Carter Spark Grants

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

Students learn best when given real-life opportunities to engage in academic content in meaningful and relevant ways. And classroom teachers know best how to provide those opportunities. That’s the thinking behind the Carter Spark Grants program. Conceived of and funded by Letitia and the late John Carter, Spark Grants are small, flexible grants designed to give classroom teachers with innovative ideas the resources they need to “spark” a love of learning.

Launched in 2013 in Providence, this competitive program has granted more than $750,000 over the last five years. 

Classroom Spark Grants

Classroom Spark Grants provide up to $1,000 for full-time teachers of third- and fourth-grade students in Rhode Island public schools. Teachers of special subjects like visual arts, music, or physical education are also eligible to apply so long as the proposed project is designed to be used with a cohort of third-grade and/or fourth-grade students. 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.

Eligible expenses include classroom equipment and materials, field trip expenses, software licenses, and other resources that would not otherwise be available. Spark Grants may not be used to purchase technological equipment such as computers, tablets, or projectors. 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. 

The maximum award for any one project will not exceed $1,000. 

Please note

  • Multiple applications from one teacher are not permitted; please submit your best idea.
  • Teachers must apply individually; collaborative or team applications will not be accepted.
  • Funds must be expended by the end of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • Previous Spark Grant recipients are required to submit a one page report on their project prior to applying for the 2019-2020 school year. See Spark Grant report forms.


The deadline to apply for a Carter Spark Grant is October 11, 2019.

Recipients of a 2019-2020 Carter Spark Grant are asked to provide a one-page summary by 5 PM (EST) on June 1, 2020 describing how they used the funds and what the grant has accomplished.

To apply

Want to preview the application before applying? See the CARTER SPARK GRANT APPLICATION  (PDF).

To apply, please complete the following:

    (Applications are available six weeks prior to the deadline; all applications must be submitted through our online system. Please note that you will need to attach your completed budget to the online application before submitting.)

*If you have applied in the past, please note that you must create a new login for this year’s application. 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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