How educator grants made a difference this year

Grants for classroom educators and schools are small yet powerful tools that can help fund creative and innovative ideas for educational projects, activities, and materials. Our Academic Opportunity Fund is a valuable resource for teachers and schools with limited budgets, but who are determined to provide the best learning opportunities for their students. 

In the 2022-23 school year we offered three rounds of grant funding that awarded $230,000 across 166 individual grants

The program received over 220 grant applications from 45 schools across the Boulder Valley School District.

Opportunities for creativity and innovation

When educators are given the chance to apply for Academic Opportunity Fund grants, they are encouraged to think outside of the box and come up with new and exciting ways to engage their students. Grants this year provided funding for:

Helping bridge the funding gap

With limited school budgets, Academic Opportunity Fund grants bridge the funding gap for both educators and schools by providing additional resources that enhance the learning experience for students. This funding can help make classes more relevant and engaging and lead to improved student outcomes.

In addition to common requests such as books, tutors, and software, grants also provided funding for:

Improving student outcomes

The Academic Opportunity Fund supports everything from classroom enrichment and virtual tutoring to field trips and books – anything that helps provide valuable educational experiences to BVSD students.

Our grants will reopen in the fall for the 2023-24 school year to support educators and students in BVSD.

Schools and educators receive $245,000 in Academic Opportunity grants

Providing opportunity to BVSD students reduces the economic barriers to success. Our Academic Opportunity Fund provides resources to educators and schools through grants that enable all students to fully engage in learning.

Highlights of our second 2022-23 funding round

In the second round of the school year we received 65 applications to our Academic Opportunity Fund. So far we’ve been able to fully or partially fund 47 applications, distributing $68,000 to educators across the district, while we explore district and partnering funding options for some additional applications.

If you include our final round from the last school year, you’ll see that in 2022 we’ve:

What our schools are requesting

From the latest round, we received a variety of classroom- and school-based applications from schools across the district, including funding requests for:

A strong tie to our mission

The Academic Opportunity Fund directly supports our mission, allowing us to provide supplemental funding and resources to students and educators in order to expand what’s possible in education. 
Keep an eye on our Academic Opportunity Fund webpage for future funding rounds.


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 29,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

There are many ways to support student learning

We received over 100 applications in the first round of our Academic Opportunity Fund this year and initial award decisions were shared earlier this month. Thanks to a wonderful team of 24 great readers, we’ve been able to fully or partially fund 73 of these applications, investing over $112,000 to support BVSD students. 


Our Academic Opportunity Fund provides funding to meet the needs of students, educators and classrooms across the district. From Cal-Wood scholarships to transportation expenses to software licenses, we fund a variety of requests that will enable students to engage in learning.

School-based tutoring for Adelante! students

Over 150 first-generation Latinx students at Boulder and Fairview High School have been disproportionately impacted by COVID and need support to get back on track. An Academic Opportunity Fund grant will pay for tutors to help students enrolled in the Adelante! Program during and after school. Adelante! encourages and inspires college and career readiness for first-generation and low-income students.

Tutors will offer personalized support based on student needs and will provide subject area tutoring and college application preparation. Adelante has a proven track record of re-engaging students in their pursuit of education and bolsters post-secondary readiness in the areas of college and career.

The need for tutoring and coaching to complete college and scholarship applications is particularly urgent at Boulder High School because the school has seen a dramatic increase in students who qualify for the free and reduced lunch program and an increase in Latinx, mostly first-generation English speaking, students. Both schools have noted that there is a serious gap in pursuing higher education between the majority and minority student populations. The Adelante program has traditionally offered tutoring in addition to standardized test prep, essay reviews, workshops on filling out applications and scholarship applications.

Art therapy for middle school students

Like many schools across the district, Centennial Middle School has seen an increased need for mental health support. With limited mental health resources available their part-time school psychologist and school counselors asked for funding to bring a local art therapist to their students.

The funding will allow the school to engage the art therapist, providing an additional trusted adult for students, and support the purchase of supplies. This additional mental health support will help students interpret and express their emotions and thoughts so they’re better equipped to focus on learning at school.

Educational field trips

Young AmeriTowne is an award-winning educational program to help students learn about business and economics in a fun and hands-on way. 44 fourth graders at Alicia Sanchez Elementary are now able to take a field trip to Young AmeriTowne next spring.

