What We Fund

In the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program, The Steele-Reese Foundation is limiting its 2020 grant-making to:

  • Elementary and secondary education

  • Early childhood education programs, and 

  • Public libraries providing programs for children from early childhood through high school. 

The trustees will not consider proposals from organizations benefitting Appalachian Kentucky in the subject or program areas of arts, conservation, health, and social services.  At this time, we are not funding adult education programs. The Trustees have not yet determined whether this focus will remain effective beyond 2020.

The highest priority of the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program is ensuring that children leave the third-grade able to read and write on grade level; and that children leaving middle school can perform mathematics on grade level. Additional priorities include improving school libraries, providing supplemental materials to aid learning, and supplementing school arts programs. Proposals for projects in high schools should be narrowly focused to meet specific needs.  All proposals must be specific in identifying a rationale for funding, set out clear steps for execution of the work, and articulate measurable outcomes. Proposals seeking funding for after-school programs and summer programs are less likely to receive support unless these programs can demonstrate concrete outcomes beyond attendance and/or participation in activities. 


Where We Fund

The service area for the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program is confined to the Appalachian counties designated by the federal Appalachian Regional Commission. For a current list, please consult www.arc.gov/counties.   For other information regarding the Appalachian program, please contact Judy Owens.

For Kentucky applicants, the online application form is available as of November 1 and must be submitted no later than March 30, 2020, by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. This checklist may help you prepare your proposal.

The Trustees will notify organizations of their decisions no later than August 1, 2020.

First time applicants will need to register to establish an account. Please have contact information, an email address, and your organization’s federal tax ID number available when you register. Those who have registered previously are encouraged to log back in to their account to create a 2020 application.

Once in the online system, please be careful to select the proper application form.  The Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program uses two forms: one for public schools and another for all other nonprofit organizations.  Applications submitted on an incorrect form may be disqualified.

Please contact Appalachian Director Judy Owens if you have any questions.