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Grants for Field Trips

Instructor: Melinda Santos
Participating in field trips allow students to explore learning opportunities outside of the classroom, but the funds needed for these trips are not typically included in a school's budget. Make these experiences happen for your students by applying for the field trip grants below, then explore some helpful teacher resources.

Target Field Trip Grants

The Target Corporation offers several field trip grants to K-12 schools within the United States each year. These grants can be for amounts as high as $700. Applications for these grants must be completed online through the Target website between August 1, 2016 and September 30, 2016. Once your application is reviewed, you will be notified of your award status.

Big Yellow School Bus

As part of the Massachusetts Cultural Council's Creative Youth Initiative, this program offers $200 grants to K-12 schools in Massachusetts to help with the transportation costs of field trips to nonprofit culturally and artistically enhancing activities or institutions within the state. Funding is available on a first-come basis with no application deadline. The application form is available on the MCC's website.

Kohl's Cares Field Trip Grant Program

Kohl's philanthropic effort to promote learning outside of the classroom provides $1,000 grants for Milwaukee-based schools each year. Grants must be used to visit specific organizations that have a partnership with Kohl's, including the Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee County Zoo, Betty Brinn Children's Museum, Discovery World, Junior Achievement of Wisconsin and Milwaukee Public Museum. To apply, a member of your school's administrative personnel, such as a principal or assistant principal, must register on the Kohl's field trip website. Registration is typically done in mid-February and, if approved, an official application should be submitted a few weeks later in March. Check the field trip website for official registration and application dates as they may change from year to year. Grants are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

Sam's Club/Walmart Community Grant Program

As part of the Walmart Foundation, local Sam's Club warehouses and Walmart stores are encouraged to provide grant funding to nonprofit organizations within the community, including schools. Funding for field trips would fall under the education and youth success focus areas for this organization's charitable giving. Grant funding ranges from $250 to $2,500. For 2016, applications must be filled out on the Walmart Foundation website between February 1st and December 31st. The application will be reviewed by the management at whichever local Walmart or Sam's Club that's awarding the grant. Grant recipients will be notified via email.

Resources for Teachers

You've planned the field trip and secured funding, so what's next? Study.com offers a variety of resources to help make your field trip a success, including a permission slip template. You can also refer to one of the many lessons offered on Study.com on any subject that is relevant to the field trip, like this What is a Medium in Art? lesson which can prime students for a visit to the art museum, or this Ocean Biome Facts lesson to help review ocean species before a trip to the local aquarium.

If you're unable to find financial support to fund a field trip for your class, consider some alternative ways of finding learning opportunities outside of the classroom without leaving the school. Study.com has some ideas for Virtual Field Trips for Students, which allow students to 'explore' locations anywhere on the globe. You can also invite students to take an in-school field trip to explore an area or profession on campus that is rarely seen. Examples include a behind-the-scenes exploration of the school cafeteria or a day in the life of the school principal or janitor.

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