There are many benefits of being a KEA member, including eligibility for scholarships, awards and grants sponsored by KEA, NEA, and their partners.  Read on to see how KEA can help you grow in your profession and support you in your classroom or work site. 

2021-22 Grant and Scholarship Opportunities


Read Across America - Grant criteria: Each year, KEA budgets funds to support Read Across America events sponsored by KEA districts and KEA locals. Although March 2 of each year is traditionally designated as "Read Across America Day,” events can occur on any date. The primary purpose of the Read Across America program is to promote literacy, and grant requests will be judged on that basis. In addition, KEA will also look for the following in grant applications: the degree to which the activity encourages participation by multiple categories (Active, Retired and Aspiring Educators) of KEA membership, the number of children and students that are expected to participate in the planned event, the expected level of publicity and community outreach, how the event helps support the development of strong KEA locals, and other relevant criteria that may be established and considered by the grant committee.

Application process: Applications must be submitted on this electronic form.  Incomplete forms may not be considered.  All grant applications must be received by KEA on or before 11:59 PM on Wednesday, September 15, 2021.  Funding decisions will be made by KEA's Read Across America Committee on or before October 15, 2021. The maximum grant amount is $500.00. Each district or local may only receive one grant per year.

Ethnic Minority Scholarships: 

Criteria:  Kentucky’s public schools are made of a diverse population of students.  KEA feels it is important that we have a highly qualified and diverse faculty and staff that is reflective of the population of our state, our students, and our public schools.  Currently, educators of color comprise only 5% of the Kentucky teaching population, while the state has a 13.7% ethnic minority population.  (According the to the U.S. Census Bureau) Consequently, many of our students of color may never see a role model at the front of the classroom who looks like them.  

KEA's Ethnic Minority Scholarship is a progressive scholarship program that is awarded each fall to 2 (two) freshman college students who are seeking a degree in Education. The total award is $5000.00 dispersed over 4 years. (Disbursement schedule:  Year 1 - $500.00; Year 2 - $1000.00; Year 3 - $1500.00; Year 4 - $2000.00)

This scholarship is open to any person in any of the following:  American Indian/Alaskan Native, African American, Hispanic, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, multi ethnic; who is pursuing a degree in education. The recipient must be enrolled full-time in an educator preparation program in Kentucky.  If successful, the recipient will be asked to submit a copy of their schedule (each semester) as proof of enrollment in the educator preparation course of study.  Deadline for submission is October 5th, 2020.  

In addition to providing financial support, this program will also include a mentorship program.  The KEA Ethnic Minority Directors will mentor and support the recipient throughout their educational career.  This program will support the recipient not only during their pre-service track, but also through the testing required and other barriers which a student may encounter.  The mentorship program provides immediate and continuing support for the recipients throughout their higher education experience and into their career as an educator.   

Application process: Applications must be submitted on this electronic form.

Check back later this year for other opportunities - 

  • KEA President's Scholarships
    • Are open to Active Certified and ESP members in each governance district.  Funds are available to support members seeking a rank change - Rank II (Master's), Rank 1 (hours beyond Master's), National Board Certification, or Continuing education or advanced certification for ESP members.  Each Governance District's Scholarship Committee reviews and determine the winners.
  • Representative Paul Mason Memorial Scholarships
    • Active or Retired ESP members, their children or grandchildren are eligible to apply.  This scholarship is named after Rep. Mason, who used his time in the Kentucky House to champion the cause of those less fortunate.  The KESPA Board of Directors review and determine the winners.
  • Marvin Dodson-Carl Perkins Scholarships
    • These scholarships are given to members of the KEA  Aspiring Educators who are enrolled in a teacher preparation program in Kentucky. The KEA MOVE committee reviews and determines the winners.
  • Lucy Harth Smith-Atwood S. Wilson Award for Civil and Human Rights in Education
    • This award is given annually to an individual or group working in Kentucky in support of human and civil rights in education.  The KEA Diversity Committee reviews and determine the winner.
  • Lesson Plan Contest
    • KEA believes that diversity in the classroom is important for students of all races, and that understanding people from other cultures builds a strong social foundation for our country.  Each year, the KEA Diversity Committee sponsors a contest to select four (4) lesson plans that emphasize diversity and present the concept to students in age-appropriate and engaging ways.  Four winners are chosen by the KEA Diversity Committee and will receive $200.
  • ESP  Diversity Project
    • The ESP Diversity Project contest encourages ESPs to create a bulletin board or other projects at their worksite with the theme "Diversity is....".  Two winners are chosen and will receive $100.  The KEA Diversity Committee reviews and determine the winners
  • DifferenceMakers Contest
    • Each year KEA invites all students in Kentucky P-12 schools to submit one entry that illustrates an educator who is a #DifferenceMaker in their life.  One student in each grade span is selected and winners receive a $50 prize.  Their teacher will also win $50.  The KEA MOVE Committee will review and determine the winners.
  • Teacher of the Year
    • KEA takes pride in recognizing the many accomplishments of its members.  Each year, KEA selects a Teacher of the Year (TOY) who exemplifies the best in the profession.  The winner receives $1,000, a commemorative item, is recognized at the annual KEA Delegate Assembly, and nominated for the National Education Associations TOY award.  A committee of former KEA TOYs review and determine the KEA winner.
  • ESP of the Year
    • KEA is proud to count Education Support Professionals (ESP) among its members.  Each year, KEA selects an ESP of the Year (ESPOY), granting the award to someone who shows dedication to their profession and to public education.  The winner receives $1,000, a commemorative item, is recognized at the annual KEA Delegate Assembly, and nominated for the National Education Associations ESPOY award.  A committee of former KEA ESPOYs review and determine the KEA winner.