The Maine Department of Education (DOE) is excited to launch a new climate education professional development pilot grant opportunity to support the growth of climate education throughout the state and most especially in underserved communities. This grant initiative was designed out of LD 1902 which passed in the spring of 2022. This grant initiative is designed first and foremost to support teachers and schools. Climate change content and pedagogy can be challenging to approach for many different reasons. It can be a new area for teachers, a subject matter that is challenging to navigate in a school’s community, and an area of education where teachers and schools just don’t know where to get started.
This initiative asks that schools partner with a non-profit community-based organization because these organizations are integral to communities throughout Maine. They have created, sustained, and grown an incredible framework of outdoor and environmental education opportunities and programs that are tailored to their local regions traits and needs. This initiative will expand on their work to form new connections and expand partnerships between community organizations and schools. These partnerships will support teachers and schools to bring climate education to more of Maine’s students.
The RFA can be found here, and applications are due on November 3, 2023.
The RFA grant will be phase 1 of 2 initial phases the Maine DOE plans for this effort. Phase 1 will have an application window from early September to October 20th. Phase 1 professional development programs will be awarded for a term from mid-November through the end of August 2024. Phase 2 will build on the successes and learnings of phase one. Phase 2 will have an application window in the winter of 2024 and be designed for programs leading up to and during the school year of 2024-2025. These phases are designed for a wide variety of applicants and programs that might vary in style, content, age, duration, and breadth or depth.
Applicants should take the time to review the application and ask questions by September 29th (full instructions in the RFA). Just like the program itself, the application can be collaborative with community partners and other local education providers if desired. Applicants that hit priorities one and/or two and cannot connect with a partner or do not know where to start are still encouraged to apply. If the timeline for phase 1 is too tight for applying or the award window does not make sense for this year, phase 2 is a great option with additional time to plan and connect with a partner.
This program is overseen by Teddy Lyman, the Maine DOE’s new Climate Education Specialist. Teddy will coordinate this program including the application, awards, and deliverables. During the RFA application window, Teddy cannot communicate directly with anyone that might benefit from direct communication that is not publicly available.
Questions about the RFA should be emailed to Teddy at: Theodore.Lyman@maine.gov by 11:59 pm on September 29th, 2023. Questions and answers will be posted publicly at the link below. The Climate Education Specialist will also set and execute a wider range of climate education initiatives throughout the state. This will include working with grant recipients, stakeholders, and youth to design, encourage, and build the future of climate education around Maine.
For more information and updates, check out the DOE climate education webpage.
A copy of the RFA, as well as the Question & Answer Summary and all amendments related to the RFA, can be obtained at: https://www.maine.gov/dafs/bbm/procurementservices/vendors/grants.