The NC Schools Go Outside (GO) Grant
The North Carolina Schools Go Outside (GO) Grant was created to address the main barrier to getting kids outside during the school day – funding. Field trips and outdoor experiences offer students opportunities to explore and learn in hands-on environments. With limited dollars available from our local school systems, such engaging and active styles of learning are becoming things of the past.
GO Grants are grants that will be provided to access field study locations and assist with other expenditures that result from taking students outdoors. Qualifying for grants require instructors demonstrate how the experience will address topics currently being taught in class and that the experience meets the goals of the Outdoor Heritage Trust Fund plan. The program also allows staff at field study sites to apply on behalf of teachers with their permission.
Through GO Grants we have sent fourth-graders camping overnight, we had high school students go to the mountains and learn to fish. A school built an outdoor classroom complete with benches, whiteboards and a roof for when there is extreme weather. In 2019, we launched the GO Grants program and in that year awarded 136 grants totaling over $189,000 in 57 counties impacting 14,335 students across all grade levels kindergarten through 12th grade.
Eligibility & Guidelines for Applying
- Any North Carolina K-12 school is eligible to apply, this includes public schools, private schools, charter schools and homeschool associations.
- Who can apply? Any school employee or field trip location employee on behalf of the school. The money will be given directly to the school.
- Each school is eligible to receive one grant per class/grade per school year. For example: The same group of students can’t get multiple grants but different grades at the same school can.
- You must list two different phone numbers as contact numbers. This helps when we have questions about your application and when notifying you of your grant approval.
- Temporary increased GO Grant amounts:
- Up to $15,000 for on-campus learning centers/structures.
- Up to $5,000 for on-campus activities such as field trips coming to the campus.
- Up to $2,500 for off-campus outdoor educational field trips.
- Due to COVID we have additional opportunities for nonprofits, government agencies and businesses available. Ask our staff for additional GO Grant eligible opportunities.
- There is no application deadline but funds are limited, we encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Due to restrictions with the CARES Act Funds, we are currently only accepting GO Grant applications for trips and projects that can be completed by December 30, 2020.
Three GO Grant Options:
- Build an on-campus learning center
- Whether you want to build an outdoor classroom, a greenhouse or a new pollinator garden we can provide up to $15,000 to help build that new outdoor learning space.
- Please note we will not be funding construction of playgrounds, or the expansion of playgrounds only outdoor learning structures.
- Have a field trip come to you
- Many facilities will bring their field trips to your school, for example the NC Zoo has the Zoo to You EDventures program. We will fund up to $5,000 to help bring field trips to your students on-campus.
- An off-campus outdoor educational field trip
- This is a traditional field trip where you take students off-campus, for example taking your students hiking or camping, or to a local park to learn about water treatment options.
How To Apply
GO GRANT APPLICATION BY MAIL
1. Fill out one of the GO Grant Applications (PDF) below:
2. Return the completed application form along with any additional supporting documentation you would like included to:
North Carolina Outdoor Heritage Advisory Council
1715 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1715
Grants will be reviewed and awarded as applications are returned to the Council.