PLATO GRANTS

About PLATO Funding

Recognizing the importance of greater access to philosophy for all adults, youth, and children, as well as the scarcity of funds available for philosophy programs, in 2016 PLATO developed a program to fund a wide range of innovative philosophy programs with the aim of broadening philosophy’s reach around the United States. Many of the programs funded by PLATO take place in public and other non-traditional settings.

The application deadline for this year has already passed. The application process for PLATO grants in 2023 will open in late 2022.

Grants will be announced in March of each year.

Application Instructions

Applications were due January 31, 2022.

How to apply for a PLATO Grant:

  1. You must be a PLATO member to apply for funding. You can join here.

  2. In the past, PLATO grants have tended to range from $200 to $5,000.

  3. Philosophy Learning and Teaching Organization (PLATO) is not a federal agency. Accordingly, no grants awarded by PLATO shall be subject to facilities and administrative costs as defined in subsection B.4 of Appendix A to 2 Code of Federal Regulations part 220 or as otherwise defined by any college or university. Moreover, PLATO does not award funding for fringe benefits or grant administration costs. Grantee organizations should support these costs through other funding sources.

  4. Download application
  5. When completing the application, you have 2 options…
    1. Print and fill out by hand (download the PDF) -OR-
    2. Download and fill out on your computer using the Microsoft Word version
  6. Then scan (if necessary) and/or upload your answers by clicking on the Application Submission.

Questions? Email us at: info@plato-philosophy.org

APPLY ONLINE

Applications are closed for 2022.

Check back this autumn for the 2023 Application Cycle.

Previously Funded Programs


2022 Programs

Thank you to our members and donors for making the 2022 PLATO-funded programs possible.

·       Ethics and Society, a summer enrichment program at Rice University in Texas.  

·       Hilltopper Philosophy Academy, a summer camp for high school students in Kentucky. 

·       Symposia and Walk Series, community philosophy events in Montana. 

·       Teen Vogue, books for philosophy classes at a Michigan high school.  

·       The Republic of Plato, an online intensive seminar for teachers. 

·       Design Your Own Ethics Symposia, an intergenerational ethics program in Michigan. 

·       The Geneseo Summer institute in Justice & Ethics, a summer program for high school students in New York. 

·       Thinking Games, an intergenerational community philosophy program in Colorado. 

·       Philosophy Summer Camp for High School Students, a week-long camp in Maryland.  

·       Philosophy in Kindergarten and Beyond! Part II: First Grade, a program for public school first grade teachers in Pennsylvania. 

·       SoCal Philosophy Academy, summer institute for high school students in California.  

·       Florida Philosophy Friends, philosophy discussions at an elementary school.

2021 Programs

Thank you to our members and donors for making the 2021 PLATO-funded programs possible.

  • LaGuardia Community College Philosophy for Children Internship introduces undergraduate Philosophy and Early Childhood Education students to the practices and methods of Philosophy for Children, training them to lead philosophical discussions with pre-kindergarteners at LaGuardia’s Early Childhood Learning Center.

  • Las Vegas Center for Philosophy for Children at the Las Vegas (UNLV) Department of Philosophy will provide free pre-college philosophy classes to children and youth throughout the Las Vegas community. A secondary goal is to develop pedagogical resources for serving undocumented youth in Nevada.

  • Fostering Philosophy — Students Impacted by Trauma in collaboration with the University of Michigan Philosophy with Children program, Fostering Philosophy is developing a P4C curriculum tailored to middle school students impacted by trauma, in and around Ann Arbor, Michigan. Students will participate in 8-10 philosophy lessons in the 2021-22 school year.

  • Merlin CCC Cultivating Community project centers on honoring the spaces we inhabit and connecting with others in these spaces. Community-based activities include philosophy workshops offered throughout the year, Thinking in the Wild — a nature-based philosophy summer camp for youth, and Grounded — a live theater and community discussion series.

  • Ethics and Society hosted by the Department of Philosophy at Rice University, is a fully funded three-week summer enrichment program for high school juniors and seniors. It promotes analytical ethical instruction, equality of educational opportunity, and increasing diversity within philosophy. The cohorts are composed of students whose race, ethnicity, or gender are underrepresented in the field.

  • The Iowa Lyceum, a free five-day philosophy summer camp organized by philosophers devoted to advancing precollege philosophy, gives local high school students a chance to engage in philosophy. The small workshop encourages dialogue and active participation and introduces students to logic, critical reasoning, close textual reading, and argumentation. 

2020 Programs

Thank you to our members and donors for making the 2020 PLATO-funded programs possible.

  • Grey Havens Philosophy’s Ethics Initiative is a year-long local program in Longmont, CO, to make ethics discussions on various themes accessible in as many public spaces as possible, to people of all ages and backgrounds.

  • University of Pennsylvania’s Philosophy in Kindergarten Initiative brings University personnel and public school kindergarten teachers together to develop and implement a twice-weekly philosophy curriculum in public schools in Philadelphia.

  • Merlin CCC’s Thinking as a Community Project offers philosophy-based community activities, including nature walks with guest speakers, symposia, forums for children and adults, and “Philosophy Think & Drinks.”

  • SoCal Academy’s Summer Philosophy Institute is an annual philosophy summer camp for Ventura and Los Angeles County high school students, with an emphasis on underrepresented students in higher education, on the California Lutheran University campus.

2019 Programs

Thank you to our members and donors for making the 2019 PLATO-funded programs possible.

