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TeacherLore

Request for Proposals: Grants for Demonstration Sites

Directions for filling in the fields (This is a text page you may want to print to use while filling out the online form)
Graphic Tutorial Version: (This is a Flash tutorial showing how to submit a grant proposal online)
MHP Grant Information Page: (This gives an overview of all the grants available from the Montana Heritage Project)

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What is the Montana Heritage Project?
Who is eligible?
How many sites will be selected?
What is the deadline for applications?
Will I learn more before the projects start?
What help will I receive during the year?
What am I expected to show when the project is finished?
When will I know if my proposal was accepted?
How do I contact you?

What is the Montana Heritage Project?

The Montana Heritage Project supports local research projects in Montana high schools. Up to $3,000 is provided to each site to implement locally-designed research projects that include both secondary and primary source research. The program is designed to foster critical thinking through the development of strong research and writing skills. By focusing on local studies and including community members and agencies as research resources and associates, heritage projects are also intended to build bridges between schools and their communities.

Heritage projects have been completed in Bigfork, Broadus, Browning, Chester, Columbus, Corvallis, Dillon, Eureka, Fort Benton, Harlowton, Lewistown, Libby, Pryor, Red Lodge, Ronan, Roundup, St. Ignatius, Simms, Townsend, White Sulphur Springs, and Whitefish.

The Project is funded by the Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg Foundation. It is a program of the Montana Historical Society in partnership with the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the Montana Arts Council, the Montana Office of Public Instruction, and the Montana Committee for the Humanities.

In addition to $3000 in direct support to the classroom, each participating school will receive $1,500 each year to purchase print materials for the high school reference library. Also, teachers are eligible for support to attend national conferences or other professional development events. Every year, one teacher and four students are selected as ambassadors to the Library of Congress, and they travel to Washington D.C. to present their research to the Library and to meet with Montana’s congressional delegation.

Who is eligible?

Teachers who have been members of Demonstration Site Teams or Affiliate Project Teams for at least one year are eligible to apply for demonstration grant sites grants. We accept proposals only from classroom teachers (not from administrators, librarians without classroom assignments, or non-school organizations). We fund teachers rather than schools, so if a teacher who has received a grant leaves the district or receives a different assignment, we reserve the right to revoke funding.

Proposals may be considered from any academic discipline. Most of the teachers in the program teach English or history, but teachers of biology, art, business, media arts, and math have also participated. In all cases, a strong emphasis upon research and writing must be present.

How many sites will be selected?

Twelve have been funded most years. A similar number will be funded each year, depending on the quality of the proposals and the available funding.

What is the deadline for applications?

Applications must be completed online and are due by April 15 of each year for funding during the following school year.

Will I learn more before the projects start?

Yes. All teachers listed on the proposal as members of the team are invited to attend the Montana Heritage Project Summer Teacher Institute which is normally held the last week in June. The Project Director must attend this event as a requirement for receiving money from the Montana Heritage Project. The Institute provides forays into Montana’s cultural heritage, training in strategies and resources for local and state research, contacts within the partner agencies that can provide ongoing support, and assistance in planning local projects. The institute lasts six days and during this time teachers, to an important degree from association with veteran Heritage Project teachers, develop an understanding of the spirit of the Project.

The work of planning and shaping the project occurs at the summer institute.

Expenses (mileage to and from the institute site, meals and lodging) for attending the summer institute will be paid for team members named in the proposal from each site.

What help will I receive during the year?

The Montana Heritage Project staff are available on site as well as via telephone, email, and online forums. In addition, participants will convene for a Summit Conference in Helena the first Monday and Tuesday in February, where they will meet with representatives from the partner agencies to request any assistance that might help, and to share their work with their peers. Former and present Heritage Teachers are available for onsite assistance. All Demonstration Site Directors are available for consultation.

What am I expected to show when the project is finished?

Each demonstration site will be expected to submit three nonfiction, research-based student essays that grow out of the research described in the grant proposal. These essays should include citations that follow the Chicago Manual of Style. In addition, student research products created by all the students will be permanently archived in the collections of the Montana Historical Society. A representative sample of these materials may be archived at the Library of Congress.

Each project will also provide a final report in the form of a narrative of what happened, how many students were involved, and what products were created for the final evaluation. As far as possible, the projects should be documented (audio and video tapes, still photographs) as they occur.

Each Demonstration Site is expected to bring 4-6 students to the Youth Heritage Festival, normally held in Helena the first Monday and Tuesday in April. Students will do an 10-minute presentation on their projects, and they will set up displays telling the story of their project in the Capital Rotunda (or other designated location). Our goal is to make this event Montana’s premiere academic conference for high school scholars. Every year thus far the governor or a designated representative has attended, as have our funders, Liz Claiborne and Art Ortenberg, along with representatives from the Library of Congress and from other cultural agencies. Based on student writing, the presentations, and the display panels in the rotunda, one team of four student researchers is selected to serve as ambassadors to the Library of Congress. They travel to Washington, D.C. in May to present their research to the Library of Congress.

When will I know if my proposal was accepted?

Notification of grant awards will be made in April. At that time, participants will register for the Summer Institute.

Contact Information

Michael L. Umphrey, Executive Director

Katherine Mitchell, Project Manager
PO. Box 672
Saint Ignatius, MT 59865
(406) 745-2600

Marcella Sherfy, Education Director
Montana Historical Society
PO Box 201201
Helena, Montana 59629
(406) 444-1759

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Posted by Michael L Umphrey on 01/13 at 11:29 PM
  1. A couple quick ideas:

    We might want to include our email addresses in the contact information.
    My zip code is 59620.
    We might want to mention community gifts of scholarship (program, databases, publications, tours, etc.) more explicitly as a requirement of the project.
    I like the emphasis on classroom teachers as applicants, but do we also want to mention that we encourage support from other teachers and from librarians.

    Posted by  on  01/14  at  10:21 AM

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