Catalyst Fund Announces Debut Grants



In its inaugural grant round, the Catalyst Fund for KCPS Students has awarded more than $4,000 in grants to teachers in Kansas City Public Schools. The awards, which ranged from $250 to $850, will support a variety of classroom projects, from a caterpillar farm, to a microscope and safety goggles, to a STEM-based Lego® League.

Catalyst grants are meant to “seed” teacher-designed creative learning and achievement initiatives not typically funded by the district. The Catalyst Fund received more than 40 applications this grant cycle from pre-K, elementary and middle school teachers throughout the Kansas City school district. Applications were evaluated and grantees selected by educators serving on the Catalyst review committee.

“This process reinforced something everyone at Catalyst has known for some time: KCPS has some of the most creative and passionate educators in the field,” says Leslie Ann Fields, MD, Catalyst Fund board chair. “All they need is support. We are so thankful to the community. Their generous donations are helping these teachers continue to inspire KCPS kids.”

A portion of the STEM related grants were funded through a Catalyst Fund partnership with KC STEM Alliance, a collaborative network of educators, business affiliates and organizations that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust force of related professionals for our community.

Founded in 2014, the Catalyst Fund for KCPS Students is a 501c3 education foundation that operates in partnership with but financially independent of the Kansas City public school system. The Catalyst Fund’s vision is to deliver exceptional opportunities that ignite learning, improve educational outcomes and prepare students to become confident, high-achieving and engaged citizens.

Catalyst Fund grants support educational innovation across the full spectrum of academic disciplines. Funds enable and support broad-reaching strategic initiatives, as well as individual programs that impact student achievement inside and outside the classroom. Any Kansas City school district administrator, teacher, principal, therapist or counselor can apply for a Catalyst Fund grant as long as the intended purpose aligns with the organization’s vision and mission.

To learn more about the Catalyst Fund for KCPS Students, visit