Charlie Wilson Innovation Grant

What could you do with a $2,000 Innovation Grant?

In memory of our esteemed colleague and ed-tech innovator, Charlie Wilson,  Vita-Learn has established the Charlie Wilson Innovation Award..

The goal of the Charlie Wilson award is to provide Vermont  schools with ideas that might inspire innovative use of technology in their schools and to provide resources that will help at schools make their ideas a reality. 

This year we have added a new component to the Charlie Wilson Innovation Award that will meet our goals of inspiring each other with new ideas through sharing our innovative ideas.  Please scroll down to read what’s new and the details of how to qualify to receive this grant award. Application deadline for all parts is Friday November 15 at noon.

Made with Padlet

What’s new this year? 

The new component includes a Video Pitch and a People’s Choice element.


Adding the Pitch Video and the People’s choice component will encourage us to learn about new ways that technology can support sound pedagogy and be inspired to implement some of these ideas in our schools.  It will encourage all of us to use the enthusiasm generated with our pitch to seek out additional funds for bring these opportunities to our students (Donor’s Choose, PTO Grants, other grant or fundraising opportunities, or even local funds).  

Vita-Learn will make their decision based on the written description on the form and  the video pitch, along with some consideration of people’s choice through likes and comments.  People’s choice  (likes and comments) will be partial consideration as the board makes their selection for grant award this year. But more importantly, we hope it inspires you to look at the ideas and be inspired by them.  We hope you will add likes and comments, advice, questions, or even share that you want to try the same idea and connect with each other. 

Follow these 4 simple and easy steps to apply

Step 1. Work with your colleagues to flesh out your innovative idea. 
Step 2.
 Add a video or video link (1-2 minutes)   PITCHING your idea on the Charlie Wilson Grant Application Padlet

MAKE SURE you include the name of your school in the title of your Padlet Posts. 

Step 3. Complete the written part of the application using this Google Form. Parts 2 and 3 must be complete by noon on Day 2 of the conference. 

Step 4. Once both of these parts are complete, encourage others to look over the videos and add likes, comments, questions, advice, etc to the Padlet.  Feel free to use social media, your school newsletter, or other means to spread the news and and share the padlet The more likes our whole padlet receives,  the more impact we can have on spreading possible ideas about innovative uses of technology. These likes and comments will also inform the types of sessions that might be of interest at future conferences. 

What else do you need to know?

The Charlie Wilson Innovation Grant winners will be given a free admission to next year’s conference where they will be asked to share their project.

The Charlie Wilson Innovation Grant winner may be highlighted on Vita-Learn’s blog or social media and agrees to provide an interview and media to be featured as part of that blog post and social media posts.  

You must be present at the conference to qualify for this grant.  You do not have to be present to vote on new ideas. Two mini grants will be awarded.  The video link and text application will be used by the Vita-Learn board choice to select the first award.  The People’s Choice likes and comments may help the Board with there decision, but mostly they will provide you with a chance to inspire each other and connect over these great innovative ideas.  So spread the word and get inspired by all the ideas generated through the Charlie Wilson Innovation grant award. 

The winner selected will be issued a simple form called ‘VITA-Learn Innovation Grant Conditions’ with the following information: Equipment, materials, and / or software purchases from this grant money must be the property of the school / district where the selected winner is employed at the time of the grant application.   

If the grant is applied to PD purchases (conferences, travel),  your district / school guidelines for attending conferences and travel apply. 

Personnel substitutions may be made within the same  district or building to fulfill these purposes. 

If you do not return the ‘VITA-Learn Charlie Wilson Innovation Grant Acceptance Letter’ filled out in entirety with proper signatures (Grant Winner, Building Principal / Supervising Administrator) within 30 calendar days, a new winner will be drawn. VITA-Learn has no liability for the winners expenditure of this grant or conditions resulting from its use.