West River Eagle

$5k education grants available – Apply now!



Running Strong for American Indian Youth, an advocacy and direct funding organization created to address the unmet needs of Native American communities, has announced the opening of this year’s Dreamstarter Teacher Grant application period through June 30, 2024. Grants are designed to support educators who work with Native American students in school.

Dreamstarter grants are open to teachers as well as librarians, coaches, administrators, guidance counselors, school social workers and all support staff who want to make a difference in their Native students’ lives. Applicants may apply in partnership with their schools or school districts to receive up to $5,000 to make an even bigger impact in the lives of their Native students.

Students are defined as preschool/Head Start, elementary, secondary and college students. Classes and schools do not need to be 100% Native to be eligible but the majority of students served by the Dreamstarter Teacher grant must be Native American. Schools may be located on federally or state recognized Indian reservations, Rancherias, Pueblos, communities or in Alaska Native villages or in urban areas in the United States.

Grant funds may be used for such projects as, for example: supporting student enrichment programs (after-school programs, school clubs, etc.); piloting new programs or activities for schools and students; procurement of supplies, teaching materials and equipment for schools; field trips or school events.

Weight is given to unique, sustainable projects. Grant funds may not be used for activities that discriminate on the basis of race, color and national origin, LGBTQ status, sex, and/or disability.

If potential applicants know of a need that they are not sure are eligible, they may email questions to Dreamstarter@IndianYouth.org.

The timeline for the 2024-25 grant year:

March 25, 2024 – Applications Open

June 30, 2024– Applications Due at 11:59 pm EST

August 2, 2024 – Successful Grantees Notified

August 31, 2024 – Awards Distributed

February 15, 2025 – Program Update Due

June 30, 2025 – Grant Period End (All funds must be used by this date)

August 15, 2025 – Final Grant Report Due

According to the Running Strong website (indianyouth.org/), “(Since 2017) dozens of school administrators, teachers, school counselors, and librarians have made a huge, lasting impact in the lives of their students with Dreamstarter Teacher grants. From robotics clubs to class field trips, and from school-wide cultural events to improving school libraries, educators are creating change in their communities by creating opportunities for Native students to grow, learn, and explore.”

Recent grant recipient Elizabeth Syria, Ibapah Elementary School, said, “We are so isolated and students have not experienced much life outside of the Deep Creek Valley. They did not have a vision of what they can do with their bright minds. The Dreamstarter grant provided an outside window to what is available in science and arts that they can learn more about, expand their experience and give them a broader dream. I cannot say adequately how much the program benefited my students and their families.”

For more information and application guidelines, go to indianyouth.org/dreamstarter-teacher-apply/

Running Strong for American Indian Youth was co-founded in 1986 by Olympic Gold medalist Billy Mills (Oglala Lakota) and Gene Krizek after the two men bonded over their mutual desire to help those impacted by generational poverty and trauma.

Beginning with the simple act of bringing water to the people of the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation in South Dakota, Running Strong’s involvement now reaches dozens of Native communities in more than 30 states with focus areas including critical needs, organic gardens and food, culture and language preservation, emergency assistance, schools and youth support, and seasonal programs. Running Strong implements their own programs as well as supports independent groups who align with their mission, such as nonprofits, community centers, and grassroots projects.

Running Strong is building up the next generation of Native American leaders and strengthening Native communities in a holistic way – meeting critical needs, preserving culture, and supporting dreams.

Running Strong launched Dreamstarter Teacher in 2017 as another way to support the dreams of Native youth: awarding educators grants to meet unmet needs of their Native students.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *