Banner image for the AAEE Mini-Grant featuring an AAEE Watering can watering light-bulb flowers

About the AAEE Mini-Grant


The purpose of the AAEE Mini-Grant Program is to highlight and support innovative efforts by school districts to improve the pipeline of teachers into their districts and into the profession. These mini-grants are designed to help begin or sustain programs designed to inspire students to consider a career in teaching.

Funding for these mini-grants comes from generous donations from our Partners in Education Sponsors and the continuous efforts of AAEE to provide resources and benefits to education professionals.


AAEE will award grants to school district programs within the United States. The AAEE Mini-Grant Committee will consider proposals from school districts and individual school programs in the United States.


We appreciate and encourage creative and unique initiatives that’s purposes are to:

  • Increase interest in the teaching profession

  • Increase the supply of teachers

  • Increase the diversity of teachers

Eligible projects are those that engage and encourage middle or high school-aged students to explore the possibility of a career in teaching.

If your project is awarded a mini-grant, your organization will receive $300 towards the funding of your stated project plus one year of AAEE institutional membership (a $200 value).

Congratulations to our 2020-2021 Mini-Grant Awardees

2020-2021 Awardee Projects

Onslow County Schools (NC)

Onslow County Schools Future Teacher Virtual Conference Series

This project will promote teaching as a career among Onslow County Schools high school students. Onslow County is a diverse county, and by supporting and growing our own teachers, Onslow County Schools will diversify the applicant pool. The focus on our Future Teacher program and planning a Future Teacher Conference connects with the AAEE mini grant goals by increasing interest in the teaching profession, increasing the supply of teachers, and diversifying the teachers across the district.

Onslow County Schools

Future Teachers of Onslow

East Baton Rouge Parish School System (LA)

Community Connections

By working with Baton Rouge Community College's Associate of Science in Teaching (Grades 1-5), we are both providing additional opportunities for future teacher candidates to work with diverse populations so they can be better prepared outside of the standard teacher candidate experience. At the same time, we are community building-encouraging our students to become future classroom educators by introducing them to pathways to becoming teachers and giving college students a way to give back to the schools that helped them get where they are today.

Integrating college students into already established extended-day programs. These students will provide additional learning support to tutoring participants and their extended-day teachers. This opportunity provides the BRCC students community connections to encourage their foundation of teaching to enhance their understanding of pedagogy at a deeper level.

East Baton Rouge Parish School System

Frederick County Public Schools (MD)

Teach in Frederick County: Returning Home

To support Frederick County Public School's Strategic Plan, specifically the Aspirational Goal that FCPS will hire, support, and retain staff who champion individual, professional, and student excellence, we would like to host an event to inform and encourage students to enter the field of education. We would host a virtual event geared to high school students to inform them of programs within FCPS, such as the Teacher Academy of Maryland housed in our Career and Tech Center (, Child Development coursework, Educators Rising Clubs, etc. Middle school students could be considered depending on participation or teacher referral. We would invite colleges and universities with whom we have developed partnerships with to share their different education programs.

Specific goals would be to:

  • Enhance and maintain relationships with our students, specifically those interested in the teaching profession. 
  • Increase the number of applicants we have in our teacher pipelines. 
  • Inform students of different programs in FCPS that would support their choice of teaching as a profession. 
  • Give students access to staff from the different college/university teacher programs that FCPS has partnered with so that they may make informed decisions about choosing which college/university to attend. 
  • Increase the diversity in our certificated staff. 
FCPS already hosts Become an Educator events. Our own support staff as well as the greater community are invited. This would allow us to expand our audience to more students.
Frederick County Public Schools (MD) Logo

Pasco County Schools (FL)

Grow & Stay Pasco

HREQ will partner with the New Teacher Academy to continue to recruit and grow future educators within Pasco County Schools. Experiences, mentorship, and incentives will be provided to Pasco County graduates to recruit these students into the Pasco County teacher workforce upon college graduation and completion of a teacher preparation program and teacher certification.

The Grow & Stay Pasco Initiative is designed to support high school programs that inspire, as well as generate interest and excitement in becoming an world class educator for Pasco County Schools.

Pasco County Schools FL

Past awardees of the 2019-2020 AAEE Mini-Grant

Fulton County Schools (GA)

College On the Horizon!

College on the Horizon! targets three key goals. First, to highlight the teaching profession through our College and Career Academy and provide students with greater exposure to college campuses and the various Education Programs. Second, build the confidence of our students and build the soft skills needed to network, research, and select the best program, and finally, forge greater collaboration between the Academy and the district recruiter to support the teaching pipeline and provide wrap-around support for our future educators.

