Melinda Gray Ardia Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation promotes environmental K-12 education through its curriculum development program. 

IP TAKE: The Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation makes small grants to schools and organizations that develop and implement environmental curricula. It maintains an open, on-line application process and does not geographically restrict its funding.

PROFILE: The Melinda Gray Ardia Environmental Foundation was established 1996 in memory of Melinda Gray Ardia, a biologist, environmental activist and science teacher. Based in Clarence Center, New York, the foundation’s board is comprised of members of Ardia’s family and environmental professionals. The foundation is “dedicated to increasing environmental education, awareness and responsibility around the globe.” MGAEF funds Environmental Curriculum Development Grants, Field Experiences for School Students, and the SUNY-ESF Environmental Interpretation Scholarship.

The foundation conducts its grantmaking to education through a variety of programs. Its curriculum development initiative supports K-12 education. While MGAEF conductions several education programs focused only on the environment, it specifically funds K-12 grantmaking through its Field Experiences for School Students program, which is intended to provide outdoor natural history and science experiences for young students.” In addition, the foundation invests in K-12 through Environmental Curriculum Development Grants, which provides one to two $1500 grants to schools and nonprofit organizations that “develop and implement holistic environmental curricula” that coordinate classroom teaching with field activities and incorporate basic scientific principles with problem solving. Some recent grantees include CROC, Conservation and Research on Crocodilians, located at Bardia National Park in Nepal; the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust in Malawi; and the Bluff Lake Nature Center in Denver, Colorado. Other past grantees can be explored in the foundation’s list of past recipients.

The Melinda Gray Ardia Foundation awards several grants at a set amount of $1500 each year and does not geographically restrict its grantmaking. The foundation prioritizes public schools and organizations that work with public schools due to Melinda Gray Ardia’s lifetime commitment to public education. The foundation maintains an open application process, with guidelines, instructions and grant writing advice sections.


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