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How do you convince others that it’s time to bring classroom furniture into the 21st century? To help with these conversations and with grant writing, we’ve assembled the following resources. Learn how you can make healthier, more active classrooms a reality.


Get started with these popular FREE databases for finding educational grants. There are thousands of funding sources; just click to get guidelines or apply online.


Also, check out these major publishers’ web sites, especially the maps linking to state departments of education to find information about their available funds.

In a nutshell, there are many categories of grants: federal, state, corporate, foundation and alternative sources. Each one presents pros and cons, such as ease of applying versus poor chance of winning. Start your search simply and locally, and then widen it in expanding circles until you hit the jackpot.

For example: Check with school district administrators about existing budgets or unspent fund balances towards the end of the fiscal year. It may be possible to re-purpose funds or combine balances. Then look to local corporations, foundations and philanthropists for monetary or in-kind donations. That’s the low-hanging fruit. In the meantime, pursue federal and state Department of Education grants for large-scale projects. Be aware, however, that government grants are extremely competitive, the application process is daunting, and the lead time is lengthy. In addition, and other alternative sources of funding for educators are worth a try: major corporations do grant wishes here!

Make sure there’s a good fit between the funder and your project. Develop a “scoreboard,” starting with:

  • How well do you meet the funding criteria?
  • What are the odds of getting financial support?
  • Is it enough to be worthwhile? (Small gifts can grow into big windfalls.)
  • Do you have the time and people to pursue this opportunity?
  • Does the grant and funder align with your mission and culture?

Start your search by accessing the Databases listed in Search tab and then go to the web site of each funder more information. Check out previous years’ competitions to see who won and why. Use that intel to draft the major sections of your application in advance. (You usually have only 4–6 weeks to apply after the opening and before the submission deadline.) Finally, check to see if a funder offers in-person or online orientations or other technical assistance to grantees. Many do.

For in-person assistance, contact a local librarian who’s familiar with grants and fundraising. Many large libraries have specialty areas, such as the Enoch Pratt Free Library’s Grants Collections, that are invaluable.

It’s not too early to begin thinking about overall project goals, partnerships and the ultimate implementation.

Next steps include targeting grants and funders, calendaring out submission due dates and assembling committees to prepare strong proposals. Much of the work for preparing one proposal can be recycled for other proposals with some tweaks. Success breeds success, until the quest for funds becomes a self-perpetuating cycle.

Pearson Education has an awesome instructional resource for you. For the same type of information, but in a simpler format, see Scholastic’s funding PDFs.

What works best in presenting an application to a local business or a federal grant is the same: a thoughtful plan for what you want to do and how you will use the grant.

Make your proposal detailed but focused on the interests and concerns of the grant-maker or community partner. A committee of educators and parents with differing strengths will ensure your proposal covers all the bases. Is your initiative creative, impactful or otherwise attractive to funders? Is your proposal accurate, with all the t’s crossed and the I’s dotted? Is your submission deliverable on-time and on-target?

Usually applicants will be informed whether they win or not, but you should take the initiative and follow up. Develop relationships with people at any of the funding sources you approach to help you refine your proposals and make them more desirable. In any case, always thank the grant-maker for considering your application. Also, conduct an in-house post-mortem with your team to determine the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal.

In addition to the scoreboard concept, apply the SMART goal setting methodology. Consider your specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely objectives: how well did you do? Is it worth going after those funds next year? Evaluating the success of your efforts is a good habit to develop now, as those reports are often expected by funders or donors after they make an award. They want proof that their support has made a positive impact!

To answer a grant’s “statement of purpose,” here are statements to help you position LearnFit Desks within the grant parameters. Use these statements as-is or edit them to meet your needs.

Kids Are Meant to Move

Sitting is learned behavior, passed down from us adults and previous generations. In the voice of one teacher, “My experience is that it’s a fundamentally unreasonable thing that we ask kids to do—to sit and pay attention for 6 hours a day from K through 12.”

Student Health

Today’s sedentary lifestyles are affecting our youth and their classroom performance. On average, children spend 65% of their waking day sitting in traditional student desks. Compound this with pressures to sacrifice physical education time for more classroom time for the core subjects.

This sedentary behavior is a significant contributor to chronic diseases—metabolic syndromes, cardiovascular, mental and childhood obesity. Studies show that introducing low-level physical activity into the classroom, such as standing, increases heart rate, burns more calories and increases insulin effectiveness. Studies and teacher testimonials show that this results in more on-task behavior, more engaged students, better classroom dynamics and improved academic outcomes.


With the overarching goal of collaboration and problem-solving, districts and schools are investing significant time, money and resources to develop and implement 1:1 learning environments. Chromebooks, iPads, Windows 8 tablets, network infrastructure, learning management systems, personalized learning tools and contemporary curriculum are all aimed at collaboration, but are being limited by the traditional non-mobile, sit-down student desk.

