2017-18 ETC IGNITE Education Grant

ETC IGNITE Education Grant Submission

Welcome! We are so excited to begin this year's chapter of the IGNITE Education Grant. Last year was a memorable time for all involved. The 2016-17 inaugural year was big with ETC and the Harrison Foundation giving $48,000 to grant finalists and winners. This year will be even bigger! Our hope is that you and your school will participate so that together, we can all make a difference in our community.
- Nathan Collier, Marketing ETC

Updates for the 2017-18 IGNITE Education Grant

ETC surveyed the 16 finalist teams after last year. We wanted to know if there were things we could do to make the second year of our IGNITE Education Grant even better. Here are the updates:

1) More Money!

K-2nd Grade and 3rd-5th Grade winners now get $ 10,000 each

2) 2016-17 Grant winning School/Team cannot enter the same project.

Winning proposals from last year cannot be proposed again from the same school/team. However, the same team is eligible to submit another proposal. 

 What is the IGNITE Education Grant?

ETC and the Harrison Foundation have been consistent supporters of our local schools for many years. Albert E. Harrison, the foundation’s namesake, was considered by many as a visionary. He purchased ETC in 1958 and quickly grew a small telephone operation into a rural communications company that provides many residential and business services. Mr. Harrison saw the future of the communications industry well before others in the industry and the possibilities that he conjured in his head became a reality.

The IGNITE Education Grant was established in honor of Mr. Harrison as a way to provide funding to students who have a vision. The funds provided by this grant will help these visions become reality.

What is the purpose of the Education Grant?

The purpose of the IGNITE Education Grant is to energize each school’s efforts to improve their overall academic experience by providing needed funds to help complete student-led projects. These projects must: 

  • Have a lasting impact for your school
  • Be educational is some way
  • Create interest in a wide range of students
  • Be innovative
  • Be creative

 How are grant winners selected?

The concept is much like the popular TV show ‘Shark Tank’ which gives people or businesses the opportunity to ‘pitch’ their ideas to an panel of potential investors and ultimately get approved for financial backing to make the projects a reality.

16 finalists will be selected from schools in the ETC service area. Those 16 students groups will present their ideas to a panel of selected judges who will grade each student group based on established grant criteria. The judges will then narrow down the finalists and award five overall grant winners.

How much money does the grant award?

The five IGNITE Grant Winners from each grade category will be awarded as follows:

  •  K-2 winner - $ 10,000
  •  3-5 winner - $ 10,000
  •  6-8 winner - $ 10,000
  •  9-12 winners - $ 10,000 each (2 winners)

Each of the 16 Finalists (4 from each grade category) will receive $ 500 to be used for any classroom expenses.

Who is Eligible?

All accredited schools in ETC's service area are eligible (ILEC/CLEC area; public and private).

The Application Process:

A video submission is required and should be between 3-4 minutes. After completing the form below the video can be uploaded via an IGNITE Education grant Dropbox link.

Each submission should explain the overall concept of the chosen project and communicate to a panel of judges as to why/how the project meets the criteria listed in the above overview.

Guidelines for video submission:

  • Non-edited, interview style
  • Does not need to appear ‘professional’ and must not include the name of the school.

(Submission based on creativity of ideas, not quality of video).

  • Must be presented in the student group’s own words.
  • First names only when introducing group members
  • No advisors in video, kids only! 

Each school will establish a panel of decision makers (administration, teachers, faculty, staff) that will narrow down and determine each school’s finalists for the competition. Each school can determine how finalists are selected based on their own decision-making processes (as long as the process is consistent with the overall project criteria).

Video Submission examples from 2016 winners


  • September 1, 2017 – Applications accepted
  • November 1, 2017 – Last day to submit Application
  • November 2017 – Final 16 Notified
  • January 2018 – Presentations of Final 16 to panel
  • March 6th 2018 – Awards Ceremony 

Specific dates TBD and subject to change


If you have any questions, please contact Nathan Collier - 800-660-6826