
the 2023-2024 school year in order to provide BTBEF with details of the project and process.
- BTBEF appreciates public acknowledgment of the benefits to student learning that is provided
through the financial support of the Foundation.
- Printed materials resulting from work carried out under the grant should specifically acknowledge
support of the Foundation.
Grant Writing Resources
Review each of these resources before you start your grant application!
Grant Writing FAQs
Grant Writing Tips
Grant Application Rubrics
All applications (Beyond the Box, Standard, and Mini) will be scored using the rubrics found below, or on the pages for each grant level. For the current grant cycle, the three rubrics are identical.
Rubric for Beyond the Box Grant