What We Fund

In the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program, The Steele-Reese Foundation is limiting its 2024 grant-making to:

Elementary and secondary education

Early childhood education programs, and

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

For 2024 Steele-Reese will continue to consider proposals to address those counties profoundly affected by extreme flooding in July 2022. Counties declared as disaster areas by Gov. Andy Beshear are in this category, including Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Knott, Lee, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley.

Flood-related proposals should address ongoing problems with flood-affected schools, including loss of educational materials or equipment, social services or health needs arising from the effects of flooding.

Steele-Reese continues its commitment to supporting teachers and administrators who are dedicated to improving educational attainment in Kentucky’s Appalachian mountain communities.

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; elementary, middle, and high school programs that improve outcomes for students; support of literacy programs and out-of-school services. At this time, we are not funding higher education or adult education programs. All proposals must be specific in identifying a rationale for funding, set out clear steps for execution of the work, and articulate measurable outcomes.

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.

The Steele-Reese Foundation has one grant cycle each year. All requests for support must be submitted online via our grant portal. To establish an account, or to access an existing account, click here. You may create an account at any time. Please have contact information, an email address, and your organization’s federal tax ID number available when you register.


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.

For Kentucky applicants, the online application form is available in mid-November and must be submitted no later than March 1, 2024, by 11:59 pm Eastern Time. The checklist in Related Resources may help you prepare your proposal.

The Trustees will notify organizations of their decisions no later than August 1, 2024.

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