Grants for your Elementary School Playground!
Children’s playgrounds are a fun way to fight childhood obesity and develop key motor and social skills. It is where many children develop social skills and learn to exercise by making it fun and collaborative. They are often the staple of many communities, but building them can be costly. So how does one raise money to build a playground in a community or at a school? All kinds of organizations offer grants as a way to reinvest in communities and believe it or not, their grants are specifically and uniquely geared towards helping schools and communities build playgrounds for the youth. A grant is a sum of money that is applied for to be used for a specific purpose, without reimbursement. It is essentially free money!
Below is a list of organizations or companies that offer grants for playground equipment.
- American Express- The American Express Foundation is dedicated to educating children and providing them tools to support a healthy life, with a focus on racial equity and civic engagement. Their funding cycle is rolling and the amount they grant varies based on need. The majority of their contributions go towards 501 C 3 organizations and schools.
- Albertsons- Albertsons’ grants come from the Safeway Foundation. They promote community engagement, education, and supporting those with disabilities. Their funding cycle is rolling with an average grant of $25,000. They review applicants on a bi-annual basis and eligibility requirements include 501 C3 organizations and schools.
- Game on Grants- Under Good Sports, Game on Grants not only helps equip children with playground equipment, but also contributes towards many needs including school gardens, nutrition programs, and physical activity programs. They are committed to helping young people from low-income areas get the tools they need to be healthy and engaged in their communities. Applications reviewed on a bi-weekly basis and the application is rolling so there are no deadlines -- one can apply at any time! The amount granted varies and eligibility is restricted to public schools in which more than half of the student body are eligible for free/reduced lunch. Good Sports has other opportunities as well. In fact, they are the next spot on this list!
- Good Sports Grant- Similarly to the Game on Grant, Good Sports prioritizes promoting healthy living through outdoor activity. There is no maximum amount for equipment and they accept applications on a rolling basis, reviewing them on a bi-weekly basis. The school applying for the grant must already include free tuition as well as on-campus organized sports programs for students. Additionally, more than half of the student body must be eligible for free/reduced lunch.
- W.K Kellogg Foundation- The Kellogg Foundation supports lasting and transformative change for children. They highlight the importance of high-quality education and healthy lifestyles for children. One cool fact about The Kellogg Foundation is that they seek to engage with and promote leaders within communities, starting with the children in those communities. The funding cycle is rolling and the amounts vary.
- Entergy- Entergy is focused on improving communities as a whole. They offer grants for arts and culture, education and workforce development, poverty solutions and social services, healthy families, and community improvement. While there are no deadlines, Entergy asks that the applicant submit an application at least three months prior to the date that funds are needed. The amount varies and 501 C3 organizations and schools are eligible.
- Meet Me at the Park Play Spaces- Meet Me at the Park Play Spaces is a collaborative effort between the National Recreation and Parks Association and The Walt Disney Company. The Walt Disney company funds the grants that the National Recreation and Park Association rewards to help make outdoor play more accessible to Children and Families in underserved communities. The application is rolling and accepted year-round. This organization is unique in that communication must start with the city's local Park and Recreation Department rather than an individual or school.
- Lego Children Fund- The Lego Children Fund helps promote the combination of creativity and physical activity in the lives of children. They are committed to developing motor skills and promoting social interaction. What better place to make that happen than a playground?!
- Walmart Local Community Grants- The Walmart Local Community Grant is a general grant for the betterment of communities. They state on their website that ‘any school that would like to benefit the community at large is welcome to apply.’ Applicants can apply up to 25 times and/or receive 25 grants during the grant cycle which ends December 31st of 2020. The amount granted varies from $250 to $5,000.
- Aldi Smart Kids- Aldi Smart Kids values the importance of promoting children’s health. They support organizations that prioritize athletics, education, nutrition, or any other means of promoting a healthy lifestyle. The grants are given on a divisional basis, so you will need to apply for your specific division. The deadlines each year are February 1st through December 15th. The amount varies from $100-$5,000.
As you can see, there are many opportunities for funding for your local schools and communities. Playgrounds have a huge impact on children, especially in elementary school. It is where many children learn how to appropriately interact with their peers; developing social skills that will follow them for the rest of their lives. They also promote exercise by making it fun and collaborative. Playgrounds develop practices and provide memories for children that can last a lifetime. Give your community the gift of healthy children and apply for a grant today!