For the fourth year, the Georgia Foundation for Public Education (GFPE), the foundation of the Georgia Department of Education, is providing Rural Education Fund (REF) grants to help rural schools and districts meet their students’ needs.
A limited number of grants of up to $10,000 are available. Any public school or school district located in a Georgia county with a population of 35,000 or less is eligible to apply. This includes both state- and locally authorized charter schools. Applications are due July 30, 2021; to access further detail and apply; follow the link below.
REF grants are flexible and can be used for a wide range of initiatives – applicants are asked to propose a project that would solve a current challenge within the school or district and would drive positive student outcomes. Previous REF grantees have used the funds to purchase virtual reality headsets to support literacy gains, coordinate districtwide PBIS programming, create fine arts programming across a school district, sponsor after-school STEM field trips, and much more.
“Over the last several years, we have seen Georgia school districts utilize Rural Education Fund grants to support bold, creative, and student-centric projects,” GFPE Executive Director Paige Pushkin said. “As a result, we’ve seen students across the state gain new opportunities to learn, grow, and achieve. This year we have doubled the amount schools or districts can ask for to $10,000 due to the generosity of so many donors statewide. I can’t wait to see what this year’s grantees are able to accomplish leveraging REF funds.”
The Rural Education Fund is made possible through the purchase of “Educator” and “Support Education” license plates by Georgia residents, along with the support of an anonymous family foundation. The GFPE supports educational excellence for all of Georgia’s K-12 students.