The Hive Fund for Connected Learning at The Sprout Fund
The Sprout Fund, in support of the Pittsburgh Kids+Creativity Network, provides catalytic funding to support innovative solutions and imaginative approaches to learning that are open and accessible to all children, youth, and teens. Through Hive for youth & teens and Spark for young children, Sprout catalyzes small-scale and first-time projects that create more relevant and impactful connected learning opportunities in Pittsburgh, Southwestern Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.
The Hive Fund for Connected Learning at The Sprout Fund supports connected learning experiences in the Greater Pittsburgh region that help prepare tweens, teens, and young adults for college, the workforce, and civic participation. Connected learning is a framework that re-imagines the learning experiences of young people—connecting the 3 spheres of life that matter most to them—their peer culture, their interests, and their academics.
Applications for Hive funding are accepted on the first Friday of every even-numbered month (February, June, August, October, and December). Funding recommendations are typically announced six weeks later. The average grant size is $10,000.
Friday, October 3, 2014 @ 5pm for applications requesting up to $15,000.
Applications requesting $5,000 or less are welcomed on an ongoing basis.
How to Apply
Before preparing an application, familiarize yourself with the Program Guidelines, review Eligibility Information for Prospective Sprout Applicants, and download the Application Questions and Required Attachment Templates.
A complete application MUST include all required elements: cover sheet (page 1 of Application Questions), narrative response to application questions, budget, timeline, and references.
You may also send your application materials as attachments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Postal mail or hand delivery submissions may be addressed to The Sprout Fund / Attn: Catalytic Funding / 5423 Penn Avenue / Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206-3423, but please be prepared for a follow-up request to submit your information electronically.
Hive funding support is available in amounts up to $15,000. Although each project is different, grants are generally made to support initiatives that include the following characteristics:
- Creative & Innovative: supports inventive solutions and imaginative approaches to learning.
- Collaborative & Cooperative: works with multidisciplinary teams in mutual support of shared goals and objectives.
- Equitable, Accessible & Open: promotes the productive exchange of ideas and opportunities for all.
- Engaging & Participatory: connects to the personal and shared interests of children, youth, and teens, and provides opportunities for them to actively produce, create, experiment and design.
- Experimental, Catalytic & Transformative: tests promising new ideas with the power to advance learning.
- Relevant & Impactful: offers enriching experiences attuned to the needs and potential of children, youth, and teens.
In general, Hive projects serve youth, including tweens, teens, and young adults, from middle school through high school. The Hive also serves the mentors, parents, and community organizations that support these youth and help them to become creative, analytic problem solvers and develop 21st century skills.
Eligibility & Decisionmaking
The Sprout Fund accepts applications from non-profit organizations, coalitions of organizations, community groups, and individuals. Please review Eligibility Information for Prospective Sprout Applicants before submitting an application.
The Hive Fund for Connected Learning Decisionmaking Committee reviews funding requests and makes recommendations to The Sprout Fund Board of Directors for awarding grants and other forms of support. The committee includes practitioners serving youth and teen audiences, classroom teachers and informal educators, technology and media innovators, parents and caregivers, and managers of successful past Sprout projects.
Support for Prospective Applicants
Sprout encourages prospective applicants to contact program staff in advance of preparing an application and take advantage of several support services available to prospective applicants.
Information sessions are hosted on the 2nd Friday of every month at noon at Sprout’s office at 5423 Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh. Draft applications can be reviewed upon request up to one week prior to the deadline. And, Sprout hosts occasional working breakfast sessions prior to major deadlines.
Make general inquiries or ask other applications questions via email to email@example.com or by calling (412) 325-0646.
Program Background & Additional Information
About Connected Learning
Connected Learning is an approach to education that advocates for broadened access to learning that is socially embedded, interest-driven, and oriented toward educational, economic, or political opportunity. Connected Learning is realized when a young person is able to pursue a personal interest or passion with the support of friends and caring adults, and is in turn able to link this learning and interest to academic achievement, career success, or civic engagement. This model is based on evidence that the most resilient, adaptive, and effective learning involves individual interest as well as social support to overcome adversity and provide recognition.
Learn more about Connected Learning at connectedlearning.tv or download Connected Learning: An Agenda for Research and Design (PDF), a research synthesis report of the Connected Learning Research Network and the Digital Media and Learning Research Hub.
About the Global Hive Learning Network
Hive Learning Networks are connected learning in action. Situated in urban centers, these networks re-imagine how learning is organized and supported across youth-serving organizations. Through deliberate coordination and active mentors, Hive Networks create learning opportunities that connect the three spheres of youth influence: peer culture, interests, and academics. The first Hive Learning Network was created in New York City in 2007, with support from the MacArthur Foundation’s digital media and learning initiative. Additional Hive cities include Chicago (2009) and Pittsburgh (2013) with many more to come!
About The Sprout Fund & The Pittsburgh Kids+Creativity Network
The Sprout Fund is Pittsburgh’s leading agency supporting innovative ideas, catalyzing community change, and making the region a better place to live, work, play, and raise a family. Sprout provides critical financial support for projects and programs in the early stages of development—when just a small amount of investment has the potential to yield big results in the community.
Learn more about Sprout’s funded projects at www.sproutfund.org/projects.
Sprout supports the Pittsburgh Kids+Creativity Network by providing catalytic support for new learning initiatives, building the field through program design and professional development, raising awareness and understanding with improved knowledge sharing and enhanced communications, and telling the story of learning innovation in the region through multimedia documentation –all in an effort to provide more relevant, imaginative, and accessible learning opportunities for children, youth, and families in the Greater Pittsburgh Region.
Learn more about Kids+Creativity at remakelearning.org.
Support for the Hive Learning Network in Pittsburgh
Hive Pittsburgh is generously supported by The Grable Foundation, the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation, McCune Foundation, and The Pittsburgh Foundation.