Guide to and application for Big Yellow School Bus Grants

For field trips occurring during the 2019-2020 school year


Contact Julie Hale, Program Specialist for Arts Education, at or


Big Yellow School Bus grant provides up to $300 to help schools meet the transportation costs of educational field trips to arts institutions and activities in Missouri that are funded by the Missouri Arts Council. Eligible destinations include art museums and music, dance, and theater performances and programs. Applicants are responsible for making all transportation and destination arrangements. The grant does not pay for other costs including teacher or administrative costs or admission fees.


Experiential learning through cultural institutions is critical to a child’s academic development. These visits help foster creativity and innovation, among the most important skills for students to develop today. Big Yellow School Bus encourages schools to explore and experience all that Missouri’s cultural life has to offer.

Grant Request

No match is required for this grant which will pay up to $300 for one or multiple field trips. The amount will be determined by the actual cost indicated on the invoice or bill from the transportation company (which must be submitted with the invoice and final report). An eligible school may receive one Big Yellow School Bus grant for field trips that occur during the 2018-2019 school year. If estimated cost is less than $300, it is possible to include more than one field trip on the application form.


New This Year: If you pursue this grant please know that the grant would be electronically transferred into the school bank account (EFT – Electronic Funds Transfer). For this reason it will be necessary to register in the Missouri Vendor System. Schools that are receiving funds from the state are already registered. Grants Manager Joan White (314-340-6855) would assist you with the registration process.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible the school must be a Missouri-based, public, private, or charter school that provides daily education to PK-12 grade students. If private or charter school, it must also be recognized as tax-exempt by the IRS (Internal Revenue Service) and registered with the Missouri Secretary of State as a nonprofit organization.

Eligible Destinations and Activities

Eligible destinations are programs that are funded by the Missouri Arts Council. A list of MAC grant recipients by community can be found here. MAC will not fund travel to student competitions, student performances, or musical clinics. If you believe your destination is funded by MAC and is not shown on the list, please contact Julie Hale, Program Specialist for Arts Education.

Application Deadline

Applications must be submitted by the first Monday of any month and at least 6 weeks in advance of the field trip. For example, if the field trip occurs November 19, the deadline is the first Monday of October. If the first Monday falls on a holiday, the deadline will be Tuesday.


To encourage advance planning, MAC accepts early applications. Applicants will receive informal notification of funding within six weeks of the deadline submission. This grant is not competitive and will be awarded as funds are available.

Getting Started

  1. Before you begin the application contact Julie Hale, Program Specialist for Arts Education, to discuss the destination and field trip date.
  2. Make necessary arrangements with representatives at the field trip destination.
  3. Before submitting the application, public schools must get approval from their superintendent. Private and charter schools need approval from their school principal (or equivalent position). If awarded the grant, their physical signature will be required for the grant agreement.
  4. Locate the FEIN and DUNS numbers. The school district administration office should be able to provide these. Both are required for government grants. Whoever handles reporting for Free and Reduced Meals will know.
    1. The FEIN number is the Federal Employee Identification number.
    2. The DUNS# is a unique 9-digit identification number; it stands for Data Universal Numbering System. Click here to search for your school district’s DUNS #.
  5. Register your school district (or school if yours is a charter or parochial school) at: Consult the Guide to SmartSimple Registration and Guide to Navigating the Grant System for instructions about accessing the application form.

  1. Complete the FY20 Big Yellow School Bus grant application at
  2. Applications may be submitted early, but must be submitted by the first Monday of the month that is at least six weeks before the field trip.

Getting Prepared for Post-Award Activities

  • Detailed instructions will be provided with the award letter, grant agreement (contract), final report, and invoice.
  • You will be notified when the grant agreement is ready. The form will be available online. It must be signed by your authorizing official, scanned, and uploaded back into the grant system. The signed grant agreement is due 30 days from when you are notified.
  • For grant purposes, MAC considers the authorizing official to be the superintendent for public schools and principal (or equivalent position) for private or charter schools.

    It is possible for your superintendent to provide a letter authorizing the assistant superintendent to sign all necessary documents for the grant. The letter should be printed on school district letterhead, dated, reference the grant application number, state the name of the person/position who is authorized, and be signed by the superintendent.

