A happy new year for grant recipients
December 29, 2011
The Park City Education Foundation received 37 teacher grant requests for more than $140,000 this year. The organization was able to fund about $45,000 worth of the requests. The foundation announced the grant recipients just before winter break, according to Park City Education Foundation Marketing Manager Jennifer Billow, who said teachers can implement their projects at the beginning of the New Year.
"It’s really an exciting time and it’s a fun and exciting process for the grant committee," Billow said. "The specific criteria for applicants is that you have to be a licensed teacher or specialist in the Park City School District."
The foundation classifies each teacher grant application under three categories. The Nancy DeFord grants are awarded for innovation and creativity, Billow said, adding that the Nancy’s received 20 grant requests for more than $105,000 this year. The foundation awarded $40,000 in that category.
Park City Education Foundation Grant Committee Chair Lynn Cier, said the committee awarded Nancy Krivick and Tricia Jackson $7,815 for Ecker Hill Middle School Gizmos, an interactive software program that will allow students to conduct science experiments online.
"It’s a Web-based program that is actually really exciting," Cier said. "When they send us a grant request they give us all the information we need to research. Kids can do some experiments that they would never be able to do in a middle school classroom. The nice thing about it is you can differentiate the software to accommodate more advanced students."
Cier has been on the grant committee for more than 10 years and said because of the longevity of her role, she was propelled to the chair position. Over the last decade, she’s seen the community, teachers and the school district become more educated about the grant process.
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"The district has evolved into using technology in the classroom and so I’ve seen a lot more technology infused into these grants," she said. "I’ve seen so many teachers get involved because they see what they can do with teacher grants and the community has a better sense of why they give money to the Ed. Foundation because it comes back to the community."
Grant requests that fit into the Linda Singer Berrett category are given for diversity and differentiation. The Education Foundation awarded $2,000 in grant money this year. Nine teachers applied for grants in this category and three were funded.
Holly Ray and Anna Williams from Treasure Mountain Junior High School and Park City High School, received $500 to be put toward the Latino in Leadership Scholarship. The goal is to improve the academic performance level of Latino students by engaging them in the classroom, Billow said.
The Nele Needham grants are awarded to kindergarten through 6th-grade teachers seeking arts, culture, cultural events and special needs funding. Jeremy Ranch Elementary School teachers Susan Boone and Julie Lonczak received $1,245 in grant money for an Adaptive Tricycle & Cycling Program for students with special needs. Cier said this might be used as a pilot program for the school district.
"Every year we get special education requests because it’s really hard to mainstream special needs kids in gym class," Cier said. "You can give the students goals so they aren’t sitting on the sidelines while everyone is playing volleyball. This will give them the opportunity to participate."
For more information regarding teacher grants or grant recipients, visit The Park City Education Foundation website at http://www.pcef4kids.org .