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Genius & Joy Grants

Grants to Minnesota Educators in Eligible Locations
for Summer Learning Programs for Students

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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The Jay & Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/11/21 12:00 PM CDT


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Grants to Minnesota educators in eligible locations for summer learning programs for students. Funding is intended for teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals, and support staff to present a wide range of one or two-week-long programs. Programs should cultivate learners’ language and literacy development while keeping identity, joy, critical thinking, and cultural affirmation at the center. Programs must take place in North Minneapolis.

Educators have broad discretion about how they design their Genius & Joy experiences, but each will:

  • Incorporate one or more strategies to develop students’ literacy skills
  • Draw upon Gholdy Muhammad’s framework
  • Culminate in an exhibition or performance that families, educators and MPS staff can attend.

Examples of creative, hands-on learning opportunities:

  • Digital storytelling: Journalism, Podcasting, and Video
  • Building collaborative curriculum with youth and then teaching it to a targeted audience
  • Personal Narratives (Students can start with their earliest memories of traditions, education, religion, triumphs, defeats, and so on.)
  • Visual Arts: Painting, Photography, Mural-Making
  • Outdoor exploration and reflection
  • Exploring the Mississippi riverfront in North Minneapolis
  • Poetry
  • Gardening
  • Outer Space exploration
  • Gaming
  • Dance
  • Book Club
  • Maker Space

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 196365

Number of Grants:

The Phillips Foundation anticipates that it will be able to support Genius & Joy Grant programming at 6-8 North Minneapolis MPS schools.

Estimated Size of Grant:

Each Genius & Joy Grant will provide a stipend of $2,000 to each Educator in the cohort and an additional supply budget of up to $500. This stipend can be split among two or more collaborating Educators.

If a Genius & Joy experience or “class” is offered a second time, Educator(s) will receive an additional $1,000 stipend and have access to an additional $500 supply budget. This may occur if a school provides two weeks of programming in August.

The Site Coordinator will receive an additional stipend of $1,000 for each week that they serve in this capacity.

Term of Contract:

Grants will support the following types of summer learning programs:
- Week-long, full-day experiences at North Minneapolis schools during the weeks of August 2-6 and August 9-12, 2021.
- Week-long, part-day experiences that enhance programming at North Minneapolis Community Education sites (Franklin Middle School, Cityview Elementary)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Genius & Joy Grants will provide teachers and school staff with the opportunity to create learning experiences for Northside youth.

- Cohorts of four or more educators from eligible schools should apply together. Each cohort is responsible for organizing one or two weeks of Genius & Joy programming at their school. Programming should be provided for 6 or more hours per day, five days per week. If Genius & Joy Grants are enhancing Community Education programming, they can support week-long, half-day (2-3 hours) experiences.

- Each cohort should identify one member who will serve as Site Coordinator to assist with procuring supplies and other site logistics. This person can also serve as a Genius & Joy Educator.

- Genius & Joy Educators must participate in coaching, curriculum review and evaluation activities as requested by the Phillips Foundation.

- Participating schools must secure the approval of their Principal. The Principal does not need to serve as a Site Coordinator or Educator, although they are welcome to do so.

- Each Educator in a Genius & Joy cohort is responsible for developing and delivering a weeklong learning experience lasting 2-3 hours per day, with the cohort working together to schedule and coordinate a week-long, full-day program for students.

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Phillips Foundation will be hosting two info sessions on May 26 from 4 – 5 p.m. and June 2 from 1 – 2 p.m. to help answer questions about this funding opportunity.

Registration information:

Pre-Application Information:

Key Dates:
- Grant application portal opens: May 21, 2021
- Application deadline: June 4, 2021 (12 p.m. CDT)
- Notice of award: June 11, 2021
- Grant period start date: June 1, 2021
- Grant period end date: September 30, 2021

Once applications are submitted, the Phillips North Minneapolis Education Advisory Committee will review them. This Committee is comprised of educators and parents with deep Northside connections. Applicants will be informed about the outcome of their application by Friday, June 11. After decisions are finalized, the Phillips Foundation and Achieve Mpls, the implementing partner, will connect with participating educators to process stipend payments, develop supply budgets, and begin coaching on curriculum development.

Genius & Joy stipends will be paid out in two installments. Educators and Site Coordinators will receive half once they have confirmed their participation, and the remaining half after their programming is delivered. Payment will be untaxed, and recipients will be responsible for relevant state and federal taxes.

Watch the May 26 session:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:

If you have any questions about this funding opportunity or would like to discuss your proposal, please contact the Program Director, Joel Luedtke, at (612) 518-8053 or

800 IDS Center, 80 S 8th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55402

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: North Minneapolis

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