Education Foundation awards $150,000 in school grants
May 19, 2015
Once again, the Park City Education Foundation has put its money where its mouth is to ensure students get a unique educational experience.
The Education Foundation recently announced it has given $150,000 in 28 "school site" grants to schools within the Park City School District. Sara Hutchinson, program officer for the Education Foundation, said the foundation received 46 applications for school site grants.
One key for the committee of volunteers choosing which applications to fulfill was making sure that each of the district’s seven schools got in on the action.
"We get together and look at all the grants and try to give each school some a portion of the money," she said. "It’s really important to cover as many students as possible."
Grants awarded this year include funding a poetry program for fourth- and fifth-graders at Jeremy Ranch Elementary School, purchasing laptops and other materials for the Park City High School debate team and money for a program for special education students.
Hutchinson said it’s satisfying to provide opportunities for students that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.
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"The grants are all very innovative," she said. "You just know that these grants are instrumental in students’ days. So it’s really exciting to be able to fund these things, like steel drums for the high school band. We already know that the band has an incredible percussion department, but to be able to enhance it and make it even more exciting is really quite rewarding for us."
Some school site grants evolved from grants the Education Foundation awards to teachers for use in individual classrooms. One such grant this year was a request at Trailside Elementary School for stand-up desks, which allow students with Attention Deficit Disorder to get rid of excess energy and focus better. After teacher Andrea Solum got desks for her own classroom through a grant and saw the differences they made, she requested a grant that will allow more students throughout the school to take advantage of them.
"She went back and worked with the principal and came up with a school grant," Hutchinson said. "Now we’re tripling what we did earlier to give to the school for desks for several classrooms. That is really neat to see the grants come through the pipeline."
Hutchinson said the grants would not be possible without the community rallying behind the foundation’s cause and donating so much money.
"The community is really invested in education," she said. "I think that the Park City Education Foundation really just enhances the school district and helps make it as good as it can be. People come together and recognize that it takes more than what the state gives the school district."