Classroom furniture must keep pace with technology, and be able to unleash the collaborative potential of the technology and the students.

In Class Physical Activity

Acknowledging that classroom instruction time increases as students advance, and that “brain breaks” are perceived as interruptions to valuable classroom time, LearnFit Student Desks are a means of introducing non-disruptive physical activity into the classroom. Additionally, being mobile and height-adjustable by the students enables a new level of intuitive collaboration.

Student Performance

The metabolic, psychosocial and musculoskeletal benefits of introducing mobile sit-stand desks into the classroom exhibit themselves as more engaged students with greater focus, a more efficient and naturally flowing classroom, and sustained academic performance by students.

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In the News

Jan 2018 Lithia Springs Elementary Students ‘Stand Up’ for Healthy Living
A group of Lithia Springs Elementary School fifth grade math students abandons traditional classroom setting for an initiative to promote healthy living.
Publisher: Osprey Observer
Aug 2017 Cutting-Edge Schools Show How Education Is Everyone's Business
Looking for what’s cutting edge in education today? Forbes suggests considering the Ergotron LearnFit.
Publisher: Forbes
Jun 2017 Pottstown High School students rise up with standing desks to improve classroom engagement
Students helped to install their new sit-stand desks after the school won them in a Let’s Move! Active Schools essay contest.
Publisher: Berks-Mont News
May 2017 Montco HS Equips Classroom With Standing Desks, Touts Student Improvements
Advocates say that Pottstown students using the desks are implementing a “whole body learning approach” and are seeing improved performance.
Publisher: Pottstown Patch
May 2017 Pottstown wins national essay contest, gets 30 sit-stand classroom desks
Pottstown High School students showed how standing instead of sitting can make all the difference when it comes to education.
Publisher: The Mercury Lifestyle
May 2017 Updates to Learning Spaces Make Schools Future-Ready
More flexible learning environments are important for improving student outcomes.
Publisher: EdTech
May 2017 Take a Stand
Educators are discovering that they get greater connectivity and agility in the classroom with standing desks.
Publisher: The Educator
Apr 2017 Standing Up for Learning
Classrooms are incorporating options that create learning micro-ecosystems that best fit student needs and a healthy lifestyle. One way this is taking shape is through implementation of sit-stand desks.
Publisher: The Learning Council
Sep 2016 Standing desks making big impact at Providence school
When it comes time to hit the books, some prefer to do so standing instead of sitting. A school has been ditching chairs thanks to a donation of standing desks.
Publisher: WPRI Eyewitness News, RI
Jan 2016 Stand up desk trend hits Andover High
Sit or stand? Some students at Andover High School have the option after teacher Richard Wilkie launched an experiment with Ergotron LearnFit desks.
Publisher: Fox 9 News, MN
Dec 2015 School adds standing desks to classrooms
An Alexandria, Virginia, school adds standing desks to its middle school classrooms to improve students’ focus and increase their physical activity.
Publisher: CNN
Dec 2015 Pupils told to stand up in class as activity study expands
A class at a Bradford primary school in the UK is the first in the country to test out new custom-made desks which could lead pupils to become more active.
Publisher: Telegraph & Argus
Sep 2015 School Debuts Standing Desks for Classrooms
Alexandria Country Day School greeted students upon their return from summer vacation with a unique addition to their classrooms: Standing desks.
Publisher: Old Town Alexandria Patch
Aug 2015 Stand up and be counted
A study from Loughborough University reveals that standing desks in schools could help tackle the problem of sedentary behaviour in kids.
Publisher: Independent Education Today
Jul 2015 Standing desks at schools: The solution to the childhood obesity epidemic?
Schools in a growing number of jurisdictions are experimenting with the once-faddish, now commonplace tool of the modern office dweller: the standing desk.
May 2015 To Sit or To Stand, that is the question!
Since the beginning of time—or at least school—kids were told to stay in their seats and not fidget... some schools are questioning that philosophy.
Publisher: California Educator (California Teachers Association)
Apr 2015 LearnFit standing desk inspires healthy habits for students
One fifth-grader said she remains focused doing work at her desk while some classmates fidget. What’s her secret? The answer is simple—she never sits down.
Apr 2015 Standing Desks Simplify Collaboration & Get Kids Excited to Learn
A Florida elementary school reports students were more focused and better engaged while using standing desks during class.
Publisher: K-12 Tech Decisions
Mar 2015 Standing Desks Improve Attention And Energy In California Public School
Sitting still at a desk can be agony for school kids... It may sound counterintuitive, but sitting all day may make it harder to listen, think and absorb content.
Publisher: CBS KPIX, SF Bay Area