Coal Creek fifth graders will participate in their annual field trip to Cal-Wood this school year. The school PTA subsidizes the class trip, but families are asked to contribute $100 per student. We’re covering this cost for 14 families for whom the $100 will be a hardship, 8 families in financial need and 6 families affected by the Marshall Fire.

Helping students develop their STEM identity

At Boulder High School, AP chemistry students have access to supplies like PH sensors and direct drop counters to develop their own experiments. In other chemistry courses that occur outside of block periods, the logistics of sharing these supplies in quick succession means that students who are not enrolled in AP level courses don’t have access to this experience.

Not all students will take AP level courses and the fees can be a barrier to participation for students in financial need. In order to offer similar learning opportunities to all students, we’re providing funding for chemistry supplies that will allow more students to develop their STEM identity by deepening their interaction with these concepts.


We’re still working with BVSD to gather additional information to make funding decisions on some remaining applications from our first round. We always verify the grants we disperse are aligned with District goals and standards and that we are not funding projects that can be met by District or other community resources.

We just opened our application for a second round and applications are due on Monday, November 14, 2022.
To learn more or apply, click here.


Impact on Education is a nonprofit organization, and we depend on our community to help us put our mission into action. We need your help to to provide opportunity and resources to 30,000 students and 4,000 educators in the Boulder Valley School District.

How we’re funding opportunity for students across BVSD

One of the key ways we provide opportunity to high needs students in the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) is through our Academic Opportunity Fund. Our fourth and final funding round for the 2021-22 school year recently closed and we’re proud to share that we’re investing another $44,000 to meet the needs of BVSD students. This brings our total Academic Opportunity Fund investment to over $150,000 for the 2021-22 school year.

In Round Four, community volunteers helped evaluate 17 anonymized application requests and provide feedback on funding decisions. That data was then reviewed by Impact on Education (IOE) staff and final decisions were made.

A variety of needs

From competition fees to tutoring programs, our Academic Opportunity Fund supported a variety of student and school needs including funding to:

Other ways we’re investing in student success 

The success of BVSD students sometimes requires more than our schools and teachers are able to provide during the day, and this is where we step in. With the help of our community, we can support students and families by providing equitable access to critical academic opportunities.

This summer, we’ll be working to help students in our Career Readiness Academy line up summer employment, preparing for an expanded early learning program for rising kindergarteners this summer, and kick off our annual Crayons to Calculators school supply distribution. Learn more about how we support Student Success.

Click here to read a story about this investment in the Daily Camera (paywall).

In September, we opened our Academic Opportunity Fund to provide grants to Boulder Valley School District educators and administrators to meet student needs on an individual, school or district-wide basis. We are proud to share that we have invested over $100,000 this fall to support BVSD students and schools.  

Who applied for funding

Over 60 applications were submitted to the Academic Opportunity Fund from 30 different schools and departments. Geographically, the schools ranged from Nederland and Gold Hill to Broomfield, and everywhere in between. Applicants included school principals and administrators, classroom teachers, and specialists, with an even mix of requests from elementary, middle and high schools.

How applications were reviewed

We engaged the community in this work by bringing in 15 volunteers to examine and evaluate the anonymized application requests and provide feedback on funding decisions. That data was then reviewed by Impact on Education (IOE) staff and final decisions were made.

What students and schools need

From school-based tutoring to RTD bus passes to an online math software, our Academic Opportunity Fund supported a variety of student and school needs including funding to:

Future rounds of the Academic Opportunity Fund 

The positive response from schools reinforces the need for us to work closely with BVSD and provide supplemental funding to meet student needs. Our community volunteer grant readers were equally encouraged by their experiences learning about the needs of schools and educators across the district. We’ll continue to provide direct funding for school-based tutoring programs and plan to reopen the Academic Opportunity Fund for other needs early next year.

If your school is in need of funding for a tutoring program, please email

When the pandemic first shut down BVSD schools back in March of 2020, we knew school closures would present a significant hardship for students, especially for those who rely on schools for more than just their education. We responded swiftly, providing an array of immediate support for students and families. However, we also knew the disruption to student learning would be disproportionate and could have a profound impact on the long-term success of students, especially those who are economically disadvantaged. 

