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Humboldt Education Foundation (HEF) just awarded the first round of Humboldt Unified School District (HUSD) classroom grants to teachers for the 2020-2021 school year. Aimee Fleming, Principal of Lake Valley Elementary and HEF board member, said, “This grant cycle, we saw a lot of varying needs from our teachers due to the new health guidelines our teachers and students are working through.
However, teachers continue to remain focused on how to make learning better and more innovative. Our HEF team feels so lucky to be able to continue to offer more grants and for higher amounts to continue to support the amazing educators we have working hard daily to make a difference.”
The grant application requires a description of the project needing funding, the amount being requested and the number of students that it would benefit. The grant opportunity helps further the mission of HEF, which is to provide community support for excellence in education and contribute to the educational experiences that impact the lives of students. The funds are proceeds from the annual Teacher of the Year banquet and generous sponsors. Despite not being able to have the banquet this year, sponsors were still committed to helping make teacher grants a reality. A total of $5,000 was committed to fund grants in the first quarter of the 2020-2021 school year. HEF is so grateful to our community for their support of these crucial teacher grants.
According to Fleming, “The decision still remains difficult on which grants to fund as each decision affects students in a different capacity.” This round a total of 23 grants were received by the committee, requesting a total of over $19,000. If all grants submitted could be funded, a total of 2,837 students would benefit, said Fleming. The $4,370 awarded this quarter to six winners will positively impact learning for 1,060 students. The grant recipients for the first quarter were:
- Jayme Tisdale, Granville Elementary K-6 art teacher was awarded a grant of $1,000 to purchase art supplies for her 435 students. Due to the pandemic, each student must have his or her own art supplies, as sharing is not recommended at this time. It would also fund new art project ideas that could be implemented school-wide.
- Katie McGregor, a 1st-grade teacher at Granville Elementary was awarded a grant of $500 to purchase a traveling easel and personal dry erase whiteboards for students. The whiteboards are used individually by students and can be taken outside when students are learning in their habitat.
- Audrey Matson, from Coyote Springs Elementary, was awarded $470 to purchase flexible seating and dry erase tables for her 3rd and 4th-grade special education students. Flexible seating allows students different environments to learn in and the dry erase tables allow for group work and collaboration to take place.
- Gaylee Chilicky, a 5th-grade teacher at Lake Valley Elementary received a grant for $350 to provide a subscription to “Time for Kids” magazine, for learning opportunities for all 5th-grade students. These magazines can be used across the curriculum material, from Social Studies to Math and Science.
- Micaela Janowski, a Kindergarten teacher from Lake Valley Elementary received a $1,000 grant to purchase flexible seating and better lighting for her classroom. Kindergarten students find it hard to stay in their seats all day. The flexible seating will allow them opportunities to move around and stay focused.
- Monique Apalategui, 3rd-grade teacher at Lake Valley received a $1,000 grant to purchase a Mimio Tech Portable Interactive Whiteboard and the Mimiopad 3 Wireless Tablet and Pen. This technology allows anyone to transform the whiteboard into a fully interactive smartboard. The tablet can be given to a student to answer questions and work out problems on the whiteboard instead of coming up to the “chalkboard.”
The committee follows up with teachers throughout the quarter to monitor progress. Teachers submit photos showing how the grant awards were used and how the awards impacted their classrooms.
Applicants who were not selected this round may apply again, or seek other avenues for funding, such as Donors Choose, other grant programs, or teachers may choose to self-fund their projects.
The next HEF grant call will go out in December to HUSD teachers. Winners will be announced when teachers return from winter break. HEF is always looking for donations to help fund more grants each quarter. For more information, go to www.humboldteducationfoundation.org to make a donation, or select the Teacher of the Year tab to become a sponsor.
In addition to quarterly grants, HEF recognizes students and teachers at the annual Teacher of the Year banquet. The Teacher of the Year event is meaningful to the teachers and students of HUSD because it gives students the ability to express their appreciation for teachers, it raises funds for student scholarships, and thanks to sponsors, provides support throughout the year for classroom grants. HEF is currently planning for a tentative spring 2021 date for the Teacher of the Year banquet.
Other Foundation projects include; the Carm Staker Scholarship Award for graduating BMHS seniors, a Student Orchestra Project and the Hungry Kids Project. The Hungry Kids Project serves the children of HUSD by providing weekend meal bags every Friday to students referred to the program by school staff and nurses, providing food for those who may not have access to adequate weekend meals. Over 200 students receive food through the Hungry Kids Project during the school year.
The Humboldt Education Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit organization and an approved State of Arizona Qualifying Charitable Organization for the Arizona Tax Credit program.
For more information, contact James Clemens at 928.499.2288 or check out the HEF website at www.humboldteducationfoundation.org.