PEF Grants
Our Signature Program

PEF Grants (formally known as Best Bet grants) is the signature program of the Peabody Education Foundation. Every Fall, before the first school bell rings kicking off the new school year, the Peabody Education Foundation offer Peabody teachers an opportunity to provide their classrooms with programs, events, field trips and resources that fall outside of the normal school budget.

Teachers fill out an application which then gets submitted to our PEF Grant committee. The programs are chosen based on three categories: innovation, educational objective, and financial impact. Each year, the PEF aims to fund as many programs as possible through the generous donations of our community and business leaders. To make a donation to help fund future innovative programs for our Peabody Schools, visit Since 1985, the Peabody Education Foundation has worked endlessly to raise over $1,000,000 dollars from within the community to bring these innovative programs to our public Schools.

Submit Your 2019-2020 PEF Grant Application

As the new school year kicks into high gear, the Peabody Education Foundation once again encourages Peabody’s teachers to apply for PEF Grants, which fund resources, materials, and programs that the school budget cannot accommodate.

Below you will find an electronic application that you download, fill out and email to us. You may also print out the application and send it to ‘PEF Grant Committee – PO Box 233 – Peabody, MA 01960’. The deadline for applications is Friday November 1st, 2019, and grant recipients will be announced in December. Any questions can be directed to Katrina Gravel:

Applications submittal is now over. We will be announcing the recipients of the 2019 PEF Grants shortly, stay tuned!


Friday November 1st, 2019


Katrina Gravel

Return Applications to

PEF Grant Committee
PO Box 233
Peabody, MA 01960


Email applications to:

PEF Grant Rubric
PEF Grant FAQs
What is a PEF grant?
PEF grants (formerly known as Best Bet grants) are intended to fund programs, events, field trips, and resources that fall outside the normal school budget. Each year, the committee seeks to fund innovative programs that will engage students and provide opportunities that might otherwise be impossible due to budget constraints. These grants are intended to advance our mission of benefiting and guiding children as they develop into successful citizens and leaders.

Who can apply for a PEF grant?
Any teacher in the Peabody school district can apply for a PEF grant, and we welcome applications from teachers of all grades and subjects.

What types of projects typically receive grants?
PEF grants have funded projects ranging from field trips and in-school presentations to a robotics program and a green screen studio. Lists of previously funded grants can be found on our website (

What types of projects are not funded?
The PEF does not fund transportation or equipment that could be funded through the normal school budget. Grants are intended to benefit students, and so we cannot cover the cost of field trips or performances for teachers and parents. Programs that have a high cost for a small number of students or programs that have a limited impact beyond the current school year are less likely to be funded. Please see the PEF Grant Rubric for a better understanding of how the committee evaluates grant applications in the areas of innovation, educational objective, and financial impact. 

What is the deadline for submitting a grant application?
The deadline is usually the first Friday of November. Please check the Peabody Education Foundation’s website ( and/or the current grant application for this year’s deadline.

Can I collaborate with another teacher and/or school?
Yes, definitely. On your application, please be sure to indicate which person should be the primary point of contact for the grant. It’s also helpful if you can briefly outline how this program will benefit multiple classrooms or schools. We encourage teachers to consider ways in which their grant could serve as a “pilot program” to be expanded in the future across an entire grade level or throughout an entire school.

What is a “vendor’s taxpayer ID #” and how do I locate it?
Taxpayer identification numbers are assigned by the IRS to track taxpayers, and are used by the IRS to identify corporations, trusts, and estates that must pay taxes. Most businesses and vendors should be able to provide their taxpayer ID if you request it.

Can I order materials from Amazon?
Yes, but please note that Amazon (along with several other major retailers) will not accept purchase orders. In the past, teachers who have ordered materials from Amazon have purchased their materials using their own funds and then requested reimbursement directly from the PEF. We aim to reimburse teachers within two weeks of receiving a reimbursement request and supporting documents (receipts, packing slips, etc.). Please contact if a vendor will not accept a purchase order or if you plan to purchase materials directly and request reimbursement.

