Since 1990, CU Schools Foundation has accepted applications from educators in the Champaign and Urbana public schools, and awarded MORE THAN A MILLION DOLLARS based on these proposals. We fund a broad spectrum of projects to help children of all ages and all levels of accomplishment. The benefits of these projects continue long after the initial investment. READ MORE about how CU Schools Foundation grants are making a difference in our schools.
Our Grant Programs
IDEA grants stand for INVEST, DEVELOP, ELEVATE, ACHIEVE. We currently have four categories of I.D.E.A. grants that range from $250.00 – $5,000.00. Proposals are submitted by teachers and are selected based on classroom innovation, creativity, and student ownership of learning.
Teachers can apply alone or with another teacher, grade level, school or even another district. Our smallest category is the Compact Grant for up to $250.00. We often see amazing projects result from a small investment. Our largest grant category is the Collaborative Grant, for up to $5,000.00 and requires teachers to collaborate with a teacher in another district and a community partner. These projects typically reach more students and allow teachers to gain new insight and understanding as they plan and implement a project with their peers and community partners.
Gift of Music Grants
Gift of Music grants are made possible by the generosity of a private donor with a passion for music who wants to support and enhance music education experiences for Unit 4’s Kindergarten through 12th grade students.
The Gift of Music is a merit based grant program that supports activities such as: student attendance at an instrumental, choral, operatic or musical theatre performance; a guest artist or artist in residence; or the purchase, maintenance or repair of musical instruments or equipment (such as music stands).
And we’re adding new grant opportunities all the time…
Krannert Center Youth Series Grants
Susan “Suzi” Sargeant McDonald was the founder/developer of the Krannert Center Youth Series. Rich McDonald, her husband established this endowment in her memory. The goal of this grant program is to support Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana School District #116 student attendance at Youth Series events at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts (KCPA) at the University of Illinois in Urbana, IL. Up to 10 grants will be awarded annually. The maximum amount awarded is $200 per classroom.
Houston Book Grant
The Chester and Nadine Houston Book Grant is a new grant category funded through a gift from the Chester and Nadine Houston estate. Nadine Houston worked as a public school librarian for many years.
Teachers who need books for their classroom libraries can apply through a simple online application. The Foundation will draw applications to award $250.00 grants.
Vincent O. Greene Grant
New this year, the Vincent O. Greene Grants are funded through a generous gift from the estate of Mr. Vincent O. Greene. Mr. Greene had a lengthy career as an accountant at the University of Illinois and a had a deep passion for the value of education.
To honor his passion, CUSF established this grant to enhance education in the area of financial literacy, math, business, accounting, finance or similar fields of study. The grants will be available to k-12 grade level teachers. Project proposals for up to $4,000.00 will be considered. The grant will encourage community partnerships but these are not required.