  • MAC will countersign the grant agreement and upload a scanned version into the online grant system. MAC will send an email notification when this copy is available to download for your records.
  • MAC Acknowledgement
    • Required: Grant recipients must notify the governor, state representative and senator of their MAC grant award. And then provide a copy of these letters with the final report. A sample of a legislator letter may be found here (scroll to bottom of webpage).
    • Extra Credit: MAC appreciates any acknowledgement of our funding support to the school community. This may be done in a school newsletter, take home flier, permission slip, or website. You may download eight versions of MAC logo in three different formats. JPEG is the most commonly used format. You also may use the phrase, “Financial assistance for this field trip has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.”
  • All expenses must be paid by the applicant prior to invoicing MAC for the grant money. This means that you must have sufficient cash reserves to pay for the expenses upfront and then wait at least 4-5 weeks for reimbursement. The processing will be delayed if the invoice was completed incorrectly.
  • Once the field trip is completed, it is time for you to prepare the MAC Invoice and Final Report for reimbursement. All final paperwork must be submitted no later than 30 days after the last field trip.
  • HOWEVER, if the MAC funded field trip occurs late in the school year (like May or June),
    the school/grant recipient must submit the MAC Invoice as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, June 15, 2020. The Final Report will be due 30 days after the last field trip or July 20, 2020, whichever date occurs first.
  • Changes: MAC understands that changes happen. It’s important that you contact Julie Hale, Program Specialist for Arts Education, when this occurs. While the changes might seem small to you, problems can occur if MAC doesn’t know about them. Changes may include: Date and destination of field trip; contact information; mailing address; and authorizing official.


Contact Julie Hale, Program Specialist for Arts Education, at or 314-340-6853.


Big Yellow School Bus Application Questions


Application ID:                                                          Application Type: Big Yellow School Bus

Organization Name:                                                 Primary Contact:


Mission Statement


Applicant Information

Popular Name, School Name, Department, Art Program or Doing Business As


Are you a new or returning MAC applicant? New indicates that your organization has not applied for any funding at MAC within the last three fiscal years.


Type of School or Organization

  • Public School
  • Private School
  • Charter School
  • MAC Grantee in Arts Council Project or Operating Support


Occasionally there are questions about payables or receivables related to your grant. Please provide the name of someone that we can contact with questions.

Accounting Contact Name

Accounting Contact Title or Position in School

Accounting Contact Phone Number (###-###-####)

Accounting Contact Email


Project Information

Date of Field Trip. Must be within the fiscal year, July 1 through June 30.


Additional Dates. Click on the blue “Additional Dates” button to enter additional dates.

(MAC will fund multiple field trips so long as transportation costs do not exceed $300.)


Student Field Trip Participation. Click on the blue “Student Trip Participation” button to enter how many students at each grade level will participate in the field trip? Be sure to indicate the total number of students for each grade level.


Grade Level                                                                            Total Students


How many adults will accompany students on the field trip?


Provide the name and address of the school from which the students would travel.


Provide the name and address of the field trip destination.


Provide the name of the organization providing the arts activity.


What is the performance, exhibition or other activity in which the students will participate? How will the activity relate to other school activities in the curriculum?


What is the estimated cost of transportation for this field trip? The Big Yellow School Bus Grant may reimburse up to $300. This amount should include only transportation costs. Do not include teacher or administrative costs, or admission fees. Figures will rounded to the nearest dollar.


What type of transportation will be used? Estimate the distance and time needed for the trip. How is the cost determined?



Attachment Instructions

  • Clearly title/name the file and provide a description.
  • Use .pdf file format, except for the board list which must be an Excel spreadsheet. Alternative file formats include: .doc and .docx.
  • Sample documents available here.


IRS Tax Exempt Status Letter

Public School Districts, Public Universities/Colleges and Public Institutions (like state or city agencies or parks and recreation departments) are exempt from this requirement.

This is required from all nonprofit applicants that have never submitted their IRS Tax-Exempt Status Letter in this system. The letter should include your FEIN number. Link for Sample Letter here.


Missouri Annual or Biennial Registration Report

Public School Districts, Public Universities/Colleges and Public Institutions (like state or city agencies or parks and recreation departments) are exempt from this requirement.

Attach the most recent annual or biennial report. This is only required of 501(c)3 organizations. You may download your records online at the Missouri Secretary of State website. Search for your organization at here. Sample documents are available here.


Vendor Input Instructions

  • If this is the first time the organization has applied to MAC, contact the Grants Manager for assistance completing the vendor registration process for the State of Missouri.
  • If the organization has a new mailing address, new financial institution or a change in legal name, contact the Grants Manager for assistance in making the vendor change for the State of Missouri.


Compliance Statement

By clicking “Submit,” I:

  • Attest that this document is submitted with the full approval of the board of directors; Attest that the information submitted with this document is correct;
  • Agree to meet all administrative obligations of the project funded by the Missouri Arts Council.

Note: The authorizing official’s name and title below provides your agreement that the information submitted with this document is correct.

Public School District authorizing official is the Superintendent. Private School authorizing official is the Principal


Authorizing Official’s First and Last Name

Authorizing Official’s Title

Submitting Person’s First and Last Name

Submitting Person’s Title