The deadline is today and I haven’t submitted my grant application. What should I do?
Applications postmarked on the day of the deadline are still eligible for consideration. Please mail your application to the Best Bet Committee at PO Box 233, Peabody, MA 01960. Alternatively, you can email your grant application to We encourage you to submit your grant application early in order to avoid potentially missing the deadline. 

Can I drop off my grant in person?
No. The PEF does not have a physical office location, and we cannot guarantee that grant applications dropped off to any other location will be delivered to the committee. All applications should be mailed to the Best Bet Committee at PO Box 233, Peabody, MA 01960 or emailed to Grant applications postmarked the day of the deadline will still be eligible for consideration.

When will I find out whether or not my application has been approved?
The grant committee meets in November to determine which grants will be funded; teachers are notified of the committee’s decisions by early December. You will receive a letter informing you of the committee’s decision regardless of whether or not your program has been funded. If you do not receive any notification about your application, please contact 

Will you work directly with my vendor?
You are responsible for all communications with your vendor, such as ordering materials, arranging the date of a program, rescheduling a program if cancelled for any reason, receiving an invoice or bill for materials and services provided, and forwarding the vendor’s invoice to the grant committee for payment. While we’re happy to assist with questions that come up, we prefer not to be put in direct contact with any vendors unless absolutely necessary. 

What should I do if my vendor will not accept a purchase order?
Please ask your vendor to issue an invoice for the total cost of materials or for the field trip or program; please forward the invoice to once you’ve received it. We will then issue a payment to your vendor. Please confirm via email once your materials are received.

My vendor wants to receive payment prior to the scheduled program. Is this possible?
Yes. Please ask the vendor to issue an invoice or program confirmation listing the costs of the program; please forward it to once you’ve received it. We will then issue a payment to your vendor.

My program had to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. Can I reschedule it for the next school year?
Grants are intended to be used for the school year in which they are received. If something comes up that causes the program to be rescheduled or you are unable to complete your project, please contact to determine whether it is possible to use the funds elsewhere. 

My grant wasn’t funded. Now what?
Please apply again next year! Unfortunately the PEF is not able to fund all of the grant applications we receive in any given year. But this doesn’t mean that we didn’t like your idea or that it’s not worthwhile. We encourage all teachers to reapply for a grant, even if the program was not funded previously, unless a reason for not receiving funding was explicitly stated in your letter (e.g., the program falls under the regular school budget; the application was incomplete).

Botball Robotics

The Peabody Education Foundation’s Best Bet program funded Botball for the new PVMHS after-school Robotics Club. The goal of the club is to encourage any students interested in engineering, robotics, math, science, and technology to participate. The Botball program served as the focus of the Robotics Club and will engage students to problem solve, work in teams and provide practical application to physics, math, programming and electronics.

The Botball Educational Robotics Program engages middle and high school aged students in a team-oriented robotics competition, and serves as a perfect way to meet today’s new common core standards. Check out the students journey from the workshops they attended to the actual competition!

Higgins Green Screen Studio

Building off of a previous Best Bet grant, Librarian Sudi Smoller was looking to transform a study room off the library into a Green Screen Studio. The studio would be used to help students develop their media production skills and also gave the students a space to complete video assignments for their classes.

The Peabody Education Foundation funded this creative studio and was able to see it live in action during a visit to the middle school. While we were there, Higgins students demonstrated how their Green Screen Studio works by creating a short ‘Safari’ themed video.

Peabody Learning Academy Music/Guitars

The Peabody Education Foundations Best Bet program funded Music/Guitar lessons at the Peabody Learning Academy. This program is an elective offered to students and is one of the first music/art classes at the school! Math and Science teacher, Kevin Tanglis, requested 5 guitars for his students to help provide a creative outlet during their day.  Because many of the classes at PLA are taken online, the guitars offer a great way for students to express their creative side and allows for a hands-on learning approach. This program combined music theory along with guitar lessons to help the students grow creatively. Thank you to Kevin Tanglis for this great idea!

