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Grants Hero

West Tennessee Education Grants

L.E.A.D.S. Grants are designed to help educators in West Tennessee who promote initiatives to help students Learn, Experience, Advocate, Dream and Serve. Grant applications open each year in July.

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Impact Your Classroom & Beyond

L.E.A.D.S. Grants have expanded from grants for classroom initiatives only to now include grants for K-12 teacher appreciation projects and for educator’s professional development. 


Educators throughout West Tennessee have the opportunity to win grant funding for their classroom or school-wide project or initiative. Leaders Education Foundation’s Board of Directors has set aside $35,000 in grant funding to be distributed in 2024. L.E.A.D.S. Grants that will be awarded are: 


  • $1,000 Classroom Project grants - more info
  • Up to $500 K-12 Teacher Appreciation grants - more info
  • Professional Development/Certification grants - more info


Applications open July 22, 2024.

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Eligibility and Details

Educators or school-based professionals are invited to apply for our West Tennessee Education Grants. This includes public and private K-12 schools, Technical Schools, Universities and Colleges in West Tennessee unless otherwise noted. Foundation membership is not required as the funds will be paid to the winning recipients’ school or college. 

Classroom Grants - $1,000 per grant awarded 


Any educator may:


1. Record a short video (less than 3 minutes) showcasing your idea, vision, or project that will benefit your students. Applicants should: Answer the question, “How will the grant make a difference in the lives of students?”

  • Talk or otherwise share your idea, vision, or project 
  • Talk about or otherwise identify the resources you need to accomplish your idea, vision, or project 
  • Keep your video under three (3) minutes 
  • Make your statements concise and clear 
  • Use good lighting and avoid background noise 
  • Film horizontally if using an iPhone camera 
  • BE CREATIVE! Your creativity can help you get votes.   
    • It can include using props, other teachers, students, and staff provided that those individuals have given the required Media Consent, which is discussed more below.
  • Meet ALL guidelines and criteria imposed by YouTube and Facebook with respect to videos submitted to YouTube and Facebook.  Failure to meet them may result in the disqualification of your submission.
    • For example, any background music or noise that you don’t own should be avoided or omitted as YouTube and Facebook will silence that portion of the video – including anything you are saying. 

2. Complete the online application for the “Classroom Grants” and include a public video link in the space provided. We recommend submitting your public video link through YouTube or google drive.


3. Participate in social media voting both individually and by getting your school and community to vote. The video submissions will be posted on Leaders Education Foundation’s Facebook page for voting. Throughout the social media voting period, applicants are encouraged to like, and share their video on Facebook to gain the most likes and shares. The videos with the most likes and shares will be selected to receive a grant. View past winners’ videos on our Facebook page for inspiration. 


K-12 Teacher Appreciation Grants – up to $500 per grant awarded 


Any public or private school K-12 assistant principals, principals, or school or district administrators may: 

1. Complete the online application for the “K-12 Teacher Appreciation Grants” that includes: 
  • Amount requested- Up to $500 
  • Description of the K-12 Teacher Appreciation need or initiative. 
    • This could include, but is not limited to supplies, organizational materials for new teachers or for all, classroom equipment, celebration treats or goodies.  
    • NOTICE: K-12 Educators and/or other school employees should make suggestions to their assistant principal, principal, or school or district administrator for this type of grant to be requested. 


Professional Development Grant – approx. $1,000 per grant awarded 

Any educator may: 

1. Complete the online application that includes: 
  • Name of Certification or Professional Development program 
  • Provider and Date(s) of program 
  • Amount requested.  Typically, the amount would be $1,000 or less, but Leaders Education Foundation may consider those requests of slightly more. 
  • Funding available from other sources (state, district or school) and why additional funding is needed from Leaders Education Foundation. 
  • Letter of support from your school or district administrator 
  • Short essay (500 words or less) on why you want the certification/development and how it will support students. 

Missing information within the application may result in disqualification. Leaders Education Foundation is under no obligation to contact applicants regarding missing or incomplete information.   

Grants are payable to the applicant’s school for use only as stated in the submitted application. 

By applying for a grant, Applicants consent to the use of their submitted photographs, videos, names, and likenesses in Leaders Education Foundation’s promotional materials and social media channels. 

NOTICE:  If a video or photo shows any individual in such a way that the individual can be recognized, you must obtain written consent from that individual to permit Leaders Education Foundation to copy, display, transmit and otherwise use the video and/or photo, and you must provide the Leaders Education Foundation the original copy of that consent upon Leaders Education Foundation’s request. 

Application Period: July 22- September 9

Facebook Voting (Classroom Grants Only): September 16-20

Winners Announced for all LEADS Grants: Week of September 23

Reception for all LEADS Grant Recipients: Tuesday, October 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Carl Grant Events Center at Union University in Jackson. All recipients are invited to attend.

If you have questions about the L.E.A.D.S. Grant program, email or call our Director of Community Impact Shea Brown at 731.664.1784 ext. 1209.