Applications for 2024-25 AthFest Educates Grants open May 10th, 2024

Grant Application Requirements

What is AthFest Educates?

AthFest Educates is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to sustain and advance music and arts education for young people in Athens-Clarke County. To advance this mission, we award grants to local educators and youth development specialists in September of each year. AthFest Educates and its Board of Directors have identified its three funding priorities, in no particular order, as:

  1. Music and arts non-consumable equipment
  2. Music and arts programs and experiences
  3. Art-based and music-based professional development for educators and/or youth development specialists

Who is Eligible to Receive Grants from AthFest Educates?

While music and arts educators have historically received the largest number of AthFest Educates grants, the organization firmly believes in the power of music and arts to develop and deepen a young person’s understanding of all core subject areas including language arts, math, science, and social studies. Therefore, applicants planning to use music and/or arts as a teaching and learning mechanism for these core content areas are strongly encouraged to apply.

In order to be eligible for AthFest Educates grants, individuals must be:

  1. Employed by, or partnering with, a nonprofit with a 501(c)(3) status, Clarke County School District (CCSD), or a local or state government agency
  2. Serving Athens-Clarke County youth in grades K – 12 who attend CCSD public schools

AthFest Educates does not award grants to private or parochial schools or church-based programs.

How does AthFest Educates Define Quality?

AthFest Educates is committed to funding high-quality and meaningful programs, and it refers to the following organizations to identify current teaching and learning best practices:

  • National Art Education Association
  • Music Teachers National Association
  • National Association for the Teaching of Drama
  • National Dance Education Organization
  • Georgia Department of Education

What Information Must be in Every Grant Application?

  • The anticipated total number of young people benefiting from the grant
  • The anticipated demographics of the young people served by the grant including age, gender, and grade
  • The name of the elementary and/or middle school(s) the young people attend
    • Note: nonprofit and government agencies should identify the anticipated schools the program participants attend
  • Program description (maximum of 500 words)
  • The learning objective(s) the grant will support
    • Note: Applicants are encouraged to provide the correlating Georgia Standards of Excellence (GSE) most closely connected to the project (if applicable). Please list the unique GSE identifier and its description
  • Name and brief description of the resources/curriculum the applicant will use to implement the program
  • Description, or copy, of the evaluation tool or process the applicant will use to assess youth learning as a result of the funded project
  • Detailed and itemized project budget
    • Note: If you are applying as a Clarke County School District (CCSD) employee, please be sure to calculate your program expenses based on costs from a CCSD-approved vendor. You will need to use these vendors to order your materials.
  • Average cost-per-youth for program, experience, or equipment
  • Applicant resume and/or brief description of applicant’s professional experience

What’s the Maximum Amount of Each Grant?

AthFest Educates is focused on the quality of the programs we fund and not the number of programs we fund, therefore award amounts will vary based on the type of project and the unique needs of that project. Simply stated, some programs are more expensive to operate than others. We ask that you submit a real, and efficient, budget with your application while bearing in mind that we award a combined total of up to $65,000 per grant cycle. We cap the awards at $5,000 per grantee.

If you are applying as a Clarke County School District (CCSD) employee, please be sure to calculate your program expenses based on costs from a CCSD-approved vendor. You will need to use these vendors to order your materials.

Can I Submit More Than One Application Per Grant Cycle?

No. In order to give all applicants an equal opportunity to secure funding, you may only submit one grant application per grant cycle.

Can Past Grantees Apply for AthFest Educates Funding Multiple Years in a Row?

AthFest Educates grantees can apply for, and be awarded funding for, two consecutive years. After two consecutive years, the grantee must take one year off before reapplying for AthFest Educates funding. Please note that all grants are only one-year grants, so you must reapply for each grant cycle if you’re hoping to be funded for two consecutive years.

In addition, the grant funding is connected to the grantee and not to the school, so even though one educator in a school has been awarded funding for two consecutive years, it does not prevent other educators in the same school from obtaining funding. We do ask that educators and youth development specialists who have been funded for two consecutive year not apply for funding under a different individual’s name for the same program, experience, or equipment. For example, if two educators are working on the same program, we won’t fund that program for more than two consecutive years even if the application has been submitted by two separate individuals.

How Does AthFest Educates Score Each Application?