Breakout Boxes

Breakout Boxes was requested by Teacher Vincent Raponi. Vincent requested the Breakout Boxes for his students at the Higgins Middle School. Breakout Boxes challenges students to think critically, collaborate with others, be creative and increases communication skills. The kit includes a unique collection of resettable locks, boxes and items that can be used for immersive learning games. Check out this funded Best Bet grant in action by playing the video!

Drunk Busters

The Peabody Education Foundation’s Best Bet program funded ‘Drunk Busters’ for the Higgins Middle School. Drunk Busters was requested for the Higgins 6th, 7th and 8th grade health classes with the objective being to educate the middle school on the effects of alcohol and drug use. Drunk Busters is designed to show students the dangers of substance abuse and hopefully give them a better understanding of how drugs and alcohol can impair them.

> Click here to read Salem News article 

The Birthday Book Program

One of the awarded Best Bet programs in 2017 was ‘The Birthday Books Program’. Kara Migliozzi and Jill Holden suggested the idea that on a child’s birthday, they could pick out their own book from the case and keep it forever.

“So many of the children at our school come from homes where books are not readily available…The goal of the Birthday Books Program is to help the children and families see books as valuable treasures, treats that can be enjoyed as presents and shared with the entire family. The Birthday Book Program hopes to foster a love of reading and books, promote family time together and help families to realize the importance of having books in the home to read again and again.”

Thank you to both Kara and Jill for making this idea come to life!

#WhatliftsPVMHS? – Kelsey Montague Inspired Murals 

During the 2018-2019 school year, we funded #WhatliftsPVMHS – Kelsey Montague Inspired Murals for Peabody High School. This program invited Art students at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School to research, read and respond to the street art murals by artist Kelsey Montague and her initiative #WhatliftsYou. Together, students identified the uniqueness of Montague’s style and discussed the content in her imagery, such as wings, hot air balloons and kites. Using Montague’s artwork as inspiration, as a group, students discussed and brainstormed potential locations inside PVMHS, and content and message for three murals in their own school. They then interpreted and illustrated sketches for murals for their walls and proposed ways that their peers, faculty, staff and visitors could interact with the unique and personal images that are special to the PVMHS school community.

SolarPower Cars

I just wanted to once again thank you for everything related to the Best Bet Grant. The students had a great time building and racing (when the sun cooperated) their solar cars! Danielle McLaughlin

Higgins Middle school

SkyDome Planetarium 

The SkyDome Planetarium was requested by Cindy Littlefield at the Welch School. This program incorporated a portable, inflatable planetarium that could accommodate up to ninety students at a time. The students entered and took part in a 45 minute journey through the universe. There was a navigator who guided the students through the stars which were exactly how they appeared on the presentation day. The students learned about all of the stars and constellations as well as how to identify them in the sky. They were also able to see the sky during different seasons from different global perspectives. Thank you Cindy for this great experience!


The Peabody Education Foundation’s Best Bet program funded ‘The WhaleMobile’ for the second-grade students at the Center School in Peabody. The Whalemobile gave students a rare opportunity to see a life-size model of a real whale!  Each class spent a half hour inside the inflatable whale where they got to see just how big the insides of a whale are! From the heart to the stomach, the students got a clear representation of what a whale looks like from the inside. The students watched in awe as the instructor taught them how the whale operates. Students were also able to touch baleen, bones and teeth from real whales!

