Teachers seek funding for educational projects

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The Kalispell Education Foundation is looking to partner again with businesses and individuals to help fund Great Opportunities Grants.

Each year, teachers in Kalispell Public Schools can apply for a grant to support innovative and enriching educational projects when funding is not available in a school’s budget.

The foundation has reviewed nine grant applications with monetary requests. Businesses or individuals may fund all, or a portion of a grant with money or in-kind donations.

Businesses or organizations that would like to support the Great Opportunities Grants program may contact Kalispell Education Foundation board member Terri Cebulla at terri@j2op.com or visit www.kalispelleducationfoundation.org.

The requests are as follows:

Culinary

• Kalispell Middle School Family and Consumer Science teacher Beth Schule is seeking $1,295 for “Power in the Process: Foods from Farm to Table.” The project aims to increase the amount of seasonal produce from school and community gardens that students cook with by purchasing seven food processors. The food processors will help cut prep time, allowing students to use a wider variety of produce such as beets and zucchini, according to Schule’s grant application.

History

• “From the Field to the Table” is a historical take on food in Montana as it pertains to Native Americans, mountain men, to present-day farming and ranching. Kalispell Middle School history teacher Kris Schreiner and FoodCorps Service Member Caitlin Coghlan are seeking to purchase $595 worth of kitchen equipment such as a fruit press, dehydrator, grain mill and roving cook kit. The goal of the project is to have students learn past and present food processing and milling techniques, in addition to using local ingredients. Some of the produce will be sourced from the school garden and orchard.

Math

• Hedges Elementary kindergarten teacher Dani Burtsfield wants to help kindergartners “see the math concretely.” Her grant application request of $1,844 for “Let Them Play! The Power of Math Manipulatives and Math Games in Kindergarten,” would be used to purchase items that students can interact with in helping make sense of numbers and math concepts, according to Burtsfield’s application.

Music

• Glacier High School band, orchestra and choir directors’ “Smarter Musician Strategy” project seeks provide each music student with a laptop and online content to help teach music theory and allow students to compose music, record and collaborate with peers and professionals. While the music department has purchased some of the technology already, this grant seeks $1,994 to buy nine Chromebooks and content licensing to make the “one-to-one” technology initiative a reality.

Reading and Writing

• Flathead High School Librarian Aarica Phillips is looking to increase reading engagement and achievement. Through a $1,600 grant request, Phillips is looking to purchase books for the She-Ra Book Club. In addition to reading a book a month, She-Ra members are paired with elementary reading buddies to encourage reading for pleasure.

• Five Glacier High School staff members are looking to start a student literary journal with $2,000 in funding to cover printing costs. The literary journal would feature prose, poetry, fiction, nonfiction, sketches and photography submitted by students and selected by student editors.

Science

• “A to Zebrafish” aims to use $1,533 to set up an aquarium in the life science classroom, allowing students to observe, experiment with and research freshwater zebrafish, according to Glacier High School science teachers David Lillard and Ben Young. Students will study genetics, cellular respiration and embryo development through inquiry-based lab experiences.

Student Achievement

• The goal of Glacier High School social studies teacher Clark Begger’s grant application “Swivl Student Success,” is to provide students with access to classroom instruction through video and audio. The requested grant amount of $1,191 would be used to purchase a Swivl classroom observation camera toolkit and tablet to record classes. The goal is to keep absent students on track with teacher instruction and class discussions, according to Begger’s application. It will also benefit students who need to review a portion of instruction.

• Hedges Elementary is creating a Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) Lab that will double as a resource room. Through a $1,996 grant request, the school will complete the lab by purchasing materials such as gears, pulleys, electronic circuits, magnetic building pieces, magnifying sets, chain reaction sets and a Lego wall, according to grant applicant Hedges technology teacher Erin Landrum.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or hmatheson@dailyinterlake.com.

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