Teacher Innovation Grants

Teacher Innovation Fund

Grants in Action

The CMS Foundation established the Teacher Innovation Fund in 2014. Through grants awarded to CMS teachers, the Teacher Innovation Fund supports the implementation of innovative strategies to educate and prepare every student to graduate college- and career-ready. Browse the videos below to see some examples of past grant funding recipients and join us on the journey to elevating teacher voices and encouraging innovation in education.

Available Grants


Albemarle Innovation Grants

The Albemarle Innovation Grant program seeks to “Grow the Good” by empowering educators to implement innovative programs and strategies that enhance the learning experience of their students and build the skills needed to be college- and career-ready in the 21st century. This not only encompasses mastery of content in core subject areas, but also includes creativity, communication, critical thinking, and collaboration skills.

Grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded. All CMS teachers and school-based support staff are eligible to apply.

The Albemarle Innovation Grant program will be re-opened during the 2021-22 school year. Please check back for updates.

This grant program is made possible by support from the Albemarle Foundation, a philanthropic affiliate of Albemarle Corporation.

Social & Emotional Learning Grants

The Social & Emotional Learning (SEL) Teacher Innovation Grant Program seeks to spark and spread innovative SEL practices in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. As defined by CASEL, social and emotional learning is the process through which children and adults acquire and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills necessary to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions. The core competencies of social and emotional learning include self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills and responsible decision-making.

The CMS Foundation will award grants up to $2,500 to help CMS educators implement school-based initiatives that support students’ social and emotional learning.


previous grants

Hornets Teacher Innovation Grants

The Hornets Teacher Innovation Grant Program was the first grant program established through the Teacher Innovation Fund through a $250,000 donation by the Charlotte Hornets Foundation, Lowe’s and Fox Sports Southeast. A total of 55 grants were awarded to nearly 70 teachers, impacting 45 schools throughout Mecklenburg County.

Learn about the impact of these grants in the Impact Summary Reports:


preparing every student for graduation and careers

about the cms foundation

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With the help of our dedicated board, talented team, and the local philanthropic community, including generous donors and supportive advocates like you, we develop initiatives and programs that support educators as they foster the potential of nearly 150,000 students in CMS schools.

Board of Directors

Meet our dedicated Board of Directors, making a difference in public education in our community.

Meet Our Team

The CMS Foundation staff team helps ensure that your private investments have a meaningful, sustainable impact.

Fundraising Priorities

As the official nonprofit partner for CMS schools, we raise money to support the district’s highest strategic priorities.

Our Programs

We seed innovative ideas and help expand existing programs to accelerate system-wide transformation.