Funded PEF Grants

2018 Awarded Best Bet Grants
  • Peabody Essex Museum: American and Salem Collections
  • Weather: Wind, Water and Temperature
  • Geology: Rock Detectives
  • Motion, Forces, and Energy
  • Robotics Battle Bot
  • Cluster Time Enrichment Activities
  • Forensic Science
  • #WhatLiftsPVMHS – Kelsey Montague Inspired Murals
  • Tanner to Tanner
  • Marty Kelley Author Presentation
  • Snow Shoes Program
  • Loom Knitting
  • Code: The Newest Language Spoken at Welch School
  • STEM Learning
  • 7th Grade Outdoor Classroom Learning Project
  • Engineering and Erosion
  • Welch School Birthday Books
  • ACCESS Crafters
  • Curious Creatures Make Writing Come Alive
  • Substance Abuse Awareness
  • Beams, Bridges & Columns
  • Book Club: Alienation and Identity
  • Engineer a Coaster Activity Kit with Standup Magnetic Write and Wipe Board
  • Mass Poetry In-School Student Day of Poetry
  • Pear Deck
  • Motion, Forces, and Energy
  • The Whalemobile
  • Engineer It! Power to Production
  • Paul Revere Midnight Ride
  • Magnification of Learning Illumination
  • Breakout Edu
  • “The Observer” Student Literary Magazine
  • Higgins Innovation and Learning Lab (HILL)
  • Teaching Exercise Science & Anatomy Students How to Take & Read ECGs
  • Number Talks Whole Number Computation and supplements
  • Bringing Learning to Life
2015 Awarded Best Bet Grants
Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip

Peabody Essex Museum – American/Salem Collections

Unifix Color Coded Sentence Building Kit

Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats

Life at Sea: A Voyage in Song

Nye, oh Nye! That’s some super science

Fractions for 3rd Graders

Tide Pool Alive

Chris Brown Presents: Click, Clack, Moo

Accelerated Reader

Higgins Helping Hawks Student Mentoring Program

Equestrian Connection

Expanding Expression Tool, 2nd Edition (EET)

The Diary of Anne Frank

5th Annual Higgins Spelling Bee and Online Visual Thesaurus Dictionary

Informational Text Research Using Newsela

Touch-Typing Awards

Bamidele Dancers and Drummers

A Guided Discovery of Electromagnetism


Windows on Wildlife

Sensory Diet Materials

Creating a Kinesthetic Classroom

Math Masters

DIG-IT High Touch High Tech

Dig into Dinosaurs

Jeff Danger, Science Ranger’s Physical Science Show

Tidepool Adaptions

Motion Force and Work

Grade 1 Take Home Book Package

High Touch High Tech

2017 Awarded Best Bet Grants
Brown School

  • Salem Sound Coast Watch: Watershed Ecology
  • Outdoor Science with Joppa Flats
  • At Home in Salem/American Collections
  • Jway Hopscotch Game
  • Beams, Bridges & Columns
  • Books for Classroom Guidance
  • Just Right Books for Students

Burke School

  • Freedom Trail: Cafetorium Style!

Carroll School

  • Tide Pool Alive
  • Theaterworks USA: Dragons Love Tacos and other stories
  • New England Aquarium
  • Story Grammar Marker Kit

Center School

  • Kindle for Kids Bundle
  • Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats

McCarthy School

  • Wiggles and Giggles Exercise Program
  • A Guided Discovery of Electromagnetism

South School

  • Webber Articulation Cards and Fun Sheets

Welch School

  • Welch School Birthday Books
  • Contact: The Magic of Communication
  • Weather: Wind, Water, and Temperature
  • Electromagnetism
  • SkyDome Planetarium
  • Backpackin It
  • Curious Creatures Make Writing Come Alive
  • Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride

West School

  • Young Authors Day

District-Wide (Grade 5)

  • Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip

Higgins Middle School

  • Enhancing Our Green Screen Production Studio
  • Mythmasters
  • We Video
  • Higgins Helping Hawks Student Mentoring Program
  • 7th Grade outdoor Classroom Learning Project
  • Collaborative Learning through Breakout EDU
  • Exploring the World in Three Dimensions: Virtual Reality in the Classroom

