The MCPASD Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds to augment programs and activities provided by the District, awarded four grants totaling nearly $5,600 to district teachers and staff as part of its spring grant cycle.
“Our organization has concentrated on supporting our marginalized and disadvantaged students over the past year, and many of our 2021 grant recipients reflect this focus,” Foundation executive director Amber Kiggens-Leifheit said. “This is the eighth year we’ve awarded inspiration grants to teachers and staff for innovative and unique programs that complement MCPASD’s educational goals, and we’re honored to continue this tradition.”
Counting the 2021 recipients, the Education Foundation has awarded 114 grants worth more than $120,000 since 2013.
Foundation board members are announcing the grants over the next few weeks by attending virtual staff meetings at recipients’ respective schools. The Foundation also announced grants virtuall in fall 2020 after delaying the announcement of those grants due to COVID-19.
In previous years, Foundation board members and members of the MHS marching band traveled via school bus to grant recipients’ respective schools to honor them with presentations in their classrooms and a band performance.
“Our 2021 recipients are going above and beyond for our students, and we’re grateful for their efforts during this especially tough year for students and teachers,” said Carl Frederick, Education Foundation secretary and chair of the grants committee. “It’s a privilege to recognize their efforts and to fund inspiring experiences for students that go beyond those provided in a traditional learning environment.”
Here are the grants being funded by the Foundation in 2021:
- High School Period Poverty Project: School social workers Sarah Estrella, Alex Garcia Jack Koskinen, Jordyn Riemer and Kristin Wilson received a $1,000 grant to purchase period products for all bathrooms in CSCS and MHS. The grant will help the team expand the program they introduced as a pilot project two years ago with funding from the Education Foundation.
- Middle School Period Poverty Project: School social workers Nichole Carlisle and Susan Sims Mormino received a $1,086 grant to expand the high school program to both middle schools, providing period products for Glacier Creek and Kromrey’s female and all-gender bathrooms.
- SAGE Middle School Mentorship Program: English teacher and SAGE (Sexuality and Gender Equality) adviser Chundou Her received a $2,500 grant to expand the SAGE Middle School Mentorship Program. The program brings high school student mentors, who identify as LGBTQ+ or identify as allies, together with middle school students to provide social-emotional and academic support through group activities as well as one-on-one mentorships.
- Voices of Color Community Justice Project: English teacher Chundou Her received a $1,000 grant to fund student projects that address systemic social issues within our community as part of the Voices of Color class at Middleton High School. Students will conduct scholarly and on-the-ground research to select an issue to address and use grant funding to bring in guest speakers, plan workshops and discussions, and host community events. The project also received $1,000 from the innovative grants program the District provides annually.
The Education Foundation is a non-profit organization that supports the District’s efforts to improve student achievement across all demographic groups by focusing on equitable practices – the heart of an inclusive, innovative and inspiring learning community. The Foundation awards staff grants and student scholarships annually, and funds programs and activities aligned with the District’s priorities each school year.
Visit the Education Foundation's website for more information.