Parents Reaching Out Grants

2018-2019 Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants for Regional/Provincial Projects

Project Guidelines

Who can apply for funding?

Priority will be given to parent-led projects that have been developed in partnership with district school boards. The following organizations are eligible to apply for funding as long as they partner with parents:

  • Registered non-profit organizations operating in Ontario
  • Parent groups operating in Ontario
  • Publicly funded district school boards operating in Ontario
  • Parent groups within district schools boards operating in Ontario
  • Publicly funded post-secondary institutions operating in Ontario

What types of projects are eligible for funding?

Applications must describe how the project will enhance parent engagement in support of improved student achievement, human rights and equity, and well-being. Only projects that support the engagement of parents of students in the publicly funded education system will be considered for funding.

Registered non-profit organizations, parent groups, and publicly funded post-secondary institutions should provide a letter of support from a district school board to be considered for funding. It is strongly encouraged that this letter be provided by a senior level staff member of a publicly-funded district school board (e.g. director of education, supervisory officer).

Projects must address at least one of the following areas:

  1. Parents as Partners

  2. These projects involve parents as partners in their children's learning. Examples are:
  • Learning opportunities on how to engage parents and communities, in a way that is culturally responsive and reflective of their needs.
  • Research projects where parents and stakeholders (e.g., teachers, high-school students, etc.) work together with academic researchers to explore parent engagement-related topics (e.g., strategies for reaching out to parents and communities who are disengaged or hard-to-reach).
  • Fostering school-community connections and partnerships (e.g., mental health agencies, public health units, newcomer settlement agencies and Indigenous community organizations, etc.) to further inform and engage parents in areas impacting their children's learning and well-being.
  1. Creating a welcoming district school board and school environment for all parents

  2. These projects are designed to make all parents feel welcome and included. Examples are:
  • Creating or translating materials in multiple languages to keep parents informed and engaged about important topics.
  • Workshops on how to identify and address individual biases and systemic barriers to parent engagement to help more parents get engaged in their children's learning and well-being (e.g., inclusion, diversity, racial discrimination, human rights, gaps in traditional knowledge and culture, etc.).
  • Outreach strategies to engage hard-to-reach parents, Indigenous families, and ethnically and racially diverse communities who have not been previously active in the local school community and at the school board level (e.g., volunteer events, school councils, board advisory committees).
  1. Skill-Building Opportunities for Parents

  2. These projects provide parents with the knowledge, skills and tools needed to support their children's learning at home and at school. Examples are:
  • Projects that provide information or resources for families on supporting their children's learning and well-being
  • Enhancing leadership skills in parents (e.g., parents as leaders, coaches, mentors, etc.).
  • Projects that provide information to parents about promoting core values and respect for principles of equity, inclusion and human rights as outlined in the ministry's Education Equity Action Plan
  1. Enhancing Communication between School and Parents

  2. These projects develop outreach initiatives to support parent engagement in their children's learning at home and at school. Examples are:
  • Develop and/or expand communication and outreach strategies for parents to build networks and facilitate cross-learning, such as local workshops and presentations.
  • Sharing information and strategies related to supporting parent engagement in their children's learning at home and at school (e.g., reading and doing math with your child, modeling a healthy lifestyle, etc.)


Eligible project costs or activities include but are not limited to:

  • Facilitator or speaker fees up to 40% of the approved funding (including speakers' travel costs)
  • Refreshments up to 10% of the approved funding
  • Advertising and promotion costs up to 10% of the approved funding
  • Workshop materials for parents
  • Development of a parent engagement tool or resource
  • Childcare during events for parents
  • Printing of parent resources
  • Translation/translator of parent resources/materials/presentations
  • Transportation for parents to attend workshops or events

What project costs or activities are NOT eligible?

  • Activities that took place prior to September 4, 2018
  • Payment to staff including teachers, coordinators, consultants, administrative staff
  • Cost of police background check
  • Purchase of goods and services for which the ministry currently provides funding (e.g., textbooks, library books, school furniture, computers, cameras, projectors, student transportation)
  • Speakers, activities, or resources for students
  • Purchase of student supplies for home use (e.g., markers, paper, glue, scissors, prizes, student agendas, calendars, arts and crafts supplies, scrapbooks)
  • Computer software or applications, online subscriptions, voice messaging systems, website maintenance
  • Capital costs (e.g., equipment, signs)
  • Portable/handheld devices such as tablets or laptops
  • Refreshments exceeding 10% of the approved funding
  • Advertising and promotion costs exceeding 10% of the approved funding
  • Facilitator or speaker fees exceeding 40% of the approved funding (including speakers' travel costs)
  • Operational costs (e.g., leasing of offices, administrative costs, financial commitments that last longer than the term of the project, utilities including internet and telephone)
  • Purchase of items that would be given to parents (e.g., books and resources) which are not directly related to the project
  • Prizes, incentives, or payment to parents, volunteers, or students
  • Out-of-province travel
  • Debts or financial losses that result from a project
  • Entertainment activities such as barbecues, fun fairs, volunteer teas, dinners, movie nights, dances, concerts, and performances
  • Landscaping or creation/equipping of outdoor classrooms
  • Fundraising events
  • Lessons for parents (e.g., French, English as Second Language, computer, CPR)