Peabody Community High School

  • Littlest Tanners Community Project

Peabody Learning Academy

  • PLA Music/Guitar


  • Classroom Lending Library
  • Junior Scholastic
  • Animal Adaptations
  • Spectroscopes for the classroom
  • Other Voices Book Club
  • First Aid & CPR/AED Certification Program
  • International Culinary Delight: Foreign Language and Culinary Arts
  • Little Tanners Lending Library
2014 Awarded Best Bet Grants
Wonderful World of Raptors

Peabody Essex Museum American/Salem Collections

Social Thinking Curriculum

Class Set of Hands-On Equations for Teacher and Thirty Students

Forensic Science Studies

Creature Features

Read About Math Learning Centers – Complete Set

Hands-On Science

Nudging the Imagination

Windows on Wildlife: Adaptions Program

Fraction Problem Solving

Tide Pool Alive!

Fit Girls

Science from Scientist’s Science Theater

Accelerated Reader

Seussical, Theatreworks USA

Kestrel Educational Adventures

4th Annual Higgins Spelling Bee & Online Visual Thesaurus Dictionary

Award-winning children’s author James M Deem Visits with the Panthers

Higgins Helping Hawks Student-to-Student Mentoring

REACH Program Painting Class


Meeting with History – Yoko Kawashima Watkins

The Poetry Company

Higgins Student IT Help Desk

News-2-You (online subscription)

Phonological Awareness Chipper Chat

Curious Creatures Kid Zoo


Discovery Museum

Life Cycle of a Raptor

Brazilian Dance & Drum with Gregory Coles

Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip

Special Effects Makeup Hands On Class

Social Studies 4th Grade Curriculum

Social Studies – Travels Across America’s Past

Brain Pop Jr.

Literature Based Learning Centers

Sensory Diet Materials

Literacy Alive! Celebrating Reading with Robert Rivest

Join In – Multi-Cultural Folktales and Legends

Seeds and Plants

Animal Adaptions

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum Tour

Life in the 17th Century and At Home in Salem 1785-1820

Tidepools Alive

Mad Science: An “Edutaining” Performance

ThinkTank: Numbersense & Problem Solving

Visit from author Maryann Cocca-Leffler

2016 Awarded Best Bet Grants
MICCA Concert Festival

Girl Power

Peabody Essex Museum: American/Salem Collections

New England Aquarium Field Trip

Study Buddies – Fairy Tale Friends

Think Social with Social Thinking and Brain Gym

Fine & Gross Motor Materials

Macaroni Soup! Active Music for Kids

Higgins Helping Hawks Student Mentoring Program

No Bullying: Stand Up, Step In

Transitional Partners Program

Wiggles and Giggles

Social Thinking

Higgins Library Expands Hour of Code Activities with Sphero Spark Robots


Yoko Kawashima Watkins Presentation

Music for the Mind

Boston Symphony Orchestra Youth Concert Field Trip

Sound Waves by Discovery Museum’s Traveling Field Trips

Downloadable Collection Kick-Off

Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats

Forces in Motion

Drama Festival 2017 Artist-in-Residence

Tide Pool Alive

Lunar Exhibition at Peabody Essex Museum

Paul Revere Midnight Ride

Welch School Birthday Books

2nd and 3rd Grade Milestones Program

Choices for the Choices Program

Schoolyard Science with Mass Audubon’s Joppa Flats

LEGO Engineering Concepts


Wolf Hollow

Theaterworks USA Field Trip: Miss Nelson is Missing

Hands-On Math Centers

Uprising on King Street: Boston Massacre

Animal Adventures

Tide Pool Alive

Book Clubs

Let’s Get Moving Numbers Kit

Engineering and Erosion

A Guided Discovery of Electromagnetism

Peabody Education Foundation

The Peabody Education Foundation provides unique programs and advanced technology to thousands of students and teachers who might otherwise not enjoy such experiences due to budget constraints.