Spark Grants

Spark: (n) anything that activates or stimulates; inspiration or catalyst; (v) to send forth gleams or flashes

Spark Grants, a competitive grants program conceived of and funded by Letitia and John Carter, offer 3rd grade classroom teachers in Rhode Island’s “urban core” communities (Central Falls, Newport, Pawtucket, Providence, and Woonsocket) up to $1,000 for projects that engage students through unique experiences and creative learning methods and stimulate student interest in relevant educational topics.

It is hoped that, over time, this program will inspire creativity, exchange of ideas, and experimentation among teachers.


  • Fulltime teachers in any public school physically located in one of the eligible school districts, including charter schools, may apply for these competitive grants.
  • Eligible expenses: software licenses, field trips, professional development opportunities, equipment, and other resources that would not otherwise be available. Teachers must make a compelling case about how their proposed project will advance student learning in the classroom and integrates into existing or future units of study.
  • Proposed projects can serve several students or an entire classroom.
  • Multiple applications from one teacher are not permitted; teachers should submit their best idea.
  • Multiple teachers may collaborate to submit a joint proposal to pool funds.
  • Spark Grants are for one-time expenses and cannot provide ongoing funding to sustain projects.
  • Supplies alone are not eligible, unless the teacher makes a compelling case for how the supplies would engage and stimulate their students in a new and unique way. 

Application information

To apply, teachers must tell us:

  • How would you use the funds?
  • What outcomes do you expect as a result of this project? 

The 2014 application deadline has passed; 2015 applications must be submitted by midnight (EST) on October 16, 2015. Please note that no assistance will be available after 5 p.m. (EST). Each application will be judged for originality, potential for success, and clarity of purpose. Applications should include some evaluation criteria that describe how you will evaluate whether your proposed project was successful

Programs selected for funding will be announced in December of each year. The funds must be expended by the end of that school year.

Recipients of 2014 Spark Grants must provide a one-page summary by 5 p.m. (EST) on May 15, 2015 describing how they used the funds and what the grant has accomplished. Successful applications and the report forms will be made available online at the conclusion of the school year, in order to inform and inspire other teachers.

To apply

Please complete the following:

  • Narrative
  • Online application * 
    (All applications must be submitted through our online system.Please note that you will need to attach your completed narrative to the online application before submitting.)

* If you already have started this online application, please log in to your account page to edit the application that is in progress.


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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