Perhaps you want to use grant funds to offer professional development for teachers and staff. However, what problem will professional development solve? Perhaps the teachers you work with observe an increase in newcomer students, including refugees, at their schools. Rather than state the problem as “Our teachers need trainings to support newcomer students,” describe the problem in terms of the students’ needs: “EGUSD’s newcomer students face considerable challenges including rapid cultural adjustment, past experiences with severe trauma, limited English language and literacy skills, and gaps in formal education. They deserve individualized, intensive, culturally-responsive supports based on trauma-informed practices and instructional strategies that consider their linguistic, cultural, and social-emotional needs.”
Describe your solution in human terms. Your solution should be more nuanced than “train teachers.” Instead, tie your solution to the people who will benefit from it: “Launch a comprehensive professional development program for elementary school teachers and staff on academic supports, trauma-informed strategies, and family engagement tools to support newcomers’ successful outcome of transitioning to life in the United States and becoming college-, career-, and life-ready high-school graduates.”
These activities should all be part of your solution. Most funders want their money to benefit directly the people who are the focus of the grant project. If your solution is to “launch a comprehensive professional development program for teachers to support newcomer students,” then each activity should support this goal. Activities could include holding training sessions for teachers on critical topics, distributing a digital toolkit for teachers/staff of assist newcomer students, creating brochures for families on understanding the school system or accessing social services, identifying teachers for individual tutoring sessions, or establishing a school-wide welcoming committee.
Your vision should be larger than “train teachers.” Instead, the vision is the broad, ideal change that would happen as a result of the grant project and its legacy. If your solution is “to launch a comprehensive professional development program for teachers to support newcomer students,” then the big-picture vision is to improve the educational, health, and social outcomes for newcomer students and their families by building trusting relationships with schools and helping newcomers successfully transition to life, education, and careers in the United States.
This is where you list teacher trainings! Include components of the grant project such as release time for teacher training opportunities (sub costs or timesheets), training materials, cost of hiring trainers, timesheet costs for tutoring hours, BTA services for translation/interpretation, or printing costs for brochures.
Funders want to know how the project and its impact will live on beyond the grant funding period. How will your project continue in the future? Be realistic. However, consider different types of sustainability. Are you using grant funds to pay for a Train-the-Trainer model of professional development? Will the brochures you create be usable in the future? Can the Tech Services and Communications departments provide support for digital distribution of the toolkits or messaging to families? Can the Research and Evaluation department help design program evaluation tools? Do you have volunteers or other reliable fundraising efforts to support smaller, ongoing costs? Will you collaborate with other schools, district departments, or community partners to leverage resources?