Professional Development Grant

2021 Grant Recipient

Professional Development Grant Recipient: Nicole Sutton

Nicole’s PD project is titled “Teaching Early Literacy Instruction to ESOL students”. Her goal is to determine the effectiveness of the FUNDATIONS reading program which is being implemented to students in grades kindergarten, first, and second that have been determined to be “at risk” according to some standardized assessments. Through the grant, teachers will participate in a book study to gain knowledge and effective practices for implementing phonemic awareness and phonics instruction. Teachers will also participate in professional development sessions to learn effective strategies for teaching ESOL students in the areas of phonological awareness. ESOL teachers and reading specialists will work collaboratively to create lessons focused on effective small group phonological awareness instruction. This grant will allow TESOL professionals to focus on phonological awareness instruction, the benefits and weaknesses of the FUNDATIONS program for ESOL students, and implement other effective strategies to best support early literacy with ESOL students.

The purpose of the Maryland TESOL Professional Development Grant is to enhance members’ involvement and presence in the field of ESOL and for the betterment of shared communities. The goal of this grant is to fund projects and initiatives which cross-cut a variety of agents (educators, students, administrators, etc...) and our extended communities. Successful grants will serve to connect and enhance these various communities through teachers’ initiatives. The grant will help reshape the role of the grantee in both his/her profession and society for the betterment of all.

Successful proposals should achieve one (or more) of the following goals:

  1. Seek to expand the role of the grantee in his/her area of expertise
  2. Enhance intercultural endeavors which build communication and relationships
  3. Interact with Maryland TESOL’s extended communities (e.g. family involvement, after-school projects)
  4. Make a positive impact on ELLs and/or teachers

Grant awards range up to $1,000. Proposals have to be justified by a line item budget breakdown. Simply requesting the maximum funds without reasonable justification is not acceptable.

Eligibility & Selection

  1. The principal applicant MUST be a member of Maryland TESOL in good standing during the year the grant will be awarded. The applicant can not be a member of the board.
  2. All grant proposals will be blind reviewed.

Key Dates

Proposal Submission Deadline:

The Last Monday in April


May 5th

Proposal Selection Announcement:

Annual spring dinner & meeting in May

Grant Effective:

May of current year through the following May

Impact Report:

1) Progress Report after 6 months to the Maryland TESOL Board


2) Final Report at Annual Spring Dinner & Meeting  OR Present at Annual Fall Conference

3) A written summary submitted to the Maryland TESOL Newsletter

Professional Development Grant Application Procedures

  • The deadline for the proposal is the last Monday in April of the current year. (11:59 p.m., EDT).
  • All applications MUST be submitted through the website.
  • If multiple copies of an applicant’s proposal are submitted, only the first one received will be processed.
  • Acknowledgement of the receipt will be sent within three business days to the email address provided by the applicant when the application is submitted.
  • If an applicant has not had the application submission acknowledged within three business days of sending it, please contact using the subject heading “(Year) PD Grant Application Received?”.
  • Late submissions will NOT be reviewed.
  • Applications that are submitted must comply with the required proposal format located at the end of this document. Applications that do not follow these specifications or are incomplete will not be considered. Applicants may not exceed the word limit indicated for each section of the proposal.


  • The Maryland TESOL Grant Committee votes for the grant proposal which appears to be the most promising and which best aligns itself with the goals of the Maryland TESOL Professional Development Grant.

  • The Maryland TESOL Executive Board reserves the right to not award grants if the proposals do not meet the standards and adjust budgets to align with Maryland TESOL policies.

  • Possible reasons proposals are not funded:

    • The proposal does not fit with the Professional Development Grant specifications and guidelines outlined in this document.

    • The proposal has not been carefully proofread.

    • The proposal is poorly written or incomplete.

    • Graduate student research does not qualify for the grant.

Submission Guidelines

1.Personal Information

  • Name

  • Affiliate/School

  • Role

  • Email Address

  • Phone

  • Mailing Address

  • Name(s), affiliate(s), and role(s) of additional participants

NOTE: It is crucial that contact information is correct.

2. Project Summary

  • Project Title

  • Summary (maximum 300 words):

The summaries of successful proposals will be made public on the Maryland TESOL website.

3. Detailed Proposal

  • Statement of Project (maximum 300 words): State the focus of the project.

  • Applicant Background (maximum 300 words/applicant): Integrate within this section, short paragraphs describing relevant background knowledge and experiences that you may have that qualify you to undertake such project.

  • Significance & Measurable Impact (maximum 300 words): Provide a statement of the significance and the likely implications of the proposed project.

  • Expected Total Amount (maximum 300 words): Explain how the Professional Development Grant will allow for the successful completion of the project.

  • Timeline: Provide a clear timeline in weeks or months of the tasks and events that will be completed.

  • Plans for Dissemination (maximum 300 words): Include all venues where you will advertise information about your project and the events you will organize. The Maryland TESOL Professional Development grant must be acknowledged in all types of dissemination.

4. Detailed Budget and Brief Rationale

  • Itemized Expenses (e.g. transportation, dissemination, supplies, and other expenses): Please be as specific as possible.

  • Expected Cost: Please write in US dollars.

  • Please note that hardware and software purchases are not an allowable budget expense.



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