Lincoln Academy recently announced receipt of two significant grants, one from the Edward E. Ford Foundation and a second, local matching grant from the Burns Family Foundation. Taken together, these grants will enable the school to invest $160,000 in student field trips and faculty professional development over the next eight years

Lincoln’s proposal to the E.E. Ford Foundation, made in the spring of 2017, stated that “the purpose of this grant is to allow faculty and students to participate in off-campus experiences that will enhance their understanding of the world around them and, in turn, the educational experience.” The proposal went on to detail how the funds would be spent: “We seek a grant for a twofold purpose. First, we would like to offer partial or full scholarships to students who could normally not afford to participate in a school sponsored off-campus trip, and we would develop a broader array of experiences for all our students. At the same time, we would like to offer faculty members mini-grants to enable them to expand their options regarding professional development.”

The E.E. Ford Foundation, whose mission is “to strengthen and support independent secondary schools and to challenge and inspire them to leverage their unique talents, expertise and resources to advance teaching and learning,” gives grants to schools throughout the country. According to their website, between November 2017 and June 2018 the foundation made 34 grants that averaged $75K, for a total of $3,551,750 distributed. While the Foundation announced that LA had been awarded the initial $80K grant in December of 2017, the disbursement of funds depended on the receipt of a dollar-for-dollar match. The Burns Foundation, a Maine-based family foundation, pledged the full match amount this fall, and the school received the disbursement from EE Ford this month. Beginning in January 2019, faculty members at Lincoln Academy will have the opportunity to apply for the funds to support professional development and student trips.

While the grant application was submitted by former Head of School David Sturdevant, who traveled to New York to meet with the Foundation Board as part of the application process, Interim Head of School Nancy Starmer has what she called the “pleasant task” of implementing the grant. A newly appointed committee is currently setting up the parameters by which faculty can apply for mini-grants to support off-campus enrichment for themselves and their students, and will begin receiving proposals from faculty in January.

Starmer said, “since announcing that the Burns Family Foundation had approved a matching gift, releasing the funding from E.E. Ford, a number of teachers have contacted me to say how excited they are to be able to start offering scholarships for existing programs to students who’d otherwise not have been able to participate, or to plan experiences that they’ve avoided offering in the past because they knew that the cost would exclude some of their students. I already have a request from a group of teachers for help with travel expenses so that they can participate in a workshop for science and engineering teachers this summer as well.”

The funds will be disbursed over the next eight to ten years, making about $8K available per year.

Starmer said, “I know I speak for the entire Lincoln Academy community in saying how grateful we all are to the trustees of the E.E. Ford and Burns Family Foundations for making such opportunities possible for our students and teachers.”