  • Buffalo State Lyceum Philosophy Workshop is a free weeklong philosophy workshop for middle and/or high school students to introduce them to philosophical reasoning and topics that are relevant to their lives.

  • Merlin CCC (Helena, MT) Philosophy in the Community Program offers philosophy-based community activities, including nature walks with guest speakers, symposia, forums for children and adults, and “Philosophy Think & Drinks.”

  • SoCal Philosophy Academy Summer Institute is an annual philosophy summer day camp for Ventura and Los Angeles County high school students, with an emphasis on minority students and those historically underrepresented in higher education, on the California Lutheran University campus. The academy introduces students to philosophical analysis and problems in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, and teaches them how to construct/reconstruct and evaluate philosophical arguments.

  • California State University Bakersfield P4C on Campus is a program in which college students lead philosophy conversations at the university library for a visiting  group of approximately 160 elementary school children.

  • Volunteer State Lyceum (Tennessee) involves a five-day summer camp on the theme of “Games and Philosophy,” in which students will play board games in the morning and discuss philosophical themes related to those games in the afternoon.

  • UNT Denton Environmental Philosophy with Children Summer Camp (Texas) is a five-day student-led summer camp program with the central theme of “place,” in which a group of philosophers, artists, and local educators collaborate together to provide various philosophical and artistic activities that encourage children to engage in thinking about the nature of place.

  • Longmont Thinks! Community Philosophy Program (Colorado) involves a public information program, community philosophy discussions, and philosophical activities designed to encourage the citizens of Longmont, Colorado, and surrounding towns to make the practice of philosophy part of their everyday lives.

  • P4C at Arthur Christopher Community Center (Charleston, SC) is a program of philosophy for children sessions for children ages 5-12, primarily from low-income African American families, who attend summer programs at the Arthur Christopher Community Center in Charleston, South Carolina.

2018 Programs

Thank you to our members and donors for making the 2018 PLATO-funded programs possible.

  • The SoCal Philosophy Academy is an annual philosophy summer day camp for Ventura and Los Angeles County high school students, with an emphasis on minority students and those historically underrepresented in higher education, on the California Lutheran University campus. The academy introduces students to philosophical analysis, argumentation, and problems in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics, and teaches them how to construct/reconstruct and evaluate philosophical arguments.


  • Ball State Philosophy High School Outreach Program and Pre-College Philosophy Conference provides Indiana high school students – who have little exposure to philosophy – the opportunity to study philosophy with college students and faculty from Ball State University. The project involves an outreach program, a philosophy club at Muncie Central High School, and a precollege philosophy conference at Ball State.

  • Young Philosophers of South Jersey: Student Ethics Workshop invites high school students to a free one-day interactive event focused on contemporary ethical issues, where students learn from Rowan University philosophy professors and upper-level students in the Philosophy Honor Society. The event features interactive instruction, group work, oral presentations, and debate, culminating in an Undergraduate Student Ethics Conference.

  • Philosophy in the Community – a community philosophy organization in Helena, Montana – offers philosophy-based community activities including nature walks with guest speakers, symposia, forums for children and adults, and “Philosophy Think & Drinks.”

  • Good Kids, Mad Cities is a program of weekly philosophy classes with incarcerated youth through the Central Juvenile Hall (Los Angeles). The project emphasizes critical thought and encourages students to critique their political reality and find ways of changing the world. Ongoing reading groups in philosophy will be created for young people who are released.

  • Philosophy in the Park, a free introductory series on philosophy at Moccasin Lake Nature Park (Clearwater, FL), offers sessions on topics such as the value of philosophy, ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, and aesthetics. It is open to the community and the use of primary sources.

  • Corrupt the Youth Summer Philosophy Institute (University of Texas, Austin) is a four-week long summer philosophy institute for high school students, specifically aimed at students from groups underrepresented in philosophy. Its goal is to bridge the ‘opportunity gap’ between low-income minority students and their wealthier peers. The program, which offers students the opportunity to address the issues they will face in their lives, has been expanded to Los Angeles in collaboration with USC, UCLA, and the LGBTQ Youth Center of Greater LA. 


  • The Iowa Lyceum, a free five-day philosophy summer camp organized by philosophers devoted to advancing precollege philosophy, gives local high school students a chance to engage in philosophy. The small workshop encourages dialogue and active participation and introduces students to logic, critical reasoning, close textual reading, and argumentation. The model has been expanded to Utah and southern California.

2017 Programs

Thank you to our members and donors for making the 2017 PLATO-funded programs possible.

  • Philosophy in the Community – Helena, MT. Sponsoring philosophy-based community activities such as symposiums, workshops, and forums.

  • UCSC Philosophy Outreach – Santa Cruz, CA. Philosophy discussions facilitated by volunteers from UCSC’s Center for Public Philosophy in both public elementary schools and inmates in the Santa Cruz Jail.

  • Beautiful Minds – Washington DC. An after-school club led by high school students to discuss philosophical questions and think critically about subjects important to them.

  • Young Philosophers of New York, NY. After-school philosophy workshops for older elementary and middle school students in diverse neighborhoods.

  • Annual Philosophy Summer Camp – Lexington, KY. Free, week-long philosophy summer camp run for 30 young students (half from underrepresented neighborhoods).

  • Linguistic Inquiry with Bilingual Children – New York, NY. Integrating philosophy into the Language Arts curriculum of mainstream elementary dual language classrooms.