As we all now know, the pandemic was not a short-lived interference in our lives; we are now in the third year of interrupted learning for students in our community. Now that we’re a few months into the 2021-22 school year and students are mostly back in person, our focus shifted from providing emergency relief to addressing the potential gaps in student learning.

Making up ground

We are committed to ensuring all students can learn and that those who’ve fallen behind can make up ground this year. We are also committed to helping students learn coping skills and build the resilience challenged by long periods of social isolation. 

In partnership with BVSD, we are funding a variety of school and student needs across the District. Because the needs vary widely, so do our investments. One of the tools we are using to fund these situations facing students and schools this year is our Academic Opportunity Fund. Both educators and school administrators can apply for funding to support students, classes, or schools.

A successful first round of funding 

The first funding round for the 2021-22 Academic Opportunity Fund closed in early October with over 30 applications submitted that were then reviewed by a team of community volunteers. We are proud to announce that we are able to meet the needs of 24 applicants: four applicants were connected to other district resources to meet their needs and 20 applicants received funding directly from Impact on Education.

Funding requests came from across the district, from mountain schools like Gold Hill to Broomfield schools, with over $30,000 awarded just in this first round. Requests ranged from technology licenses to classroom curriculum and supplies to health needs to musical instruments. Student populations being served by this funding span K-12 grade levels with students in ILC classrooms, AP classrooms, and elective classrooms all being impacted by these fulfilled requests.

The Academic Opportunity Fund is currently open for its second round of funding with a third round planned this fall as well. We anticipate we’ll continue to meet the varied needs of schools, relying on dedicated community volunteers to read and evaluate the grant requests we receive. 

While the Academic Opportunity Fund addresses immediate student needs beyond what BVSD is able to provide, our other program dollars continue to support large-scale district initiatives.

District-wide investments

In addition to the funding we disperse with our Academic Opportunity Fund, several large-scale district-wide issues have come to light as well this academic year. We are working with our partners at BVSD to address some of these needs, including mental health, transportation, supplemental instructional time, early childhood education, and career readiness. 

Throughout the pandemic, we learned that one of Impact on Education’s greatest strengths is   our ability to adapt to the changing and evolving needs of students. While we feel confident that our investments this academic year are vital to the success of all students, we are also prepared to pivot and change as the landscape shifts. 

We are excited to announce a new funding source, the Academic Opportunity Fund, to support students and educators in the Boulder Valley School District (BVSD) during the 2021-22 school year.

Building on previous successes

During the 2020-21 school year we piloted the Student Academic Support Fund to meet individual student needs on a case by case basis. This pilot catalyzed our movement to support BVSD throughout the pandemic and provided over $25,000 to fund 20 separate grant requests. To expand this successful program to encompass educators looking to innovate within their classrooms and fulfill student needs, we consolidated the Student Academic Support Fund with our longstanding Classroom Innovation Grant funding program. 

Consolidating the Student Academic Support Fund and Classroom Innovation Grants into a single funding source for the 2021-22 school year allows us to meet both student and educator needs on a case-by-case basis.

“As the pandemic continues to disrupt education, we continue to assess the needs of our students and educators. The Academic Opportunity Fund allows Impact on Education to address immediate needs for academic support that supplement district initiatives.”

Allison Billings – Executive Director, Impact on Education

While other program dollars continue to support large-scale district initiatives including assisting with supplemental instruction across grade levels in math and reading, we know we know students sometimes face immediate needs for academic support beyond what BVSD is able to provide.

Needs we anticipate funding

The Academic Opportunity Fund is highly flexible and may support targeted tutoring, software licenses, transportation expenses, class fees, educator curriculum, materials for classroom use or other needs that stretch beyond what BVSD is able to provide.

“From my own classroom teaching experience, I’ve seen how even the most effective district initiative cannot possibly impact every single student. I value how this Fund singles out and meets unique individual and small groups of students’ academic needs.”

Jen Biegen – Program Coordinator, Impact on Education

The application form asks applicants to make sure their need is aligned with the most appropriate resource, whether it be Impact on Education or another BVSD or community organization.

How to request funding

The first application round is open now and will close on October 3. We anticipate opening subsequent rounds this fall and encourage those looking for funding to keep an eye on our website.

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Impact on Education
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