All applications will be screened to make sure the program and its participants meet the eligibility criteria. Applications meeting the eligibility criteria will then be evaluated based on the stated learning objectives, how well the described program aligns with the stated learning objectives, and how well the evaluation tool or process will measure the youths’ progress toward the learning objectives. Lastly, the AthFest Educates Grants Committee will then evaluate the proposed budget to determine if the budget submitted is complete and if the funds requested are sufficient to achieve the proposed learning objectives. Each application will be reviewed by three members of the Grants Committee and a combined average score will be assigned to each application. The applications with the highest scores will be awarded grants.

When Can I Apply and When Will I Know if I was Awarded a Grant?

AthFest Educates Grant Cycle

Applications open: May 10th, 2024

Applications are due: August 24th, 2024 by 5pm

Awards are announced: Mid September, 2024

Checks are mailed: October 3, 2024 – May 2025 CCSD Grants: Monthly Reimbursements Nonprofits: As requested

Grant Reports

*Grant reports are due no later than 30 days after program completion and no later than June 30th of the academic calendar year.

What Must the Grant Report Include?

All grantees are required to submit a completed grant report within 30 days of the project’s completion and/or no later than June 30th of the academic year – whichever comes first. Each applicant will be sent a grant report template to complete along with their check. The template will ask the grantee to:

  • Confirm the demographics of the youth served
    • Note: Nonprofit and government agencies must identify the individual schools the participants attend and the number of students from each school that participated in the program
  • Submit receipts and/or invoices that correlate with the original program budget
  • Describe the youths’ progress toward the pre-identified learning objectives
  • Identify how the project can be further developed or improved upon in the future

How Do I Know Which Funding Priority Aligns with My Proposal?

In order to ensure your application is scored using the appropriate evaluation criteria, it is important that you apply for your grant under the correct funding priority. The funding priorities are listed below in no particular order. If, after reading the descriptions below, you are unsure which funding priority to apply under, please contact AthFest Educates at (706) 548-1973.

How Do I Know Which Funding Priority Aligns with My Proposal?

Priority One:Music and Arts Non-Consumable Equipment
Description:Equipment that can be used by multiple young people throughout the duration of the year and possibly across future academic years. The equipment is not connected to a particular project – it is equipment needed for the general functioning of an arts or music program
Requirements:Identify how the equipment will be used and why it’s necessary to have in order for students to achieve the stated learning objectives
Examples:Class set of a particular instrument; a video camera; materials to build a permanent stage; computer software; etc…

Priority Two:Music and Arts Programs and Experiences
Description:On-going programs or one-time experiences that give young people exposure and access to the social, emotional, and academic benefits of music and/or arts
Requirements:Identify the learning objectives of the program/experience and how this program/experience will enable students to achieve the stated learning objectives
Examples:Class trip to an art museum or musical performance; youth production of a play, dance, or musical; poetry slam after school program; etc…

Priority Three:Art-based and Music-based Professional Development for Educators and/or Youth Development Specialists
Description:Professional development opportunities that build an educator’s or youth development specialist’s ability to incorporate music and arts into a classroom or program setting
Requirements:Identify how the skills gained during the professional development opportunity will be incorporated into the classroom and how the skills are expected to enhance youth learning
Examples:Attending the NAEA national conference; completing an on-line course on using music to teach math; substitute fees to allow for job shadowing of highly-effective music/art education professionals; designing and delivering a professional development workshop(s) for Athens-Clarke County K – 5professionals wanting to learn how to use dance to enhance storytelling skills; etc…

Grant Application Checklist:

Did I:
  • Indicate the funding priority area for my application?
  • Make sure I meet the eligibility requirements?
  • Include the demographics of the young people served (i.e., number, gender, grades, school(s) attended) by the grant?
  • Provide a program description no longer than 500 words?
  • Identify the learning objective(s) for the young people?
  • Provide the name and description of the resources/curriculum I will use to implement the program?
  • Describe the evaluation process or tool I will use to assess the youths’ progress toward the stated learning objectives?
  • Include a detailed and itemized program budget?
  • Include my resume or a brief description of my professional experience?
  • Secure permission from the CCSD Strategic Partnerships office to operate and/or advertise my program in a school (applies to nonprofit and government applicants only)?
  • Notify any non-CCSD employee that they will need to complete a CCSD volunteer application and/or background check prior to working with CCSD students during school hours or as part of a CCSD-affiliated after school program?