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Bid for Education Program

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Financial Assistance for On-site School and Virtual Visits

Each year, thanks to our many generous donors, the Bid for Education raises thousands of dollars to enable on-site and virtual visits to JANM for more than 12,000 primary and secondary school students and teachers. Funds raised by the Bid for Education are earmarked to support bus transportation, museum admission, and virtual visit fee waivers for students from Title I schools, or schools qualifying for Title I services or free/reduced lunch. Self-guided groups are not eligible for Bid for Education admission and transportation grants.

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JANM Education

Free Admission Grants

Free On-site Admission Grant

Through our Bid for Education program, JANM offers free admission to Title I schools, or schools qualifying for Title I services or free/reduced lunch. Our Free Admission Grant is available to groups who come for an on-site experience scheduled through the Education Unit. Grants are for general admission only; additional program or special exhibition fees may not be covered.


Virtual Visit Fee-Waiver

Our Free Admission Grant now extends to groups booking a virtual experience through the Education Unit.

Groups must have a minimum of 10 participants to qualify.

BFE Kids lining up

Transportation Grants

Free transportation funds are limited and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Reservations and transportation grants are accepted each year at the following times: 

  • Beginning October 1 for visits to take place the following January 1 - June 30.
  • Beginning July 1 for visits to take place July 1 - December 31.

Grants will be made by reimbursement. The Group Visit Request form must be completed and submitted at least three weeks before your scheduled visit to qualify.

Additional rules and restrictions:

  • Transportation grants are limited to two buses per school per year.
  • To qualify for Bid for Education (BFE) transportation funding your group must stay for the full duration of your scheduled visit.
  • The Bid for Education program will not cover bus transportation for groups of fewer than 25 people.
  • The Bid for Education program will cover transportation costs to and from your school/organization and JANM only. 
  • The school/organization must handle all transportation arrangements. 
  • The school/organization is responsible for any and all costs over the $350 per bus limit. 
  • The Bid for Education program will not pay for any costs or penalties incurred if your group cancels its visit and fails to cancel its transportation arrangements. 
  • If the transportation invoice is not submitted to JANM within two months of the visit date or by the following June 30, whichever comes first, you will be disqualified from funding and responsibility for payment will revert to the school or organization. JANM is not responsible for lost or misdirected invoices. 
BFE Oragami

How to Apply

If your group meets the grant requirements, fill out the questions in the Group Visit Request form. Once submitted, an email will be sent to your Group Leader confirming your reservation and notifying you of the status of your grant. Please note that you will be required to provide the name of the bus service, number of buses requested, and a cost estimate for the trip as part of the application process.

Failure to cancel your reservation at least 48 hours in advance may make your school/organization ineligible for future grants.

If you have any questions, please email us at groupvisits@janm.org.

Senator Daniel K. Inouye at the 2011 Gala Dinner. Photo by Tracy Kumono

About the Bid for Education

JANM’s Bid for Education program was officially launched at the 2000 Gala Dinner by the late U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye in response to state budget cuts that threatened bus transportation for school field trips. In addition to funding free admission and transportation grants, the Bid for Education also supports 1st-12th grade virtual visits, K–12 educator workshops, the development of free printed and digital resources for educators, docent recruitment and training, and many other educational initiatives.


BFE Student Presentation

Support the Bid for Education

Although the majority of funding for the Bid for Education Program comes through JANM’s annual Gala fundraiser, we do accept donations towards this program year-round. We invite your support of the Bid for Education.

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