Only eligible items will be considered for funding. Due to a high number of applications and limited funding, the ministry is not able to support all requests for funding. All decisions are final and there is no appeal process. All reporting requirements for previously funded PRO Grant projects must be met prior to funding of 2018-19 projects.

Funding provided must only be used for the approved project in accordance with the approved budget. Changes that impact on the nature and/or objectives of the project must be reported to and approved by the ministry. Funding may not be used for ineligible expenses as defined in the Project Guidelines.

Please read the Terms and Conditions prior to completing an application.

Upon default of any of the Terms and Conditions by the recipient, the ministry, at its sole discretion, may recover or redirect the funds advanced.

What is the maximum grant available?

The maximum grant available is $30,000. There is no minimum grant.

Due to the high number of applications and limited funding, grants awarded may be less than the amount requested.

When does the project end?

The deadline for completing a project is August 30, 2019. Applicants are encouraged to submit their final report online as soon as their project is complete. The deadline to submit final reports to the ministry is August 30, 2019.

How will applications be evaluated?

Applications must address one or more of the four identified areas:

  1. Parents as Partners
  2. Creating a Welcoming School Board and School Environment for all Parents
  3. Skill-Building Opportunities for Parents
  4. Enhancing Communication between School and Parents

All applications will be evaluated against the following considerations:

  • The level of involvement of parents in the development and implementation of the project (parents lead, consult in developing/implementing, and/or participate in the project)
  • The project will enhance parent and community engagement in support of improved student achievement, human rights and equity, and well-being
  • The project will promote parent leadership and build parents' capacity to engage other parents in support of student success
  • The project will promote collaboration between parents, schools, school boards, and community organizations
  • The project will foster improved communication between parents, educators, and members of the community
  • If the project will be implemented in partnership with another organization or group, the application includes current and relevant letters of support
  • The application includes a detailed description of what will be done, the intended audience and geographic reach, and how and when the project's goals and objectives will be met
  • The project will meet a demonstrated need to support parent engagement in their children's learning and well-being
  • A plan is in place for evaluating the project and its results
  • The project will promote equity and/or has the potential to reach a diverse group of parents
  • The project budget aligns with the proposed deliverables
  • The project supports ministry direction and priorities
  • The organization has proven success in implementing projects aimed at engaging parents to support their children's learning and well-being
  • The organization has a transparent and open governance structure
  • The organization demonstrates capacity or expertise to carry out the project within a reasonable timeline
  • The organization demonstrates ability to build and maintain positive relationships and work collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders

Special Considerations

Special consideration will be given to eligible projects that:

  1. support and engage parents who have not been previously active in the school community, parents from racially or ethnically diverse communities, or hard-to-reach parents; and/or
  2. support the engagement of parents from Indigenous communities. In support of Ontario's Indigenous Education Strategy, there will be funding designated for projects supporting Indigenous parents, families and communities; and/or
  3. promote increased access and awareness of math strategies and resources for parents to support their children's learning at home and at school; and/or
  4. promote the value of postsecondary education (apprenticeship, college, or university) by providing parents with information on postsecondary education pathways, possibilities, and supports for their children.

How do I apply for a grant?

The grant application is to be completed and submitted online.

Information can be saved to allow work on the application at different times.

Please keep your registration email address active for at least one year for future notifications.

What happens if my application is approved?

Step 1: Sign the contract

You will be asked to sign a transfer payment agreement before receiving the approved funds. In addition to complying with the requirements of the transfer payment agreement, recipients must comply with the terms and conditions for regional/provincial PRO Grants.

Step 2: Complete the Interim Report online

The deadline for submitting Interim Reports is May 31, 2019.

Step 3: Submit the Final Report online

A final report summarizing all activities and a detailed account of all project costs incurred must be submitted online. Failure to submit the required reports may impact consideration of future applications.

Applicants are encouraged to submit their final report online as soon as their project is complete. The deadline to submit these reports is August 30, 2019.


For more information, please contact your local regional office of the Ministry of Education.

You may also contact the Parent and Community Engagement Office at