College on the Horizon will be the catalyst for the continuing to support the teaching pipeline. The idea of campus exposure may not seem innovative to some but for "first generation" college students, it is groundbreaking. The AAEE Conference really motivated Fulton to work in greater collaboration with our College and Career Academy partners. Partnering with our local higher education partners will also expose of students to the various campus resources. 

Fulton County Schools, Georgia Logo

Calvert County Public Schools (MD)

Teacher Academy of Maryland Calvert County Public Schools Summit

Calvert County Public Schools is planning a summit to promote their Teacher Academy of Maryland (TAM) program. The TAM program is a high school program that consists of four core teacher education courses and an internship in a local school. The main goal is to recruit prospective 8th grade and 9th grade students to enroll in the TAM program. The summit will have meaningful breakout sessions that cover topics of importance, such as the benefits of becoming a teacher, team building strategies, and the opportunities the TAM program provides, including scholarships. In addition Dr. Richard Warren, the current Maryland Teacher of the Year, will be the main speaker. The day will include recruiters from Maryland colleges who will explain their teacher education programs so students can begin to understand the process and create a manageable plan. Approximately 20 eighth grade students from each of the six middle schools will attend along with 20 ninth graders and all current TAM students from each of the four high schools. The program will reach approximately 250 students.

This initiative addresses the pending teacher shortage and a need to "grow our own," with consideration for increasing the number of males and students of color who participate. In 2017, the state had 2,140 TAM students enrolled. Since 2013 the enrollments have ranged from 1,736 to 2,140 in 22 districts, so this confirms room for growth. As a small, rural county we strongly believe that we must inspire students about the teacher academy program before they choose high school courses. Ultimately, they will be well informed and well versed in the opportunities available for TAM students, including scholarships.

The benefits are immense. Current TAM students will be provided with a day of educational support. Eighth and ninth grade students will be well informed about the TAM program so they can make plans to register before they complete high school registration forms. Educators benefit by increased enrollment in the current TAM programs and classrooms benefit because additional TAM students will be interns in local classrooms. The community will benefit because students will see the value in teaching and commit to a profession that supports all others.

Calvert Count Public Schools

Project Update

The Calvert County TAM Team hosted over 100 eighth and ninth grade students at the College of Southern Maryland on Wednesday, January 15, 2020. The Maryland State teacher of the year was our speaker, students attended interactive break out sessions, and visited with college representatives. Preliminary survey results show that students are more likely to consider the TAM program and teaching in the future.

"Thank you for the grant! We immensely appreciate your support for recruiting educators." - Dr. Melanie Sanchez

Calvert County TAM participants wearing red t-shirts
Calvert County Public Schools TAM event participants wearing red t-shirts

Pinellas County Schools (FL)

Paraprofessionals to Classroom Teachers

Pinellas County Schools currently has several paraprofessionals in the classroom working under a teacher as support that hold an associate degree. The district is interested in working with St. Petersburg College to enroll these paraprofessionals in a “Paraprofessional to Professional Bachelor Degrees” program so they can graduate and work as a classroom teacher in the same district where they currently hold a position. We are looking to focus on positions that bridge the gap, such as minorities and Exceptional Student Education.

There is a teacher shortage across the nation and to address this problem within the Pinellas County School district, paraprofessionals who hold an associate degree will enter into a cohort with a local college that allow them to work full time and take classes part-time in effort to graduate with a bachelor's degree within a three year time frame. The idea of "growing your own" allows two significant issues to be resolved: fulfill the teacher shortage and enhance the educational and economic opportunity for paraprofessionals within the county.

Pinellas County Schools, Florida Logo

Project Update

Pinellas County Schools thanks AAEE for their generous mini-grant awarded to the “Paraprofessionals to Classroom Teacher” program. The grant provided four textbooks to the Professional Development para library making books available to paraprofessionals studying for their bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education or Exceptional Student Education. This group of employees is unique to the district because they are full time working paraprofessionals who attend college online or in the evening to earn their bachelor’s degree to become a classroom teacher. This academic year, a participating paraprofessional was so inspired by the generosity of AAEE that she donated her used textbooks to increase the library’s inventory. The money provided by AAEE for the grant and the donation from the paraprofessional helped Pinellas County Schools to establish a textbook library, allowing for the availability of textbook loans beyond 2020. Pinellas County Schools appreciates the partnership with AAEE, their support in furthering this initiative, and allowing a vision to become a reality.

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