The Helena Education Foundation offers two grant opportunities to educators of the Helena School District (HSD): Great Ideas Grants and Spark Grants. Both opportunities put funds directly in the hands of educators for innovative projects serving students in and out of the classroom. Funding is available for new projects that are not part of the District budget. All project purchases are made through the HSD to leverage the buying power of the district and the Foundation strongly encourages educators to buy locally whenever possible.
Great Ideas Grants are awarded two times per year for grant requests of between $501 and $1,250 for projects that serve a single classroom, and up to $5,000 for projects that serve multiple classes or schools. HEF awards $40,000 per year in Great Ideas Grants through an application process ,and grants are selected by a community representative review committee.
Applications for Spark Grants are accepted four times per year and fund project requests up to $500 for smaller projects. HEF awarded $12,000 in Spark Grants in 2020/2021. Spark Grants are reviewed internally.
The Foundation organizes two, brief in-person workshops per year to provide educator with information about the application process and to vet project ideas. We produced virtual workshop PowerPoint presentation in 2020/2021.